March 14, 2011
Donations in Sue's name may be sent to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF), 4255 Westbrook Drive, Suite 219, Aurora, Illinois 60504. Angelman Syndrome is the rare genetic disorder with which Sue and her husband Hal's daughter, Danna, has been diagnosed.
Below are listed memorial tributes from Sue's colleagues in her long career in parent involvement in education.
A memorial celebration of Sue's career was held at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, DC, on March 14th at NEA, 1201 16th Street, Washington, DC, in Conference Room B. A video was made of the event and will be available soon.
If you have a memorial tribute for Sue Ferguson, please send it to Eric Bourland at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be posted promptly.
Thank you for posting the information concerning the death of Sue Ferguson. I came to know Sue in 1996 when we joined the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education. Over the last 17 years, I have marveled as Sue turned NCPIE into the central clearinghouse for parent and family engagement leaders in America. Public school parents everywhere have benefited from her hard work. Project Appleseed mourns the loss of her leadership in the parental involvement movement. We need dedicated parent engagement leaders like Sue Ferguson in every school district in this nation.
Thank you NCPIE all the work that you do to organize America's parents.
Very truly yours,
President & National Director
What devastating news about Sue Ferguson. She was truly wonderful to work with, and I know will be missed so much by those who worked with her daily, and were her friends.
My deepest sympathy to all of you who knew her well...
National Center for Dropout Prevention
I was shocked and so sad to hear about Sue. Her passion for all aspects of work on school, family, and community partnerships was well known and honored, even as she communicated and conducted them. The only good thing about her terrible loss, is that she really knew, all along, that she was loved and appreciated by so many.
It is hard to remember when I did not know Sue, her work for and with children with special needs, and her kind communication skills with so many in the field of school, family, and community partnerships. Please keep me in the loop on forthcoming information.
National Network of Partnership Schools, Johns Hopkins University
I remain stunned about the news of Sue's passing, which Bob Witherspoon shared with me yesterday.
In her calm, unassuming way Sue served as the networking switchboard for the disparate group of us in the parent involvement community, always eager to make introductions, facilitate conversations, stimulate ideas and build alliances to advance the cause of parent involvement. The fact that she so clearly loved what she was doing added to her effectiveness.
We cannot replace Sue, but we can honor her by making sure that NCPIE carries on with its important work. I hope we can find some time when we meet, or before or afterward, to make some plans about where we go from here. If I can be of any help with that effort, count me in.
The Parent Institute
I am so saddened by the news of Sue's death!!
She and I had a special bond. We shared a long history and always kept each other up to date on our families. She was one of the very special people in my life who, despite distance and time, was a steady friend. (We really bonded during our trip to support parent-school partnerships in Albania in 1996 when no one was going to Albania!) Sue had a wonderful sense of humor that matched her passion for helping families. I will miss her!
I wish I could join you and other NCPIE members in paying tribute to Sue on February 16th. I know, as you wrote, that Sue wants NCPIE to carry on.
All the best to you.
To Anne and the NCPIE Family
I am saddened to hear about the passing of Sue Ferguson. She was a friend and an advocate for all our families. I know she will be missed by the many hearts she has touched.
My prayers go out to her family and loved ones.
ASPIRA Association, Inc.
Please share my condolences with members of NCPIE. Sue was tireless in her efforts and so generous to others. I know that she will be missed. Sue made Connecticut feel welcomed, included and connected to the policy work. She made me feel like a friend, and valued colleague.
Betsy LeBorious, CREC, Hartford CT
Warlene Gary called me yesterday morning with the sad news about Sue. I had just talked with her last week (we have been talking every couple of weeks since I left PTA) -- a conversation I will cherish and remember. I also talked to Hal last night and he and I will have another call today or tomorrow. I think that lots of us who knew and loved Sue are in shockâ€¦ And I so appreciate your stepping in to continue to move NCPIE forward as she would have wanted. Hal said to me, last night, that NCPIE was her life line and kept her going.
As plans move forward for a memorial/celebration of Sue's life, please include me as much as possible. I will do all I can to be in DC when this takes place. If I can contribute in any way, please let me know. I'm happy to participate via phone if it seems appropriate. If I can be helpful in determining the next steps for NCPIE as well, I am happy to help. I used to come in for NCPIE meetings (starting over 20 years ago) and stay at Sue and Hal's house. Sue was a very dear friend. I miss her.
Consultant to Nonprofit Organizations
Communities In Schools Robert H.B. Baldwin Fellow
We were all saddened by Sue departing from us! It seems that God is calling some of our best to be with him.
Sue always had a smile to welcome us whether it be by email or in person. She was always helpful in and never spare a moment in sharing it with others. Her life made a difference in all of lives. Physically she is not with us, her spirit will always be with us. We know that God blesses those who give of themselves.
You are also in our spirit and are here to give comfort to you and rest of the team.
Love and prayers
The National Coalition of ESEA Title I parents
Earnestine T. Thomas, Chairperson
Sue was such a special friend to me, and a cherished colleague, and her being gone creates a great hole in my world, as well as that of so, so many others. Oh my goodness, I can't fathom how much we will miss her. I will strive to fill that void with loving memories of her, with support to her friends and family, and with good work on behalf of children and families, to honor her legacy.
Please do let me know anything I can possibly do to assist, with NCPIE, with anything else. All my very best strength and positive vibes to you as you, too, struggle with this loss.
