Like many high school seniors this time of year, two very special Raleigh, North Carolina, students are still beaming from last weekend's prom night. But, the annual senior event was made even more poignant when special needs students Brian Smith and Alexis Adams were crowned king and queen.
Fellow classmates at Corinth Holders High School cheered as their names were called Friday night. Both smiled from ear to ear as they accepted the honor.
"I was very excited," prom king Brian Smith told ABC station WTVD's anchor Anna Laurel. "I was very happy (when) they called my name," he continued.
His queen mirrored the excitement.
"I was happy. I was so happy, I couldn't stop smiling," said Alexis Adams.
Principal Chase Ferrell says the student body overwhelmingly voted for the two. "Two of the most positive individuals you will come in contact with, always happy, always smiling and it's just infectious. They're just radiant and the other students feed off of that."
Smith and Adams' teacher pumped her fist as she described to WTVD the sense of pride that overcame her when their names were called. "It was just one of those, 'YES!' moments for me," explained teacher Crystal Ridenhour.
Ridenhour hopes the crowning sends a message to teens everywhere. "All people can be included everywhere. Everybody has a special place no matter what their abilities or disabilities," Ridenhour says.
While proud of the moment, the two also have a sense of humor about their new title. "Everybody, everybody voted for me," said Brian. "I'm the king of 2014 … Not Brian no more, I'm the King."