There is no bigger Pirate fan than Heather,” Kris Sampson, Registrar at Polson High School said.
The Heather Sampson was describing is Heather Locke, a senior at PHS, who was chosen homecoming queen and crowned at halftime of the Sept. 25 football game.
Members of the senior class decided last spring that Heather should be homecoming queen. Sampson credited Marina Wheeler, Derrick Rathe and Brock Picard with spearheading the plan to make sure Heather was elected homecoming queen.
“I have goosebumps just thinking about it,” Sampson said.
“When I think of our senior class, I think of Heather. She has so much school spirit. She participates in everything,” Wheeler said. “It (being homecoming queen) would just make her year.”
The class of 2010 is “a really close family,” Wheeler added.
Angela Mock, special education teacher at PHS and Heather’s primary teacher, said she would like to see the senior class as an entirety honored.
In fact, she wants the entire student body to be applauded and recognized for how wonderful they are.
“I don’t want it to be overshadowed or overlooked,” Mock said. “There are a lot of special kids in this school. The upperclassmen were adamant that this is what’s going to happen.”
“It really is an Oprah moment,” Mock added.
Also, Heather has the “senior boys wrapped around her finger,” Mock explained.
PHS Journalism and English teacher Judie Woodhouse said she sees boys walking Heather to class all the time, holding her hand. She hears boys saying they have to go to class, but they’ll walk her to class first.
“She (Heather) knows all the boys,” Woodhouse said, “and some of the girls.”
Woodhouse said the public doesn’t get to see that side of teenagers.
They think of teenagers only as selfish and self-absorbed.
“It’s kindness, and it’s care,” Woodhouse added.
“She’s teaching them bigger lessons,” Mock said.
Even other homecoming royalty candidates got into the act. Freshman nominee Nicole Davey came in to vote with her brother.
Davey elbowed her brother and had him change his vote so he was voting for Heather instead of his sister.
During the pep assembly held on Friday, PHS Guidance Counselor Emily Peck said, “Heather was cheering for all the other candidates and high fiving ‘em.”
In fact, Heather got a standing ovation at the pep assembly.
“I’ve never seen that,” Sampson said.
There were a lot of teachers and staff shedding tears at the back of room during the assembly, Sampson said.
“I’m just so stinkin’ proud of these kids,” Sampson added.
As for Heather, her favorite thing about being homecoming queen was “my dress, my purple one.”
Story and photo by Berl Tiskus reprinted with permission of Valley Journal, Ronan, Montana.