published Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Ider High's Homecoming Queen is special-needs student

  • photo
    Taylor Mitchell, with her father Charles, crowned by last year's queen Lace McMahon
    Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IDER, ALABAMA - Homecoming was extra special at Ider High School in DeKalb County, Alabama when this year's Queen was announced. Amid a sea of black and gold at the home of the Hornets, the crowd was poised to cheer two special-needs students who had been selected for the homecoming court: sophomore Paloma Vazquez and senior Taylor Mitchell.

The cheers rang out long and loud when Taylor was crowned the 2013 Homecoming Queen. The lone survivor of three infant triplets, Taylor was adopted by the Mitchell family when she was three months old. Her mother Rita said doctors warned her that Taylor would not live to see her first birthday. Even today, the high school senior, who has cerebral palsy faces health challenges. But she has persevered, cheerfully overcoming life's obstacles while gaining the admiration of her fellow students.

Brooklyn Phillips, a senior who was also in the homecoming court, was among the happiest spectators as she watched the tiara and sash being presented to Taylor. "That was a moment in time I'll never forget," she said. "I remember thinking, I'll never be around so many people in one place again that were so caring, so loving."

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