RAGLAND -- When the Class of 2018 graduates from Ragland High School later this month, it will mark the end of school days for Hope Johns and all of her classmates for the past 13 years.
The relationship between Hope and her 40 classmates is special because she was born with a chromosome disorder. Classmates say she’s always smiling and always delightful.
One of Hope’s classmates through the years who has drawn close to her is all-around top athlete Noah Hollingsworth. For the past two years, Hollingsworth and Hope have gone to the junior/senior prom together.
“Since Day 1 in kindergarten, Hope has always been my favorite,” Hollingsworth said. “She is so special because she makes everyone want to be a better person -- her and us. She makes us realize there’s more to life than just about you.”
Hollingsworth said no one has ever treated Hope mean, and they never will as long as he is around.
“She means more than anything to me,” he said.
Hope said it made her feel good for Hollingsworth to ask her to the prom the past two years. She said he made her feel special.
“Noah is my best friend,” she said. “He is nice. All of the seniors are my friends. They have always been so good to me.”
Tim Johns, Hope’s dad, said the way the classmates have rallied around Hope all 13 years means so much to him and his wife, Lisa.
“They are a great bunch of kids,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for a better bunch of kids. They have always treated Hope right and just basically treated her like one of them. We really do appreciate it. Hope loves everybody and everybody loves Hope. She never has a down day. She’s always up.”
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.