Lakeside homecoming queen to appear on 'Steve Harvey'

Jessica Giddens celebrates after being named Lakeside High School homecoming queen as her father, John Gidderns, looks on.

Lakeside High School homecoming queen Jessica Giddens, a teen with Down syndrome whose celebratory image lit up the school and social media, will make her national television debut Monday.

Jessica recently taped an appearance on Steve Harvey, which airs locally at 3 p.m. on WJBF (Channel 6).

The Lakeside High senior will be with other students Monday afternoon to watch the show in the school’s media center, Assistant Principal Melanie Sprouse said.

“We’ve got a special chair for her to sit in that looks like a panther paw” – the school’s mascot is a panther – “and she’ll be wearing her tiara,” Sprouse said.

The segment is to be broadcast as part of the program’s Heroes Series and will include video vignettes from other Lakeside High students whose lives have been touched by Jessica’s enthusiasm, Sprouse said.

“I think it’s going to be great,” she said.

A producer told her that Harvey, after the taping, asked for Jessica to be booked for a future show and called the senior a “superstar,” Sprouse said.

The photo and story about Jessica’s be­ing named homecoming queen Oct. 26 received thousands of shares on Facebook.

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