Nancy Naughten, a lifelong educator who earned two master’s degrees at National Louis University and taught here for 15 years, passed away in early February at age 69.
Naughten started her career teaching at elementary and middle schools, including St. Raymond’s School in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and Glenview District 34 schools. In her first teaching position, she was a primary reading teacher. In order to learn more ways to meet the needs of her young readers, Naughten earned her first master’s degree in reading at Roosevelt University.
After 10 years as a reading teacher, Naughten accepted a position as an instructional specialist and reading coordinator in Glenview District 34, where she worked for 12 years. In this position, she developed an understanding of how teachers could provide educational opportunities to reach and teach young adolescents.
District 34’s Springman Middle School changed from being a junior high to a true middle school while she was working there. Springman is now a Horizon Award Middle School. This was a pivotal time in Naughten’s career which prompted her to earn a master’s degree in Middle-Level Education at National Louis University.
She began teaching at National Louis University in 2003, and earned another master’s degree as an educational specialist. Her passion was creating curriculum that engages and motivates students to want to learn.
Naughten wrote two of the Middle-Level endorsement courses for online learning which were later approved as Quality Matters Courses. Hundreds of NLU students earned their middle school endorsement in these courses.
Naughten enjoyed teaching for many reasons. She enjoyed working with energetic new teachers and those who were coming back for the Middle School Endorsement. She agreed with the philosophy of Parker Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach, “After three decades of trying to learn my craft, every class comes down to this: my students and I, face to face, (or online) engaged in an ancient and exacting exchange called education.” Naughten retired from NLU in June 2018.
The National Louis University community extends condolences to Nancy Naughten’s family and friends.