We should be proud of local award winners

Published 8:27 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Two Washington Parish citizens, who were born 60 years apart, each received noteworthy accomplishments over the weekend.

Katherine Haik, a 15-year-old sophomore at Franklinton High School, was selected Saturday as the 2015 Miss Teen USA winner in the Bahamas. The youngest contestant in the competition, Haik also became the youngest title-holder in the event’s history.

She will now spend a year as Miss Teen USA, juggling her school work at FHS with appearances in New York City and other national sites. She will serve as a positive role model for children all across the country, and will have the opportunity to work especially closely with special needs children.

Haik’s victory is a literal “crowning achievement,” and all of Washington Parish should be proud of her. Her grandparents, Victor and Verna Haik, live in Bogalusa.

On Sunday, 75-year-old Rod Sabiston was officially recognized as the 2014 Franklinton Citizen of the Year. Sabiston has been the president of the Franklinton Community Theatre since 1998, and has been a resident of Franklinton since 1978.

Sabiston learned that he had been chosen as the city’s top citizen in May, but he did not officially receive the award until Sunday.

He was joined by family members and friends, several of whom spoke glowingly about Sabiston’s influence on their lives. The Franklinton Community Theatre adds an artistic and cultural benefit to Washington Parish as a whole, and Sabiston’s work has been a large part of the theatre’s success.

The Daily News congratulates both Haik and Sabiston on their tremendous achievements.