Homecoming king the talk of Southeast Polk

Tyler Kaut has developed quite the buzz on campus at Southeast Polk High School. Maybe it's his hands-on approach to cooking, or his attention to detail. But when you take a step outside the classroom, you quickly realize that despite being diagnosed with Down syndrome, Tyler has the perfect recipe for small talk.

While most of his peers rely on a cell phone to communicate, Tyler prefers the spoken word to get his message across. And he does it with great effectiveness.

"Everyone knows Tyler, and he's always friendly," says Ben Rocha, a senior at Southeast Polk. "He makes his personality noticed and he's out there talking to everyone and I think everyone really likes him."

"He's just really interactive with everybody", adds fellow senior Chaybrin Olsen.

In a class size of over 500, it's easy to go unnoticed. Or when you're a student like Tyler, it's easy to be forgotten when it comes to things like homecoming court.

"When we were taking our class picture, they opened up voting for homecoming court and we all started looking around and throwing names, " Olsen says. "Once Tyler's came up we were all like, 'Yeah, yeah that's a really good idea' ". 

When Tyler was officially named a candidate for homecoming king, Tyler took to thanking just about everyone. Tyler's parents were just as shocked.

"It was pretty surprising," said Michael Kaut, Tyler's father. "And then our daughter showed us the video of him being nominated and he goes and high five's everyone and goes back because he missed some people so it was pretty cool just to see that."

Being nominated was one thing, but winning the crown came with its own set of  challenges. When the big night arrived, Tyler remained optimistic alongside six other boys vying for the crown. When the winner was announced, the newly-crowned homecoming king struck a pose.

"[Tyler's] a big Power Rangers fan," says Tyler's mother Diane Kaut.

Tyler's dad jumped out of the stands after his son was named homecoming king amidst an energized crowd.

Chaybrin Olsen shared the throne with Tyler as homecoming queen that night, which doesn't come as a surprise when you consider the qualities she too demonstrates. Without knowing the man under the crown, you may look at Tyler and be surprised at his victory. But considering the characteristics for the perfect king, you may not find anyone more deserving that him.

"I feel like he is a very good representative of our school," Olsen says. "The way he is and acts around people and he's just an all-around great guy and I couldn't think of anyone better honestly."


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