On a Friday afternoon in September 2003, a surprised—and humbled—Margaret Hoffman stood before a gymnasium of cheering students, parents, friends and co-workers at Fort Wright Elementary. They gathered to congratulate her for winning the National Distinguished Principal Award for Kentucky. The 1972 graduate has served in the educational field for 37 years—19 of them as Fort Wright Elementary’s principal.
While it is a distinction rarely matched, it was not so out of the ordinary as her sister, Rose Mary, a 1993 M.Ed. graduate, winning Kentucky’s Outstanding Elementary School Counselor award only a few months earlier.
Rose Mary, a 39-year veteran of the Kenton County school system who works at Piner Elementary, credits the University for her and Margaret’s success.
“Both we and our parents have always valued the educational foundation we received at Xavier,” she says. “For two sisters to receive state/national recognition in the same year is probably pretty rare. But, considering parents who encouraged a good education and a university that stressed excellence, winning awards doesn’t seem all that out of the ordinary.”