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Century names Teacher of the Year

Peg DeYoung ‘loves her time with kids.’ DeYoung was named Teacher of the Year at Century School. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

In a deftly orchestrated surprise, Peg DeYoung walked into the teacher’s lounge Wednesday to learn she is Century School’s Teacher of the Year.  The early childhood special education teacher, who’s been “building children’s futures for 40 years,” was greeted with cheers – spawning tears - from past and present coworkers and family members.   

Hiding (in waiting) behind a table were grandchildren Jack (first grade) and Emma (third grade) Kovach. They were accompanied by mom/daughter Sara Kovach, who’s a Century School emotional behavioral disorders special ed teacher, and Peg’s husband, Terry.  “We salute you,” Century Principal Joleen DeLaHunt told her. “This is an amazing honor for someone with an amazing career.”  “It was my first job out of college,” said DeYoung, who arrived on the Park Rapids campus with a degree as a speech clinician.  When she learned schools were initiating early childhood special education programs, she headed back to college.  DeYoung now works as a classroom teacher in school readiness and collaborates with Head Start, as well her role in special education.  “I love my time with kids,” she said.  “Peg DeYoung is a creative teacher who continuously develops new and exciting ways for her students to learn,” teacher Bryan Hirt reports. “She is a role model to many.”  “Peg teaches from the heart,” her peers agree. “She puts everything into it.”  “Once upon a time, a young, small-town girl in Iowa aspired to be a clown or cowgirl,” a poster informed her cohorts. “Lucky for us, she became a teacher.  “And 40 years later, she’s still changing lives.”

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