Two deceased students were named the 2017 prom king and queen by fellow classmates at a school in Illinois, and school officials praised their thoughtful tribute.
At the prom for Bremen High School in Midlothian held on Friday night, Mark Gorman and Paola Zambrano, who both died in the past two years, were named prom king and queen.
Gorman was hit by a car and died in October 2016 and Zambrano died in 2015 from colon cancer, according to an NPR report published on Saturday morning.
Principal Dave Kibelkis in an interview with the radio station said the prom was great and he spoke highly of his students who paid tribute to his late students.
“It was great, the kids as always, they dress up and they looked awesome at prom,” Kibelkis said. “They have a great time…they make us proud,” Kibelkis said.
Kibelkis also said Gorman and Zambrano were “awesome young people.”
A group of students rallied together, using social media to vote on their fallen classmates.
The students “vowed to keep their spirits alive,” Kibelkis said. “They came up with the idea, and sold it.” School officials agreed to go with the honorary king and queen idea.
“I can see that these kids really care about their community and care about their classmates,” Kibelkis told NBC Chicago. “And they care about making a difference in their society.”
Gorman’s brother was touched by the tribute.
“It makes me feel like my brother did make a difference,” Jake Gorman told NBC. “It makes me proud to be an alumni of Bremen, especially the fact that this was not orchestrated or anything—it was brought to attention from the students.”