2020 Distinguished Educator: Shannon Francis Puts Others First ‘Every Single Time’

Every year, Lapeer Community Schools, in cooperation with the District’s employee groups, recognizes the best of our staff. In lieu of our typical employee awards banquet, we will honor each award winner individually.

It’s hard for any teacher to be all things to all people, but that’s often what is expected of them.

Abigail Blaszczyk, for example, needed more than a teacher. She needed someone she could trust. Fortunately, for her and hundreds of students over the years, she had Mrs. Francis in her life.

“Mrs. Francis is someone in this school who I would trust with my life,” she said. “Any struggles or obstacles I’ve encountered inside and outside of school, she has done her best to help me with. I know I can go to her with anything and she will do everything in her power to make sure I’m okay.”

One of the greatest traits a person can possess is understanding how to be present in any situation. Shannon has that trait in spades. She is a great friend, mentor and colleague who will always be there when you need her.

Another student put it succinctly: “I’ve never met a teacher with a larger passion for her job and her students.”

This recognition, everyone seems to agree, is long overdue.

A friend and colleague put into the simplest terms what makes Shannon one of the most admired teachers in the District. She said Shannon will put others first, “every single time.”

“Shannon is one person that I can count on to be there, even if it inconveniences her,” she added. “She truly wants what’s best for those around her — from students, staff and the school as a whole, to her family and friends.”

“If that’s not outstanding, I don’t know what is.”

Another colleague said Shannon’s random acts of kindness happen so often, they could scarcely be called “random” anymore.

“I remember Shannon walking into the building toting a couple brand new backpacks because some kids needed them.

“These things happen all the time, and she thinks nothing of them. Giving is natural to her,” she said.

This is our chance to give something back to her.

Shannon has spent her entire 30- year career teaching English in the District. During this span, she has taught at East, West, White and now at Lapeer High School.

Shannon consistently looks for new and creative ways to add value to her English instruction. She has taught various elective courses, been instrumental in the Strategies for Success class and even become an expert on the SAT in order to serve her students.

She has worked tirelessly as an analyst of student performance on the English portion of the SAT to help students improve their skills and meet their post-high school ambitions.

“She has worked to breakdown student performance reports in greater detail to identify areas of need,” one colleague said. “This includes digging into released assessments to create opportunities to support students in areas of greatest need.”

Setting aside all the technical jargon, ultimately it is her rapport with students, parents and staff that distinguishes her most of all.

“Shannon is always willing to meet with students when they need to talk,” one colleague said. “She is such a friendly person that she immediately puts students at ease and they feel comfortable getting advice from her.”

The same applies to her co-workers, who all benefit from her positive attitude and servant leadership.

“Her integrity is never in question,” another colleague said. “She always supports us. She always considers what is the ethical course of action in any situation.”

So for all the Sundays serving students, Fridays staying late and everything in between, we offer this recognition to Shannon Francis on behalf of a grateful school community.

Your work is distinguished because you are distinguished.

Bolt Blog

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