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Nancy Sundberg passed away on Monday, Oct 4, 2021. A well-respected teacher, she was a modest, but inspirational woman who cast a very bright light.
Nancy earned her BA in English and Elementary Education from Albion College in Michigan and her MA degree in special education from the University of California at San Francisco. She had experience teaching students in both public and private schools at all grade levels in three states and in Liberia, Africa.
She was a natural teacher of children and adults alike, passionate about education with excellence, and taught for over 45 years, 41 of them in the City School District of Rochester. She was named Rochester City School District Teacher of the year 1982-1983 and received certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2005.
With her gentle, supportive style, inexhaustible work ethic and appreciation for rigor, she set the bar for excellence. She championed a technique called “lesson study” that focuses on the formal analysis of teaching outcomes from well documented lesson plans to continually adapt lessons to improve student learning.
She was a lover of all things literary. She adapted and directed many Shakespearian plays for students of mixed ability levels to perform. And she actively encouraged student writing including initiating and running student book publishing projects.
She was a tireless proponent for expanding the mind through reading. Her generosity was boundless, purchasing countless books for classroom and school libraries as well as book clubs. The Children’s School of Rochester has recently dedicated their library, “The Nancy Sundberg Library at CSR” in her honor. She also enthusiastically supported participation in the Heifer International charity’s “Read to Feed” program for many years.
Mrs. Sundberg was deeply beloved by her family and her colleagues, as well as thousands of students and their parents. Nancy will be remembered as an extraordinary educator who had influence well beyond the confines of her classrooms, a gracious hostess, a peace ambassador, a wonderful wife, and a deep lover of all. She loved learning and celebrated the achievements, great and small, of every ‘student’, whether formally assigned or casually encountered.
The impact she had on our lives will be cherished, a generous gift that will live on in our hearts. She worked hard to make a difference and she did!
Survived by her husband of 52 years, Michael; a brother, David, of Tucson, AZ; God children, Ashley Samuelson and Michael Chadsey, their children; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A Memorial Service will be held on at 1:00PM on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Children’s School of Rochester #15
85 Hillside Ave, Rochester.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the:
American Cancer Society
1120 S Goodman St, Rochester, NY 14620
Click HERE to Donate
The Nancy Sundberg Library
We dedicate The Children’s School of Rochester library to Nancy Sundberg, a beloved school icon who taught and inspired so many. For many years, Mrs. Sundberg sought social justice through education and embodied all that The Children’s School represents. She held our students’ hands, opened their minds and touched their hearts on their journey to becoming “critical and literate thinkers and doers.”
She began teaching in 1969, and taught at The Children’s School of Rochester from 2001 to 2014. Among her many contributions, Mrs. Sundberg taught students Shakespeare, collaborated with fellow teachers to plan instruction and examine its impact on students through lesson studies, nurtured a love of reading while helping others around the world through the Heifer International Read to Feed incentive program, and taught students to write, illustrate and publish their own books – many of which are still in circulation in our library. Regardless of the challenge, Mrs. Sundberg pursued thoughtful, creative ways to ignite students’ love for learning. Mrs. Sundberg added a touch of class to school gatherings by adorning the venues with unforgettable table settings and linens, sharing homemade gourmet treats, and displaying beautiful floral arrangements from her garden.
Over the years, Mrs. Sundberg purchased thousands of books. She established classroom libraries, and stored collections of books by themes for her colleagues to borrow. Mrs. Sundberg accumulated more books than those in our school’s library. When she retired, she generously gave every student and staff member books to keep. Even after retirement, Mrs. Sundberg returned to give children books, facilitate student book clubs, donate books for our schoolwide Book of the Month, and volunteer in our classrooms. Mrs. Sundberg worked effortlessly without ever seeking recognition to make CSR a better place where we could truly celebrate childhood. She made everyone feel special, and we are better people for having known her.