As one entered Plantation Key School these past 15 years, a petite woman with brown hair to her waist — “Miss Peggie” — would greet visitors with a warm “hello” and ask how she could be of assistance.

But no longer.

Peggie Fabel, whose three sons attended PKS and now live and work in the Keys community, retired last month after 15 years of serving staff, parents and students as the registrar and administrative assistant at the front desk. Fabel has seen students grow up and blossom, and even witnessed PKS’s new construction, which sometimes looked as if it would never happen.

Fabel said she saw the school population ebb and flow, and in earlier years, there was even talk the school might close due to low enrollment. Now, with the new building completed in January 2019, and its state-of-the-art accouterments, the elementary school is thriving with 521 students.

“It’s our teachers, and because it’s a happy, bright and airy place. It’s like a children’s museum here,” she said. “The enrollment is large enough to reflect diversity; yet, small enough to enable us to get to know everybody.”

Fabel was honored Nov. 18 outside the school entrance with two surprise drive-by parades. While staff and students gave her thank-you cards, posters and flowers, parents picking up their children honked and waved, and some bestowed gifts, as she sat curbside in an honorary spot enjoying the show of appreciation.

While her son, Patrick, considers a move to Utah, Fabel and her husband, Ray, intend to travel the country in a camper. Despite an exciting retirement planned, the PKS family will miss “Miss Peggie” and the entry area will feel decidedly different.