The deaths of Ken and Peggy Hoffman in a Biloxi charter bus crash are reverberating in the Lockhart ISD community, where both worked for many years.
Ken was a former superintendent who retired in 1996, and Peggy worked as a teacher and later principal for the district. Superintendent Susan Bohn said the impact of Peggy and Ken goes unmatched, and their constant devotion to student education will never be forgotten. She added staff members are still in shock at the loss.
“I've only known them for a couple of years, I had the opportunity to sit next to them at all our home football games, and I would say, in their later years Peggy was more talkative out of the two. What drew me to them was their interest in Lockhart being a place in excellence, particularly in creating a school district that expected really great things out of its children,” Bohn said. “The only bright spot is that their legacy continues through their child and their grandchildren, who are all educators in our district now.”
Their granddaughter Kelly Molitor, who serves as a counselor at the ML Cisneros Freshman Campus, released a statement Wednesday afternoon: “My grandparents were very loving and accepting people, but they had high standards and expectations--not just for us, but also for students. They wanted people to meet their full potential.”
Even during retirement the couple remained active in the community.
Peggy administered the GED test, and they judged the local science fair.
"They, even in their retirement were still committed to making this a great district and a great community," said Bohn.
Cecilia Valdez says Peggy was her daughter's principal.
"She was a wonderful person, a blessing, that's going to be missed," said Valdez.
She describes her always smiling, caring, and friendly.
"There's not many people like her, a great inspiration," said Valdez.
Ken and Peggy’s daughter Melissa Messerly is a teacher at Carver Early Education Center, granddaughter Kelly Molitor is a counselor at ML Cisneros Freshman Campus, granddaughter Tara Chapman is a teacher at Plum Creek Elementary, and grandson Aubrey Vogt is a teacher at Lockhart Junior High.
“[Peggy] beamed about them, she was very, very proud of them like a grandmother and mother would be. But we would also talk very specifically about the need of teachers in our district and what we need to continue to do,” Bohn said.
"They're among our best employees, and so they everyday get to continue the legacy that Ken and Peggy are leaving," said Bohn.
The couple still went to all the home football games, and sat in the same seats for almost 30 years.
"They have basically had a huge significant positive impact on a generation of children in this school district, and that's a legacy that you'll carry forward," said Bohn.
The couple went to church at the First United Methodist Church in Lockhart, where members say they volunteered at the food pantry and for Meals on Wheels.
According to Lockhart ISD, the Hoffman family will hold visitation 5 - 7 p.m. Monday at McCurdy Funeral Home, located at 105 E. Pecan St in Lockhart. Funeral services will take place 10 a.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church, located at 313 W. San Antonio Street in Lockhart. In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests donations be sent to The Education Foundation for Lockhart ISD at 105 S. Colorado, Lockhart, TX 78644 or www.foundation4lisd.com.
The President of the Bastrop Senior Center, Barbara Adkins, said they are working to bring in 17 members from Biloxi, asking volunteer drivers to step in.