Airline High School senior Lauren Haigler is one of the 18 students from across the state, and the only Bossier Parish student, named a regional finalists for the Louisiana Students of the Year award.
The 18 regional finalists include one 5th grade, 8th grade, and 12th grade student from six regions and represent public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools across Louisiana. These regional finalists and state winners for each of the three grades will be honored on April 16 during a ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.
Lauren said she’s honored to represent Bossier Parish, Lauren said it’s an honor to continue the tradition of excellence at Airline High School.
“Being named the student of the year for my school is the biggest honor because I knew the other candidates and I know the excellence they have,” she said. “I didn’t even have this in mind for my senior year. I’ve been more focused on living in the moment and doing that with excellence. This is just the cherry on top.”
Lauren previously told the Press-Tribune the process to becoming the parish winner wasn’t very easy.
“I love to write so the essay was the relaxing part,” she said. “The interview with the judging panel was a little intense, but they made it personable and comfortable for me.”
She credits her Christian faith for getting her through it and will rely on faith again during the regional judging next month.
“All the glory goes to God though. He took care of the nerves going into this and he will see me through the next step,” she added.
Lauren is involved with several school organizations, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Beta Club, National Honor Society and First Priority. In her spare time, she likes art, reading, writing on inspirational blog, teaching preschool ministry at The Simple Church and dancing with Theatre School of Dance in Bossier City.
In the future, Lauren hopes to attend either Northwestern State University in Natchitoches or the University of Louisiana at Monroe to pursue a degree in English with a minor in dance.
“Dancing is a release for me. It’s my time to express emotions freely and portray a different character, even for a small amount of time,” she said. “it’s intriguing and fun.”
Lauren said she will be happy with whatever God has planned for her next.
“If I do progress past [regionals], that would be thrilling, but I’m satisfied either way,” she added.
Lauren is the daughter of John and Theresa Haigler. She extended a special thanks to her family, teachers and Jesus Christ for their support.
“I have many wonderful influences in my life and that definitely helps,” she said.
Students are selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and communities. All public schools, as well as state-approved non-public schools, were asked to submit one candidate from their student body to compete at the district level.
District-level winners advance to the regional competitions. Regional selection committees use portfolios of accomplishments created by each student, along with student writing samples and interviews, to assess the communication and critical-thinking skills of each candidate to name the regional finalists.
Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee will conduct interviews and review a writing sample from each of the regional finalists.