Special needs student in Oregon wins prom queen with record-breaking vote

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BEAVERTON, Ore. — High school senior Katie Shipley was never supposed to live to see her 18th birthday, let alone make it to her senior prom.

Shipley was born with a rare chromosome disorder and has a form of dementia. She is now finishing her high school education in the special education program.

Not only did the spunky young girl make it to her senior prom, she went as a candidate for prom queen.

It all started several weeks ago, when Katie told her friends at school she always wanted to be prom queen.

“I wanted to be nominated,” Shipley said.

Without her knowledge, Katie’s friends started a campaign to get her nominated.

“We kind of just told the whole school and it just happened,” said Katie’s friend, Taylor Chapman.

Their efforts paid off, and the students surprised Katie at school with the news. They recorded the moment they told her.

Katie was ecstatic to be nominated and began shopping for her prom wardrobe.

“It’s gold and purple, I love the dress,” said Shipley, holding a beautiful cocktail length dress covered in sparkling beads, purchased be her aunt.

“This is just every little girl’s dream,” Shipley’s grandmother, Joan Fraley, said.

On Saturday afternoon, Katie got her hair and makeup done while battling the nerves before prom.

She and her date headed to the event at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland.

Then, it was time for the prom court to be announced. Katie found herself on stage, surrounded by camera flashes and her fellow classmates.

While she waited for the winners to be announced, Katie heard the crowd begin chanting. She listened closely.

“They were shouting out my name. ‘Katie Katie Katie!’,” she said.

Katie smiled, her nerves building, and suddenly, it happened..

Katie said at first she didn’t believe it.

“I got surprised a little bit.”

Not only did she win, Katie received the most votes for prom queen in school history.



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