Thursday, June 2, 2011
Prom Queen is 'the happiest girl in the world'
The battle to be crowned prom queen is notoriously fierce. But for the students at Fair Grove High School, Missouri, there was only ever going to be one winner - Maisie Garoutte. The 19-year-old, who has Down's Syndrome, is so popular her fellow competitors decided to give up their own prom dreams to campaign on her behalf.
The two other girls in the running persuaded the whole school to vote for her, putting up 'Vote for Maisie' posters along the school corridors. Her teacher and mentor, Sue O'Dell, told MailOnline: 'To give up prom queen - it's a pretty big deal. But the seniors were wonderful this year.
Mrs O'Dell, who has taught Maisie for eight years, said the senior was thrilled to be crowned prom queen on April 30.
She said: 'She was extremely excited, she was was especially excited to get the crown, she wore it to school for the next two days.'
Maisie has been at the school since kindergarten, and is extremely popular among the students in her year, many of whom who have known her since she was five. Mrs O'Dell said: ''They all know her really well, they all help her when she needs it. The vote was pretty much unanimous'. Describing her as 'the sweetest person', Mrs O'Dell said Maisie has won the hearts of everyone at school as the morning greeter, high-fiving the students as they walk in the door.
She also volunteers at the school, rolling the teachers' cutlery every morning and delivering the mail to staff.
Mrs O'Dell, who posed with Maisie for pictures before the prom, said she wasn't at all surprised to see her win the coveted title.
She said: 'She is one of those people that everyone needs to have around at some point in her life.' Nor was school principal Mike Bell. He told the Springfield News-Leader: 'We have an incredible student body that works well with special-needs students.'
Maisie's father, Michael, told the newspaper: 'It was real sweet of those kids. She was mighty proud of that crown. She's got it right on top of her jewellery box. She's just real thankful for this.'
He described Maisie as 'the happiest girl in the world' after her win. He told the National Enquirer: 'Everybody loves her. I wish I was as happy all the time as she is. 'The other girls gave up her chance to be prom queen to let my Maisie get the crown - and that's tough for an 18-year-old girl to do.'