Nancy Roderick Retiring After 20 Years at MCWS

After a 20-year career at Maine Coast Waldorf School, Music Teacher Nancy Roderick is moving on to her next adventure, retiring to spend more time with her family and on her youth orchestra. 

Nancy’s impact to strengthen and grow the music program at Maine Coast Waldorf School cannot be overstated. When she first began back in 2001, she would perform concerts in the “stage area” of the basement in the back of the woodworking shop and teaching group lessons in a small space that was also used for tutoring and therapeutic painting. 

“I would move a few desks and chairs out, bring six or seven students in and teach violin,” she remembers.

With a few space upgrades along the way, she became the full time music teacher nine years ago, taking over chorus classes as well as classroom music teaching. Under her stewardship, the music program has realized its full potential with a dedicated music space and performance area. Her fun, accessible teaching brought music into the classroom for countless students, and has made a lasting impact on so many students over the years. 

Her dedication and passion to her students was on full display as the Class of 2021—many of whom have been here for the duration of her career at MCWS—graduated last month. The class, an extraordinarily musically gifted group, performed two moving songs together, and many classmates also sang or played a wide variety of musical instruments during the ceremony. Nancy received a standing ovation from her students and their families at the end of the ceremony, a testament to the influence and impact she has made here. 

“I have always wished I could verbalize better what Waldorf education is and does for children,” she explained, because “I usually describe our high school graduates as an example of why this education works. They are listeners who are able to think for themselves, they are musicians, poets and competent writers who are able to speak a few languages. They are compassionate and care about the world.”

I hope I am better at all of these things after being a part of this community,” she added. “Every day at MCWS I have felt loved, challenged, and supported. Sharing the joy of experiencing music with so many incredible children through the years feels like something that has made a difference.” 

While she will miss music assemblies, plays, Fall Fairs, Wildflower, Rose, and Graduation ceremonies, Nancy is looking forward to a little more free time for family time and getting the Coastal Youth Orchestra running again after COVID. She also plans to continue running, spend plenty of time at Sugarloaf, play in a duo with piano accompanist Katy Stetson, hike the rest of Maine’s 4000’ peaks, and really focus on playing and practicing her violin, and of course, play some golf.

Congratulations, Nancy! We’ll miss you and your beautiful music around campus next year.