Jack of all trades for 30 years at Algona


Written by: Phil Stein & Mindi Spear

Peg Vanderhoff is one of seven Algona Community School teachers to be retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Vanderhoff has been a versatile employee for Algona Community School District for 30 years.

Vanderhoff began her teaching career at Boone Valley of Renwick and Kanawha. For two years, Vanderhoff taught band. She then began teaching at Algona and LuVerne on a part time basis. Two years later, she was employed full time at Algona. She has taught Kindergarten through 12th grade special education in many buildings throughout her time. For a while she was also the Quiz Bowl sponsor and was instrumental in revamping and initiating the TNT program at Algona High School. 

As a special education teacher, Vanderhoff has spent countless hours loving, encouraging, and supporting the students she’s had the privilege of working with. She takes pride in helping them find the best way to learn and learn in their own way. She notes, the greater the compassion, encouragement, and caring that the staff have for each other, the better the learning environment will be and the greater the results for the student will be. She has felt a great deal of satisfaction knowing that she has made a difference in their lives. 

A lot of the credit of Vanderhoff’s great teaching career comes from her background. “As a student in Rolfe, life was hard,” Vanderhoff recalls. She was dyslexic before there were programs to help students with this. She worked extra hard to comprehend the material by reading aloud. Also through her experiences, she personally knows what it feels like to be put down and made to feel different. When she graduated from high school, she knew that she wanted to help kids like her. Her career in education will always be a part of her and has opened doors she never imagined.

A mentor for Vanderhoff was her sister, Judy Tange. As a Chapter I and reading recovery program teacher at Riceville, she was someone Vanderhoff could talk to about the challenges inherent in teaching special education.  

Vanderhoff is proud to be an Algona teacher. She credits, “It was an elite team that got the job done with excellence.” The teachers care for students and each other, and the school encouraged her and allowed her to be the best that she could be. 

In retirement, Vanderhoff knows that God has big plans for her, but she is not sure just yet what that will be. Some things she is looking forward to doing during retirement is publishing a book, writing some curriculum, developing her prayer ministry, and caring for the people in her community.