AliviaMortenson, who was a junior at Ulen-Hitterdahl Public School was picked as one of this fall’s homecoming queen candidates before school was out last spring.

But Alivia died in a car crash in June. The 17-year-old standout athlete and honor student’s death shocked the community. But her classmates made a decision over the summer.

School counselor Kim Skjold says the senior class agreed the best way to proceed was to make Alivia honorary homecoming queen. The student’s sought the permission of her family who agreed and who came on stage to accept the queen’s crown at Monday night’s coronation:

“When we practiced the coronation in the auditorium it got really emotional but I think one of our main goals as a student body and for sure staff is we didn’t want to make homecoming another memorial for Alivia we wanted to celebrate Alivia and who she was and who she was to the students.”

Skjold calls the coronation a beautiful moment of acceptance of what happened to Alivia.