Hickory Creek Middle School sixth grade teacher Julie Simpson recently coordinated a visit by State Senator Mike Hastings for two of her classes. Mrs. Simpson is a Social Studies and Language Arts teacher and Senator Hastings was interested in how she intertwined the two subjects together. He first observed her teach a class and then worked with students in groups. He presented to the second class on how bills become a law in Illinois and he discussed the three branches of government as they pertain to the “checks and balances” system.

Senator Hastings also answered some questions from the students. They were interested in why he wanted to become a senator, what the process was to become a senator, how much money it took to do this, whether it was a difficult process, what college he went to, what he did before he was a senator and how old you need to be to become a senator.

Mrs. Simpson stated,

“It was great to have Senator Hastings visit my class and explain to the students what it is like to be a senator. I was very impressed with how he connected with the kids and explained the importance of getting involved in their community at a young age. It is something we need to continue to instill in our students, the importance of giving back and helping our community.”

Senator Hastings was born and raised in Orland Hills and attended Andrew High School in Tinley Park. He was selected an Illinois All-State football player, served as student government president and later qualified for an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Senator Hastings graduated from West Point and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He rose to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his meritorious service in a combat zone. In 2012, he was elected to the 98th General Assembly in the Illinois State Senate. He currently serves in the 19th Illinois District which includes Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox and other villages in both Cook and Will Counties