Peggy (Sturges) Hanfelt grew up on a farm in Rockwell, Iowa, and attended Newman High School in Mason City. She graduated from Catholic High School in May 1970.
Peggy’s grandmothers and her mother were all teachers, so it wouldn’t have been a stretch to assume that she would eventually become a teacher as well.
Immediately after graduating from high school, Peggy attended the University of Northern Iowa at Cedar Falls, majoring in Speech and Drama, with a minor in English.
Just before her senior year, on July 7, 1973, Peggy took another non-academic major from the school of life – she got married. Her name changed to Peggy Hanfelt when she married her friend, Bob Hanfelt.
In 1974, she earned her teaching degree from UNI and that fall began teaching at Midland Community High School in Wyoming, Iowa.
Peggy’s responsibilities at Midland High were a “plate”, as she taught speech, English, fantasy literature, composition, and mass media. Additionally, she directed the play, was a speech coach, and also sponsored the cheerleaders.
“My teaching career didn’t start in the typical way.” said Peggy. “I taught at Midland for a year before moving to Waverly. At that time, I was expecting our first child, so I decided to be a stay-at-home mom for the next five years to raise our family.
Eventually, in September 1980, she signed up as a substitute teacher at W-SR.
“I remember the principal, Mr. Dirksen, asking me if I could start this afternoon,” recalls Peggy.
In 1980 Peggy joined W-SR, teaching Speech, Oral Interpretation, Basic Composition, Drama and Second Grade English.
In addition to teaching, Peggy was employed by Wartburg from 1982 to 1994, as a theater manager, directing plays, teaching acting, play production and public speaking.
Additionally, she participated in “Stage Craft,” which involved constructing sets for productions. From 1992 to 2000, Peggy was Wartburg’s speech coach.
During these years, Peggy was involved in many W-SR programs, such as mock trial team coaching, the Plus program, History Day presenters, public speaking contest participants national, and has coached and judged for local and national DECA teams.
“In 2001 I was hired for a full-time teaching position at W-SR and that same year I received the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award. I spent the next 11 years teaching speech and English, starting the Talent Show and various other activities, and I loved it all, until I retired in May 2012,” Peggy explained.
In 2015, Peggy and Bob moved to Clive to be closer to their grandchildren. She told me that they split their time between Iowa and Florida, as they owned a spot in the Florida “villages” they went to in the late fall.
“I walk for exercise, occasionally play golf, listen to music, sew a little and attend our grandchildren’s school activities. We have been to Alaska and Ireland since retirement and visit our children when we can. Life is beautiful!” said Peggy.
Peggy enjoys seeing former students and what they have become. She keeps in touch with old teachers and they try to reconnect with Waverly every summer.
Peggy and Bob have three children, Christopher, Susan and Joe, and all are graduates of the W-SR school system.