Homecoming night was more than special this year for Arapahoe High School. When Terri Stokes heard about his son, Noah’s popularity, she had no idea how his peers love his son. This year, Arapahoe Highschool crowned their homecoming royalties Noah and Khrystya.
In the video footage of their nomination, the pair were welcomed by the tumultuous applause of the high school students in the Auditorium.
What sets Noah and Khrystya apart from the previous kings and queens of the Colorado school? —They’re the first crowned pair with Down syndrome. Their classmates chose the two high school seniors during the homecoming football game.
“I had no idea it was gonna come to this,” Terri said. The mother of homecoming king says it speaks volumes of the students’ character. “It’s just an amazing community ever since Noah’s been in school. Every year, he’s gotten better, and this is just the cherry on top.” She added.
Before homecoming night, the high school students gathered at the local Olive Garden for dinner. Noah was met with cheerful greetings and congratulations from his classmates—he is definitely a favorite.
Noah’s big smile is a clear indication that he’s got his head on the clouds. “I was happy; I love it.” He told in an interview with Dailymail. Noah donned a dashing suit with a pink dress shirt. Khrystya, on the other hand, wore an exquisite formal gown with sparkling-gold lining. She also took Peter, a fellow teenager with Down syndrome, as her date. Her mom, Sheyla Gordon, posted the photo where the young girl looked like she was having the time of her life.
Arapahoe High’s newest royalty was just what the school needed after a grim series of events the school had to endure for the past months. One month before the homecoming, a junior student took her life. It has been almost a year since the Arapahoe community mourned when two of the high school students took their lives in the same week.
The most recent suicide marks the 9th time the Arapahoe High lost a member of their community since 2013. In that year, an 18-year old student shot a 15-year-old schoolmate in the head before taking his own life.
Shortly after Monday’s suicide, Arapahoe High principal Natalie Pramenko issued a memo that circulated to the students’ families:
“Students, please remind one another how much you love and care about each other. Reach out to your friends and do not hesitate to let an adult (parent, teacher, coach, counselor, etc.) know if you or your friends are struggling.”
In Arapahoe High’s direst times, the high school students saw a ray of hope in the form of Noah and Khrystya’s pure heart, contagious smiles, and innocent kindness. When asked about how the community treats his son Noah, Terri eagerly remarked how the inclusive environment helped his son thrive. “It’s just a great community. They’re warm, loving, inclusive,” she said.
All eyes in Arapahoe High’s homecoming night will be at the newly-crowned Noah and Khrystia. This special occasion is a night to remember. It was a rare chance for the students to take a breather revel in joy after all that has happened.
Watch the video of the joyful celebration below: