Haik named Miss Teen USA

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Katherine Haik has yet to come down from the clouds, two days after winning the prestigious 2015 Miss Teen USA pageant Saturday night at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

The 15-year-old Haik, a sophomore at Franklinton High School, began a whirlwind media tour of New York City after claiming the title. Plans called for her to attend a New York Yankees game Tuesday, a Hudson River cruise on Thursday and a fashion photo shoot later in the week. She was the youngest contestant in the competition, and became the youngest winner in history.

“It was just a surreal moment,” Haik said by telephone Monday afternoon, about the instant she won the title. “I dreamed about it happening, but it actually did happen. When they called my name, my heart kind of dropped I was just so surprised. I don’t think it has actually hit me yet that I’m actually Miss Teen USA, but it will soon.”

Haik was whisked off to the Big Apple for a week of extensive interviews with the national media. The Daily News was the first to interview her, following her crowning achievement. She said she planned to return to Washington Parish next week.

“I think it’s kind of exciting someone in Louisiana is my first interview,” Haik said. “I’m ready for an amazing year.”

Haik was on Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning, where the show’s hosts made a phone call to her Franklinton Junior High history teacher Frank Martin. He taught her the now famous “presidents song,” which that she was asked to sing on stage at the pageant. Tuesday night, she was scheduled to be on Inside Edition. She was scheduled to be on other morning shows today and Thursday.

With the win, Haik became the first Miss Teen USA to wear the new DIC (Diamonds International Corporation) crown.

Haik said she received approximately 200 to 250 text messages from hometown friends congratulating her. There was a viewing party at Caddy Shack in Franklinton.

Haik said she was impressed with the Bahamas and the overall experience of the pageant.

“My family has been on a cruise before to Mexico, long ago,” she said. “The Atlantis Resort is an amazing place. Pageant officials treated us like royalty and I had the time of my life. It’s a true paradise.”

Family members traveled to the Bahamas a week early to get adjusted. Haik said New York City fits her well.

“I had been to New York City twice before. I love big cities and I’m used to the atmosphere,” Haik said. “I feel right at home here. New York City is one of my favorite places.”

Haik’s pageant platform centers around helping others.

“I have the opportunity to be a positive role model for so many young girls and work with so many charities. That’s what I’m passionate about,” Haik said. “I’m super excited about working with special needs children. The Miss Universe Organization has a program called Best Buddies that I will work with.”

Haik’s schedule will have her making trips to New York City every so often for appearances representing Miss Teen USA, but she will remain in school at Franklinton High School.

Haik said she is appreciative for all the support she received from her hometown.

“I have so much support from friends and family back home,” Haik said. “It means a lot to have the love and support from my hometown, and all of Louisiana. Everyone was so supportive and happy for me. It means so much.”