By Claire Krackow
Senior prom is definitely a night to remember and cherish for the rest of your life. The seniors at Red Lion Senior High School did just that and then some. On the night of prom at 8 p.m., prom court was announced to walk with an escort of their choice. Lauren Bankard won prom queen.
Senior Cody Woods, a classmate with Down Syndrome, was then crowned prom king.
Cody was very excited when he was crowned that night. The song that Cody chose to walk to with his escort (Brittany Mancha) was “Greased Lightning.
“I chose that song because it’s from my favorite movie,” Woods said. His favorite character is Danny Zucco from the movie “Grease,” which is another reason why he chose the song.
Fox 43 showed up at prom to interview Cody and other classmates about his being crowned king. Woods said that he was very “excited” and “nervous” about being interviewed but all around it was a great experience for him.
“I danced and took a lot of pictures,” Woods said.
“We were first asked if it was okay that Cody would be on court by the lady that runs the prom (Mrs. Jennifer Wireman) and everything,” Cody’s teacher, Mrs. Denise Wagner said. “And we said that we felt that he would handle it very well.”
“And then when he was on prom court, we talked to him about the possibilities of winning but also the possibilities that he might not, but that we loved him regardless and he was our king, regardless,” Wagner said with a smile.
Senior Brittany Mancha, who works with Cody on the morning announcements show, was chosen to escort him down the prom court that night.
“He’s such a sweetheart. We talk every morning when he comes to the TV studio and he always has a smile on his face,” Mancha said.
“It was so funny, Mrs. Kuhn actually called me out of calculus and said, ‘So, Cody was planning on asking you, but he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with your date.’ I said it was perfectly fine and the next morning, Cody walked up to me in the TV studio with Mrs. Kuhn. He was so giddy, but nervous, and asked me if I would escort him. Of course, I said yes,” Mancha said. “He immediately held his arms out for a hug.”
“Everyone on court was so kind to him and he couldn’t stop grinning the entire time. When the song “Greased Lightning” started playing, he walked down the ballroom and he high-fived every single person the entire walk down,” Mancha said. “I felt absolutely honored to escort such a sweet guy.”
“We chose the right kind of person to walk with him that evening, so that he had the right type of person to handle his abilities and to just be sure that he was doing okay,” Mrs. Wagner said.
Woods said that even when he was announced prom king, he already felt like a king beforehand.
“It doesn’t matter what day it is, if it’s sunny, if it’s bright or even if it’s not, he high fives everybody in the halls,” Wagner said. “He makes sure that he goes out of his way to say hello to people, good morning, he greets teachers, and he doesn’t let anybody stop him. So if he gets discouraged with somebody, he will still say hello to them again the next day.” Wagner said.
“It does not matter who they are, he wants to be friends with everybody.”