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Eggert is Teacher of the Year

Blackduck's Teacher of the Year has been helping youngsters learn for the past 21 years, but not exactly as she first intended.

Peggy Eggert was encouraged by a high school art instructor to pursue a career in art, based on talent she'd shown in that field. Following that encouragement, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, receiving her art degree there.

Moving to Blackduck, she found there was no position open for an art teacher, so she settled into helping her husband, Dennis, farm and raise a family.

When her son, Shawn, and daughter, Linnea, were older, Eggert again felt the urge to get into the classroom. She went to Bemidji State to earn her teaching credentials and found work in the Blackduck School District as a kindergarten teacher.

She spent 13 years doing that and also worked with youngsters in other grades until four years ago when she became a second grade teacher.

Eggert calls it a "perfect grade" with growing children still affectionate.

"I just like the little guys," she says, "and I love to watch them learn. It's like seeing little light bulbs going on."

She'd been nominated for the Teacher of the Year award by Barb Moring, a high school instructor.

Eggert says she's not sure of what entered into her being chosen but that she's "honored and humbled" by her selection.

"I told my class about it and they laughed and said that maybe it was a mistake," she said.

When she was asked if it might not be true that the only people who don't make mistakes are people who don't do anything, she thought a moment before agreeing. Then she added that she'd also told her students that if you do make a mistake, learn from it.

The Eggerts have five grandchildren, all living close to them. Shawn and his wife have three kids and live a mile away. Linnea and her husband have two children and they live just two miles away.

Being a grandmother may be part of the secret of working with second graders and helping them get their "little light bulbs turned on" and becoming Teacher of the Year.