Homecoming Legends: Meet the Barrier-Breaking Teens Named 2021 High School Royalty

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It’s an American tradition — but with a fresh approach to teenage royalty.

For years, high school homecoming has been celebrated across the country as a welcome back to classes with a home football game and a dance where the king and queen are crowned.

This year, instead of the popular cheerleader and talented quarterback becoming homecoming king and queen, classmates broke through stereotypes when electing their new rulers.

At many schools, crowning the court has become about showcasing great character, celebrating inclusivity and diversity, and creating change.

Recent social media posts and photos introduced us to this year’s inspiring lineup of kings and queens and the people who voted them in: The football player who traded her helmet for a tiara. A queen who relinquished her title to a classmate who had just lost her mother to cancer. The king who spreads joy to his classmates every day of the week. 

With homecoming season coming to an end, here’s a roundup of 2021’s high school trailblazers:

In Mississippi, Forrest County Agricultural High School’s homecoming went viral after a grand act of kindness and selflessness.

Moments after being crowned, Nyla Covington turned around and placed it on a nominee who had just lost her mother to cancer.

Meanwhile, in the same state, Long Beach high school elected a four-sport athlete: Ashton Rupert can now add homecoming queen to her list of volleyball, softball, soccer and football accolades.

In Texas, Clements High School’s basketball team congratulated varsity football player Allison Wang for “Girl power at its finest!” on her new royal title. 

At Westminster high school in California, yet another football player, Jordan Gavlin, was named homecoming queen.

Jordan Galvin smiles after football practice in Westminster on Oct. 14. (Getty Images)
Galvin still has her nails painted from Oct. 8, when she was named homecoming queen. (Getty Images)

Classmates at Romeo High School in Detroit broke the mold when they voted to make Carson Krawczyk, a student with autism, homecoming king. The “always happy” teen has made a positive impact on many lives, so it was “their turn to make an impact on his,” students said. 

In Orlando, Florida, history was made when Evan Bialosuknia was elected her high school’s first transgender homecoming queen.

In another first, Zachary Willmore broke barriers at his school in Missouri this October when he was named queen. “It was an honor to be on the homecoming court in the first place, but you guys have honestly made that one of the happiest nights in my life,” Willmore wrote on Instagram.

At a Passaic County Technical Institute in New Jersey, Zoe Nelson wanted to “expand the school’s view of gender by running for the title of king as a female,” northjersey.com reported. But it wasn’t without controversy. Shortly after she won, the administration expanded the contest to include two boys as kings, and students subsequently protestested the school’s decision.

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