Getting Personal: Samantha Hasselbring

Getting Personal: Samantha Hasselbring

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Samantha Hasselbring, 19, a Millikin University student from Cissna Park, tells Paul Wood about being the queen of queens. She will reign over the 2018 Illinois and DuQuoin state fairs. As Miss Iroquois County, she was selected as the 59th Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. She will also represent all of the 104 Illinois county fairs.

Were you pretty excited about winning Miss Iroquois?

Winning Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen was one of the most exciting times of my life! For the county-fair queen pageant system, there is no talent portion of the competition. But I did show off my intelligence, confidence and poise.

I understand you're traveling all over. How's Havana?

Part of my duties as Miss Illinois County Fair Queen is to travel all over the state of Illinois and visit as many county fairs as I can. This week alone I visited five! And Havana was great!

What's something almost nobody knows about you?

I had major eye surgery before my senior year of high school. I had to undergo surgery to fix a macular hole in my right eye and I had to lie face-down for 15 days!

What are you studying?

My first two years of my college education I completed at Parkland College in Champaign, and now I have transferred to Millikin University to continue my degree in elementary education.

You grew up on a farm where your father raises cattle. Did you ever show cattle at fairs?

Yes, I participated in 4-H and showed cattle at fairs for several years.

Your mother is a teacher. Has that inspired you?

My mother has inspired me in many aspects of life. She is one of the reasons why I went into education myself.

Tell us about your volleyball career.

Volleyball was one of my favorite things to do during my middle school and high school career. I was fortunate enough to be on a very successful team that allowed me to grow as a player, and I got to experience many accomplishments with them like placing at state my junior and senior year. Some of my personal accomplishments in volleyball were Sangamon Valley Tournament all-area academic team, Kankakee Daily Journal first team, SVC first team and Cissna Park High School top 10 career kills record-holder.

Do you have a guilty pleasure, and if so, what is it?

My guilty pleasure is eating dark chocolate; I love that stuff!

What book are you reading now? What is your favorite book ever?

Because I drive several hours every day, I have really gotten into listening to audio books. The current book I'm listening to is "The Women in Cabin 10" by Ruth Ware. My favorite novel is "The Great Gatsby."

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

I would love to go to Ireland to see the natural beauty and rolling hills!

What's your favorite sports team?

The Chicago Cubs.

What would you order for your last meal?

Swiss steak and mashed potatoes.

If you could be reincarnated after you die, what would you like to come back as?

I would like to come back as a cardinal. I just think they are beautiful and they mean so much to my family!

Who are your favorite musicians, and why?

I love Josh Turner, Thomas Rhett and Craig Morgan.

What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?

My first job was at my local Dairy Queen. It taught me so many life skills that I use in my day-to-day life.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

I take a deep breath and think clearly on how to deal with the situation.