National School Boards Association
I am just now reading e-mails from the past week, and I am shocked and saddened to hear of Sue's passing. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I just can not believe it. Clearly, hers was the energy and spirit that gave NCPIE (and so many of us who sat around that table), the momentum to relentlessly advocate for more meaningful parental involvement in our families, schools and communities. It is hard to imagine this work without her, though I do know her wisdom and passion will become her legacy as they weave their way into all our work.
I am certainly thinking of you--as well as Sue's family and friends--as the world experiences this tremendous loss.
Founder, Tellin' Stories Project
Sue was such a center and clear guiding light for NCPIE and parent involvement/family engagement. What a warm and well informed person and friend to us all. Her passing is such a great loss. You all are doing so much to honor her life. Wish I could join you.
Very sad news, indeed! Sue was a very special person and influential, in the most unpretentious, unimposing way I have ever come across! Her kindness and generosity with which she shared knowledge, experience and network of her friends was one of a kind. With people like Sue, world looked brighter, problems vanished and anything was possible. Thank you for bringing her into my life and getting to know such a unique person. I found out from her organisation's website, she passed away in her sleep. A quiet departure, holding to herself until the last moment, causing no disturbance, being no burden! A very sad and untimely departure and she will be missed. People like her are the salt of the earth, unfortunately, they do not come in great numbers in this world and their departure leaves a huge and deep vacuum.
May Sue rest in peace and may she always be remembered by her family, friends, colleagues and certainly, people like me who happen to know her briefly but whose soul has left a long-lasting impression!
Director of the parent-school partnership project in Albania
It is with deep sadness that we share with you the passing of Sue Ferguson, a committed and passionate leader in school, family, and community engagement. A wonderful friend and an amazing mother, Sue was also the chair of the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE), where she worked to promote parent and family engagement in children's education and foster relationships between home, school, and community. Sue has been committed to the field of education for over 35 years, and has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of children and youth with special needs. Sue previously served as a member of the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group. Her hard work and dedication to the Working Group has been an enormous contribution to the family engagement field. It has been an honor and a privilege for Harvard Family Research Project to collaborate with Sue and share in her work.
Harvard Family Research Project, Newsletter, March 9, 2011
My deep condolences for Sue Ferguson. I will inform the others who have worked on family-school partnership here in Macedonia. Since our first initiatives back in 1994 the parent school partnership in Macedonia as well as in the region is become more and more advanced. In Macedonian it is matter regulated by a legal frame and is obligatory in all schools. Those developments to a large extend are to be credited to you, Sue and others who were willing to share their valuable knowledge and experience with us. I wish that somebody from Macedonia or from the region would have been able to take part at the memorial celebration as matter of thanking and appreciation on behalf of our parents and school.
Best wishes from Skopje
Nafi headed the Parent-School Partnership project Macedonia in the 1990s and met Sue at the International Year of the Family Conference held in Oakland in 1994
I want to share how much I appreciate Sue's participation as a member of my Title I parental involvement cabinet during my last years of service as Federal Title I director at the Department of Education. Sue had her ears and eyes on the developments related to parental involvement and the movement to family and parental engagement and was directly involved in our efforts to support the regeneration of the Title I parent coalition -an important voice as Title I and school improvement moves forth in our schools. Sue understood the importance of connecting parents - our children's first teachers - with their children's schools and helped us to think through reengagement strategy. I and others will sorely miss her quiet wisdom. I hope that you might share this note at the program on Monday.
Zollie Stevenson, U.S. Department of Education (retired)
Celebrating the life of sue ferguson
By James H. Lockhart
Proud member of NCPIE
"Distinguished Member" International Society of Poets
every now and then the good lord sends
us a special angel, to bless us in a special way;
we celebrate the life of such an angel
during this memorial service today
I'm referring to none other than mrs. Ferguson,
Affectionately know as "SUE"
WHO, FROM THE MOMENT YOU MET HER
YOU FOUND HER A VERY SPECIAL MENTOR TO YOU
AN INSPIRING LEADER; AN INNOVATOR FOR POSITIVE
AND MEANINGFUL EDUCATIONAL STRIDE,
A RENOWNED ADVOCATE FOR EFFECTIVE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
A DYNAMIC FOUNDER AND INSPIRING LEADER
OF OUR BELOVED NCPIE
THANK YOU, GOOD LORD, FOR ALLOWING US TO EXPERIENCE
THE NEVER-TO-BE-FORGOTTEN SUE
BLESS THAT WE CONTINUE TO FOLLOW HER LEAD
IN EVERY FUTURE CHALLENGING Parental involvement
Job we do.
I would like to send my condolences to all our friends and Sue Ferguson's family and remember her with warmth and gratitude for all her work and dedication to people.
Thank you for sharing with me.
-- Alla Harutyunyan, director of the Parent-School Partnership Program in Armenia.
Sue was my first web site client. Working with Sue I built in 1995 the first version of the ncpie.org web site. I met Sue in 1994 when NCPIE was hosted at the Academy for Educational Development on Connecticut Ave in DC. She was smart, helpful, quietly wise. She trusted me with NCPIE's internet presence and I never let her down. In the vast bureaucracy of the nonprofit world of DC, I felt I had a friend and ally in Sue. Later I would meet her family, enjoy their company, and work with them to solve computer and network problems. They are lovely people. They made me feel at home. In losing Sue we have lost more than can be told. I do not know if she knew this, but she had a life-changing effect on my personal and professional life. I am deeply saddened to see her go. Good night, lady.