The New Way for Wakeland



Peggy Wakeland is part of the McKinney House for Founder’s Day.

Macie Mallick, Co-Editor in Chief

Make way for the Queen! Peggy Wakeland has officially accepted the role of Upper School Division Head, after serving this past school year as the interim head. She has served at the school for 28 years and has been a pillar in the FWCD community.

“Ms. Wakeland is the hardest working person that I have ever met,” Upper School Assistant Division Head Paula Weatherholt said. “She works from the time she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night. Her love for the FWCD community is evident in everything she does, and it is a pleasure to spend so much time around her and learn from her.”

Peggy Wakeland gets on the microphone at the Homecoming pep rally. (FWCD)

Wakeland grew up in Kennedale, Texas, and strove to become an educator and administrator. She recalls a quote her dad said to her at the kitchen table one night when she was talking about becoming a teacher.

He told her: “Teachers are called.”

She received a degree at the University of Texas at Arlington, and she went on to teach math in public school for 18 years. Wakeland began her work at Country Day in 1994 as a math teacher. In 1997, she was appointed Assistant Head of Upper School, while simultaneously earning her master’s degree in just two years in Educational Administration at Texas Christian University.

“Ms. Wakeland can do it all,” Aidan Shackelford ‘22 said. “She has stopped to help me with a math problem and explain it to me when I could not figure it out for the longest time.”

During her early years at FWCD, Wakeland quickly became a central figure in the community. In 1996, she was asked by the Head of School to chair a committee for a Blue Ribbon application for FWCD through the Department of Education in Washington D.C. Shutting down the campus for three days, Wakeland and other faculty members, K-12, worked on the comprehensive document about the school. Along with only 45 other independent school organizations in the nation, the school won the award for FWCD. In addition, FWCD was one of ten that received an auxiliary award for the fine arts department. 

Lauren Newton’18 drew Peggy Wakeland on a sign for the US Commons in 2018. (Lisa Wallace)

“I really enjoyed that because I learned a lot about the school [from the faculty],” Wakeland said.  

As for her time as Assistant Head of Upper School, Wakeland took on many tasks. She controlled the daily schedule, the student and teacher schedules, the calendar, student infractions, detentions, etc. 

“I was managing the day-to-day, nuts and bolts of the school,” Wakeland said.

Now, these tasks fall in the hands of Weatherholt, who took the position as US Assistant Division Head this past year. However, Wakeland still manages the calendar. 

“Mrs. Weatherholt has done a great, great job with those tasks,” Wakeland said.

Peggy Wakeland and Paula Weatherholt wear their house shirts for Founder’s Day 2022. (FWCD)

The switch from Assistant Division Head to Division Head brought many changes for Wakeland. Her role now includes more meetings and more responsibilities and decisions. She meets with the two other division heads and Eric Lombardi, Head of School, weekly. 

“It keeps us all focused and working together in the same direction,” Wakeland said.

Also, Wakeland now acts as the last line and the final word on many tough decisions; however, she works closely with the department chairs and students in leadership roles, such as Link Crew and Student Council.

“At first it was a little unsettling, but now I realize that that’s part of the territory. You have to make that decision, difficult as it may be, but you never have to make it in isolation. You can always visit with other people.” 

Wakeland’s move to her position as interim Head of Upper School was not one she made alone. The entire Upper School office was brand new in terms of job positions and responsibilities. Weatherholt filled Wakeland’s previous position, and Christy Lennox and Mel Hurst became the Upper School Administrative Assistants.

“This year, I was mentoring three new people in our office, and they are all wonderful, wonderful people. I’ve got a great staff to work with, but none of us had done our particular jobs. So, it’s been a learning experience for all of us,” Wakeland said.

Peggy Wakeland and former US Division Head Steve Stackhouse speak at US assembly on Wakeland’s birthday. (FWCD)

During her time at FWCD, Wakeland has learned something from each of the division heads she has worked under. One piece of advice, she learned from Rob Hereford: when making a decision of judgment about a student (about what they did, right or wrong), and you’re just not sure, then err on the side of they didn’t do it because you never want to have a kid suffer the consequences for something that they didn’t do. Another bit of guidance that resonates with her is from Steve Stackhouse about students struggling academically.


“He said: ‘Peggy, the kid’s down there in the dirt. They’re our kids, too.’”

Wakeland strives to continue and build on what she has learned from the former division heads. She has plans to start new initiatives regarding the advisory program and the schedule. She also hopes to continue to tie the community together and create even more support for our members, whether that’s in the classroom, the field, the court, the stage, etc. She hopes to continue and strengthen what makes FWCD special: the community.

“It’s hard work, but it’s good work,” Wakeland said.