Elgin Middle teacher says goodbye to classroom, hello to state capital
ELGIN — Elgin Middle School teacher Toni Hasenbeck said goodbye to her students Tuesday in a tearful send-off for the newly-elected representative of State House District 65.
Every seventh- and eighth-grade student in the building lined the halls while Hasenbeck was escorted outside momentarily. When she returned, she was greeted with cheers, tears, happiness and sadness. Her fellow faculty members and students were happy for her success and excited for her future, but were equally sad at the realization she wouldn’t be able to return to the teaching profession for at least two years.
“I think it was the bittersweetness of this day,” Hasenbeck said. “I’m not allowed to be a teacher for a while. I didn’t think the sadness would set in as rapidly and deeply as it did today.”