Cynthia Johnston Bergan, originally of Wellesley, MA, died surrounded by family following complications from cancer on June 30, 2020 at the age of 68. Cindy is survived by her large and loving family which includes her daughter Amy Ellison and her husband Michael of Pepperell, her son Michael Bergan and his wife Maeve of Cohasset, and her daughter Margaret Keene and her husband Charlie of Pepperell. She was a doting nana to her loving grandchildren Declan, Ciaran, Sammy, Carys, Lucy, Meggie and Teddy.
Cindy was the beloved daughter of the late Philip W. and Elizabeth M. (Foley) Johnston, and sister of Elizabeth M. Healey of Princeton, NJ, Philip W. Johnston III of Marshfield, Suzanne Knight of Milton, and the late Kate Coffey formerly of Charlestown. Cynthia is also survived by many nieces, nephews and their families and is remembered by countless friends, colleagues, former students and extended family members.
Cindy was born in Wellesley, MA in 1951, as the fourth of five children. She would go on to finish at the top of her class at Wellesley High School where she was a standout student athlete and school record holder in swimming. After high school, she attended and excelled at Wellesley College, where she made many lifelong friends. There, she also met and married Thomas Bergan, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the future father of her three children.
After graduation, Cindy worked in the early days of the computer industry as a systems analyst, working on major installations throughout New England. During this time, she was asked to teach computer science at a local technical institute. It was here that she found her true calling as an educator. She would go on to attend Harvard University and receive a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in mathematics. Her student teacher assignment brought her to Newton, where she would go on to spend over 25 years in the Newton Public School system, first as a math teacher for students at F.A. Day Middle School, and later as a teacher, Department Head and Assistant Principal at Newton North High School. In 2011, Cindy became the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education and Special Programs for the City of Newton. She was incredibly proud of this accomplishment as it combined her passions for education, equality and good government.
During these years at Newton, she worked tirelessly to decrease the achievement gaps among special populations of students to ensure that all students were successful. In particular, Cindy was passionate about connecting with and supporting learners with diverse needs and backgrounds. She was all in with her students, helping to shoulder the trials in their young lives and to cheer them on and lift them up along their journeys. Additionally, she loved being a supervisor and instructional coach, particularly to new teachers.
Cindy is fondly remembered by her colleagues as someone who was always inviting, compassionate, and able to offer sage advice. Her passion for education was passed on to her daughters, both of whom now teach in the Westford public schools, along with their husbands, also educators.
While Cindy excelled at work, she will be most remembered by her family as an exceptional mother and grandmother. She was kind, warm and loving. Cindy was an excellent listener and problem solver, who was her family’s best support. She always had a big smile and contagious laugh that would fill up the room. She will be deeply missed.
A private ceremony was held for immediate family. A celebration of life will occur in the future with details to follow at a later time.