Dr. Tom Hawk grew up in Colby, Ks working for his family’s wholesale food business as a youngster. After high school graduation he moved to Manhattan to attend Kansas State University and earned a BS degree in Math Education, a MS in Counseling, and a PHD in Administration. He spent 33 years in the Manhattan USD#383 school system serving as a mathematics teacher, a counselor, and school administrator, retiring as Superintendent. In addition to his school work, he was also a small businessperson starting a multi-state event and internet photography business for over 40 years.
After his retirement from USD 383, he became State Representative for District #67 in the Riley County/Manhattan area. Serving three terms in the House, he focused on Utilities, Social Services, Vision 2020, and Tax Committees. The Governor also appointed him to serve on the Governor’s Military Council.
Following his House tenure, he was selected to serve as Executive Director of the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) of Kansas. Earning his LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) license, he lead the BSRB in the licensing and regulating of mental health professionals in the fields of psychology, social work, counselling, marriage and family therapy, and addictions.
In 2012, Dr. Hawk was elected to the Kansas Senate for the 22nd District that included Riley, Clay and portions of Geary County. He served 3 ½ terms serving as ranking minority on Senate Ways and Means and Transportation. He also served on Utilities, the Joint Committee on the Transportation Vision Task Force, the Joint Rules and Regulations Committee, the Joint Building and Construction Committee, and the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the State Water Plan. He also served as the Senate Democratic Caucus Chair, and as a Senate liaison on the State Forestry Service Advisory Committee and the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee. Senator Hawk retired from the Senate in January, 2023. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Diane, has four adult children and four grandchildren.