Students at a south suburban high school banded together to posthumously award two former classmates the school’s honorary 2017 prom king and queen titles.
Using social media, students at Bremen High School, in Midlothian, elected Mark Gorman and Paola Zambrano their honorary prom royals. Gorman, a former student, died in a car accident in October of 2016. Zambrano died in 2015 after battling cancer.
“It makes me feel like my brother did make a difference,” Jake Gorman, brother of the late Mark Gorman, said Monday. “It makes me proud to be an alumni of Bremen, especially the fact that this was not orchestrated or anything—it was brought to attention from the students.”
Dave Kibelkis, Bremen’s principal, recalled Zambrano as “very strong.” After her death, students planted a tree to commemorate her.
“She was diagnosed with cancer when she was a freshman and we knew it was serious,” Kibelkis said. He added that after she was diagnosed she would continue to come to class “knowing that she probably wouldn’t make it.”
Mark Gorman had been working hard on becoming an Eagle Scout in senior year before he died, his brother said.
Jacob Conway served as co-football-managers with Gorman, and helped push the effort to crown his good friend and Zambrano honorary king and queen.
“Priorities were straight, great kid, everybody loved him left an impact here and the community,” Conway said of Gorman.
School officials have praised their students for honoring their in such a unique and thoughtful way.
“I can see that these kids really care about their community and care about their classmates,” Kibelkis said. “And they care about making a difference in their society.”