Crown College 2015 Alumni Association Awards
Professional of the Year
Peggy Bennett, who attended Crown and received an Associate of Arts in 1978 and a Bachelor of Arts in education in 1980, was a teacher for 33 years and never expected her recent foray into politics. In the spring of 2013, a knock at the door changed the trajectory of Bennett’s life. The Republican Party in Albert Lea, Minnesota, asked her to consider running for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 27A. After prayer and contemplation over the summer, Bennett knew the Lord was leading her to enter the race. She was elected in November 2014.
“The thought never even entered my mind,” Bennett said. “I have never been involved with politics except for voting.”
Prior to election, Bennett devoted her life to educating young minds, spending much of her 33 years as a firstgrade teacher and serving in school district leadership positions. She was awarded Albert Lea Area Schools’ Teacher of the Year in 2001 and received a semifinalist award for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2012. She received a Master’s of Science in special education from St. Cloud State University in 1989. She currently lives in Albert Lea with her three “fur kids,” a 110pound Shiloh Shepherd named Colter and two cats, a Ragdoll cat named Kelchi and a rescued stray named Moshie.
“To be part of building a human life is something I consider to be a real gift from the Lord and I have loved teaching,” she said. “I consider my more than 750 students who have gone through my classroom during my 33 years of teaching as my ‘kids.’”
For many years, Bennett also volunteered for the local Youth for Christ program and led summer mission trips to Ontario, Canada, bringing vacation Bible school to Ojibway youth on a remote reservation. In addition, she continues to serve her local church as a parttime worship leader and volunteer.
She retired from teaching in March and began her first term in the Minnesota House of Representative in January.
“I fondly remember my time at Crown College, St. Paul Bible College back then, in so many ways,” Bennett said. “Crown gave me a spiritual and academic foundation that has carried me throughout my life.”