Nancy Benfer

Nancy Benfer


Mrs. Nancy Benfer is a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley. She has worked at Bishop Dunn Memorial School for the past twenty years, beginning as a Kindergarten Teaching Assistant and is now the Principal. Nancy graduated from Mount Saint Mary College with her undergraduate degree as well as her Masters of Science in Education: Childhood/Special Education. Nancy is a highly respected adjunct professor in the Mount’s Education Department and has supervised and mentored  a number of teacher candidates from MSMC as well. She is considered an innovative educator and spearheaded a project with her fourth grade Bishop Dunn students to write a book about the history of Mount Saint Mary College entitled Teach Me Truth.

Nancy has collaborated on several presentations throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond, from subjects on “Inspiring 21st Century Learners Informational Writing through Children’s Literature and Media” to “Diversifying the Common Core Text Exemplars.”  Over the past few years, she has presented at national conferences, such as the Literacy Research Association. Her passion for providing all students with books in which they can see themselves inspired her to coauthor “How Common Core’s Recommended Books Fail Children of Color”  with Mount professor Dr. Jane Gangi, which appeared in The Washington Post. She also authored an article, “Don’t Forget the Pictures: Using Graphical Devices to Learn About Space,” with Mount professor Dr. Rebecca Norman and Mount graduate, Meghan Bauer. The article was published in the Michigan Reading Journal.

Nancy is a member of CELL, Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning, and spends her summer supervising MSMC teacher candidates completing their literacy practicum at the  Newburgh Armory Unity Center. She is trained in Picturing Writing and works in collaboration with MSMC professors and students to bring this research-based program to students in the community.  In her free time, she loves to play tennis and was recently honored at the MSMC Golf and Tennis tournament.

Mrs. Benfer working with students in writing lab.

Mrs. Benfer working with seventh-grade students in her first period writing lab explaining a new Google Classroom assignment.