Hannah Haisman, the reigning Vinton-Shellsburg Homecoming Queen, earned two more honors at the Iowa Homecoming Queen Pageant on Sunday, where the other candidates elected her as Miss Congeniality and the judges named her the 2nd Runner-up.
The Iowa event is part of the America’s Homecoming Queen Pageant, a nation-wide event exclusively for high school Homecoming Queens.
“It was an honor to represent my school,” says Hannah. “It was a great experience.”
In addition to being reigning Homecoming Queen, contestants had to apply and write an essay.
“They sent me 48 questions that could possibly come up in my interview,” Hannah says. “I prepared a lot for this. When you get to the hotel, you register and fill out some information about yourself, and then go straight into the interviews. They ask you a set of questions; the whole thing lasts about 10 minutes.”
The next lesson: Learning how to walk gracefully on the runway in an evening gown.
“After that, I had to write an essay on what freedom and the American spirit means to me,” Hannah explains.
After that, she and the other contestants got ready for the evening gown portion of the competition.
Hannah, the daughter of Rich and Shelley Haisman, describes that portion of the evening: “You walk across the stage, and then they ask you what you think the most pressing issue teens face and what can you do about it. You also read your essay that you wrote in front of the judges and crowd. They gave us a book with some tips on interviewing in the real world that are phenomenal.”
The purpose of the event is to empower future leaders, says Hannah.
“I got to know a lot of the girls that were there very well and we follow each other on social media now. The whole process is a great learning experience.”
Based in Tennessee, the AHQ organization has been organizing pageants since 1981.
The winner of the Iowa Pageant, Elizabeth Fuller of Corning, the Southwest Valley High School Homecoming Queen, will compete later this year in the national event.
The AHQ web site states: “The purpose of the organization is to promote education and community service for high school homecoming queens in all fifty states. We are giving these young women, who have shown outstanding leadership ability, the opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals of being our leaders of tomorrow. We strive to reinforce the teaching of their home, school, and church, and work to give each girl the self confidence to achieve to the goals she desires. The selection provides a friendly competition between girls of many differing localities and backgrounds.”