Prom’s Shining Star


Prom Queen Junior Annalee Barrett and Prom King Junior Davis Recht

It is almost the end of Prom 2019; The last few notes of Bohemian Rhapsody have everyone breathing heavy and smiles are plastered across every face. The DJ comes on the mic announcing the much-anticipated arrival of the prom court. The next few minutes fill with excited chatter as the nominees walk down the center of the dance floor.

The prom court is announced one by one till the last two people walk down the aisle, Juniors Annalee Barrett and Jacob Brass.

Then the iconic words finally come.

“And your prom king and queen are…” The crowd takes a collective breath.

“Davis Recht…” the room fills with cheers.

“…and Annalee Barrett.” The room explodes with noise. Tears are running down faces and congratulations are being given to the new queen and her family. The excitement in the room was palatable and the excitement radiating from Barrett was infectious.

Unlike the normal feeling of dissatisfaction when the prom king and queens are announced, the common feeling throughout the dance floor at that moment was that this felt right. Junior, Ivan Lewis stated, “She really deserved to win. I’m glad it was her.”

As the waltz begins and the prom king and queen stumble through their first dance as royalty, the junior class is filled with nothing but love and respect for their queen.

Junior Lizzy Roeding stated, “Annalee has been such an integral part of the Highlands community, and she has gained a lot of self-confidence throughout her high school career. The progress she has made makes me, personally, feel very proud.” However, the feeling of pride does not end with Roeding, this pride is shared by the entirety of the junior class.

Sue Beiting, Barrett’s teacher, stated, “Part of the reason I cried was no one was doing it for the wrong reasons, the juniors genuinely wanted it. There was so much unfiltered compassion.”

However, the road to the crown has not been easy for Barrett. As many people are aware, Annalee Barrett was born with down syndrome, a congenital disorder caused by a defect in the 21st chromosome.

Yet, despite these setbacks, Barrett has grown into a confident young woman who participates in track, chorus, bowling, and private dance lessons. Barrett even works at Midway in Fort Thomas, joining the 20% of high schoolers who have a job.

Life for Barrett has been an uphill battle full of hardship and frustration, but in most Disney princess movies isn’t that how the story usually goes? The only real difference between Barrett and a Disney princess, is that she is a queen.

Just like a queen should feel, Barrett stated, “I felt beautiful.” And even though she may have only been talking about her dress, everyone can agree that her inner beauty is what shines.