- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Donning both homecoming and prom king crowns is a rare occurrence for any high schooler anywhere. But not in Coyote country — and not if you’re Christian Garzon.

After hearing about the schools and special needs program, Christian’s father, Jose Garzon, decided the best thing for his son’s education was to bring him up from Texas while he worked in the oil patch in Williston.

“This place has been unbelievable for us,” Jose said. “When we got here he was shy and in a shell. Now his speech has improved and all the kids know him, and stop to say hi.”

Jose watched as his son went from a school where he was hardly noticed to a community that greeted him with warm acceptance, the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/1rjBcou ) reported. It would be beyond his wildest dreams that the students would choose his child, who has Down’s Syndrome, to be the senior class’ king - memories that brings great emotion for Christian’s father.

“It really means a lot for a kid with special needs,” Jose said. “It’s been an experience. You don’t expect it, but it was.”

Christian communicates fond memories that have made up the last four years of his high school career. He held a picture of himself posed with both crowns and his sceptre in front of the Williston High School sign. Father and son hope to have an engraving done, giving thanks to the school.

Jose hoped that even after graduation, the staff and future students would remember the impact they made on Christian’s life. Though Jose is unsure of the next step in his son’s life, he’s confident his son is on a good path.

“We really need to thank the faculty and staff for being there for my son, or being so special and so open,” Jose said. “The love and care they have for him - it’s unbelievable.”

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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