Bartlett HS elects student with Down syndrome as prom queen

BARTLETT, Ill. (WLS) -- A Bartlett High School senior became the school's first-ever special needs student elected prom queen.

Brittany Corder enjoys dance and has lots of friends - just the sort of description you might expect of the prom queen.

"Yeah, I was excited! And then I saw 'The Queen is... Brittany Corder!'" Brittany said.

But Brittany is also a special needs student. She was born with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes delayed physical and mental development.

Her parents have raised her like they would any other child, and they were there to witness her crowning moment at the prom.

"Oh my gosh. Just the overwhelming acceptance of Brittany, and all the people that just lover her so much," said Nancy Corder, Brittany's mother.

Brittany was escorted to the senior prom by a another special needs student, Jimmy Rinchiuso, who also has Down syndrome.

It is a proud time for the family, and they are celebrating not just for Brittany, but for special needs students everywhere. Her mother believes she is the first special needs prom queen in the Chicago area, and for her fellow students to elect her indicates how well she has been accepted.

Brittany will graduate from Bartlett High School this weekend. Next year, she will begin a four-year transitional program to teach her the life skills she will need to eventually live on her own. But the legacy here at Bartlett High School will be an inspiration for years to come.

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