10/23/17 – This year’s Beaver Dam School District Outstanding Alumni credits her education for her successes in life. Emmy-award winning journalist and best-selling author Mary Pflum Peterson will be recognized by her Alma mater next month. The award honors graduates who have attained exceptional accomplishments in their field of work.
Pflum Peterson says it all began for her at the now-closed Trenton Elementary, which got its own paragraph in the acknowledgements of her best-selling book “White Dresses: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters.” She says her experience there was “amazing” and she gets “chills talking about it even today.” Pflum Peterson says at Trenton she had a wonderful home-cooked meal, a feeling of safety and inspiration and teachers who cared. “At the end of the day, a school needs heart and Trenton had that little extra something… I had teachers that cared,” she says.
Pflum Peterson says her years as a full-time college student working full-time as a desk assistant at CNN in New York was the first time she knew she was going to make it. Dustin Hoffman kissed her on both checks and Henry Kissinger offered insight into her thesis. As a reporter, Pflum Peterson covered war zones, presidential elections and the Oscars. She is grateful to have had a successful career that has allowed her to write a first draft of history.
In addition to multiple Emmy’s, Pflum Peterson has received a duPont Award, a Peabody, a Writers Guild of America honor and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. Being named Outstanding Alumni of her high school brings things full-circle. She says she is “humbled” to be from Beaver Dam and says it laid the foundation for who she became in terms of being a writer and a journalist.
The Beaver Dam School District Outstanding Alumni Wall of Fame Dinner will take place at Old Hickory Golf Club on November 5. The reception begins at 4:30pm and the awards ceremony will take place at 6pm. Reservations cost $25 per person and the deadline to sign up is Wednesday. Forms can be found on Beaver Dam’s School District website.
Photos of White Dresses book signing in Beaver Dam courtesy of Mary Pflum-Peterson