Owensboro’s Katie Bouchard, Miss Kentucky, 2018, ended her reign this past Saturday during a bittersweet moment as she crowned Alex Francke of Lexington as Miss Kentucky, 2019. Bouchard tried twice previously to win the title before being crowned Miss Kentucky last year and described winning as “a dream come true.”
Despite one chapter of her life coming to a close, Bouchard looks toward the future with hope and anticipation as she takes what she has learned from her job as Miss Kentucky and applies it to her future goals.
A typical day in Bouchard’s life as Miss Kentucky has consisted of early mornings and long drives, however, she viewed her responsibilities in a positive light.
“Being able to serve the state as the ambassador for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and being able to make an impact by visiting schools across the state,” were some of the highlights of Bouchard’s year, she said.
Bouchard’s platform for Miss Kentucky was “Being the Voice for America’s Children.” A social work major who graduated from Western Kentucky University, Bouchard spent time with Family Resource workers in Owensboro schools. It was there she became aware of the many material needs that often cause barriers to academic success in so many children’s lives. She decided she wanted to bring that need to the forefront during her reign.
“There were many different ups and downs,” Bouchard said of her year as Miss Kentucky. “It has been a learning experience — I feel like I am prepared for many different situations in life.”
Being Miss Kentucky did come with its drawbacks. When asked what she missed most during her reign, Bouchard answered, “Home sweet home.” Bouchard said that with her busy schedule she was only able to visit her family in Owensboro once a month, staying for short periods of time.
Though Bouchard will miss the experiences she has encountered, the people she met and the events she attended during her time as Miss Kentucky, she is also looking forward to the next chapter in her life — going back to school.
Bouchard will soon begin graduate school at Eastern Kentucky University, where she will be seeking a master’s degree in Social Work. Afterward, she hopes to find a job in the field of social work and be able to use the skills she learned over the past year to enrich her work.
But there is still part of Bouchard that recalls the dream of a little girl who dressed as Miss Kentucky for Career Day in elementary school.
“I have to say being Miss Kentucky was the best job and I’m going to miss dressing up like a princess and making an impact,” Bouchard said.