JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Prom is a night of celebration, but for one local student it was much more than a night of dancing.
Maddie Swart was named prom queen at Johnstown High School and received a standing ovation when she accepted her crown.
She cried tears of joy along with her mom, Veronica.
“I just lost it,” Veronica said. “It was such an amazing moment.”
Veronica got the call the night before, but she only knew her daughter would be on the court.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I had no idea at all.”
She never expected the reaction from the students.
“The whole senior class – you could hear them all cheering for her and cheering her on,” she said.
It wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Maddie’s classmates, Julia Roth and Brianna Geleta. They’ve known Maddie since they were little.
“There’s not one person in this school I don’t think that doesn’t love Maddie,” Roth said. “Everyone loves her.”
And it showed.
There was no campaign or spreading of messages.
“Everyone knew how much this would mean to her if she was crowned prom queen,” Geleta said.
“I really like being queen,” Maddie said. “It’s so much fun.”
The students weren’t voting for someone with Down’s syndrome. They were voting for Maddie.
“Some people would say she can be different or she is different,” Geleta said. “We all see her as a person.”
That’s all Maddie’s mom has ever wanted for her daughter.
“She is a part of this class, and this class is a part of her,” Veronica said.
Maddie will walk with her class at graduation in about a month.