11/6/17 – An Emmy-award winning journalist and best-selling author was honored Sunday night at the Wall of Fame Dinner for the Beaver Dam School District’s Outstanding Alumni. Mary Pflum Peterson was a 1990 valedictorian and editor of the school newspaper who earned a four-year scholarship, graduating summa cum laude from Columbia University in 1994.
Pflum Peterson spent several years with CNN, at bureau’s in Germany and Turkey. As a reporter, she covered war zones in Afghanistan, royal weddings, papal funerals in Rome, Hurricane Katrina, presidential elections, and the Oscars, interviewing politicians, world leaders, and movie stars. She was a producer on ABC’s Good Morning America before joining NBC’s Today Show last year. In 2015, she published the critically-acclaimed New York Times best-seller, “White Dresses: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters,” which shares the message of the complicated lives of three generations in her family. In addition to multiple Emmy’s, she has received a duPont Award, a Peabody, a Writers Guild of America award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards.
Pflum Peterson credits her successes in life to the educational foundation she received with the Beaver Dam School District. She singled out teacher after teacher by name Sunday night for helping shape who she has become. Word of Pflum-Peterson’s recognition made it to the offices of US Senator Ron Johnson. His Regional Director Camille Solberg presented her with a Senatorial Award.
Pflum-Peterson has stayed connected to Beaver Dam over the years. The author of White Dresses even donated her own white prom dress to a fundraiser called “Emily’s Closet,” which was founded in memory of 2014 alum Emily Lyons who died two years ago in a snowmobile accident. The student representative on the Wall of Fame Committee, senior Alexis Luedtke, was at Sunday night’s dinner. Luedtke revealed that she was shocked to discover during this falls Outstanding Alumni selection process that she was the one who had worn Pflum-Peterson’s dress to her prom earlier this year.
Pictured left to right: Alexis Luedtke, Mark DiStefano, Mary Pflum-Peterson, Crystal Bates, Bev Beal-Loeck
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