By John Lauritsen

CHISAGO LAKES, Minn. (WCCO) — Every year high schoolers wonder who will be crowned homecoming king and queen.

More often than not it’s a surprise.

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But this year at Chisago Lakes High School was more predictable than most years.

Doran Velaski, a senior with Down syndrome, was crowned king, and his classmates say it’s his story that made this an easy decision.

“He’s never having a bad day. He’s just smiling. You end up smiling because it’s contagious,” said classmate Anders Brown.

For his classmates as Chisago Lakes High School, seeing Doran walking down the hall, ready with a high-five, is not only a welcome sight, it’s a needed sight.

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“He’s always giving high-fives, just being friendly. And putting himself out there,” said Homecoming Queen Kalli-Jo Olson.

Doran’s senior year got even better earlier this week. When students had to vote for someone to be their Homecoming King, one name repeatedly came up. And on Monday, in front of the entire school, Doran rightfully received his crown.

“I was super excited. The feeling it gave all of us was better than I think it would’ve been if we won,” said classmate Gabe Taylor.

“I was surprised. I felt like I won a million dollars. I was just in awe and very proud,” said Doran’s mom Jennifer.

And even the crown is a little big, in so many ways, it’s a perfect fit.

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“When you have a special needs kid, when they are really, really little, as a parent you worry how is he going to be accepted by his peers. Is he going to be treated well? Are people going to be nice to him? Is he going to be able to make friends? And then you when you fast forward to something like this, you can’t believe you ever worried about that. So as a parent, it’s a fantastic feeling. It’s really great,” said Doran’s dad Keith.

John Lauritsen