We lost an exceptional member of our CVNM family this August. Susan Duncan of Santa Fe was a lifelong educator, an activist for racial and economic justice, and a loving mother, wife and sister.
At Stanford University, friends nicknamed her “Christopher Robin” for her adventurous yet practical spirit and her strong moral compass. There she met her husband of 49 years, Cam. They married in 1968, and later moved to Puerto Rico where Susan learned Spanish and taught high school. Susan and Cam lived in Washington, D.C. for 29 years, where they raised two daughters – Lucia and Anna – in a home known for shared meals with neighbors and compañeros, and as a welcoming place to stay. Susan taught middle and high school history and geography, and later managed summer, after-school and service-learning programs.
After moving to Santa Fe in 2007, Susan served as the Community School Program Director at Aspen Community Magnet School, a partnership with United Way of Santa Fe County. She was elected to the board of Santa Fe Public Schools in 2013, where she championed bilingual education and advocated for the needs of the District’s immigrant students. Susan was especially passionate about the Hands-on Heritage summer program she created – a place-based, expeditionary learning program for students focused on the environments and cultures of northern New Mexico. Susan loved to hike local trails with her husband Cam and their dog, Tess. She passed on her love of the outdoors to her daughters, who treasure memories of canoeing adventures and family camping trips. She was a longtime supporter of CVNM’s environmental justice work on behalf of communities of color.
Susan’s memory lives on in all of us who were lucky enough to know her and who were touched by the positive impacts she made on our community.
To honor her legacy, contributions can be made to Partners in Education for the Hands-on Heritage program – 1300 Camino Sierra Vista, Santa Fe, NM 87505.