"Help me continue my work for Kent County Public Schools."

About Me

I am currently serving the final year of my first term on the KCPS Board of Education. I am proud of the work that our board has been able to accomplish but there is always more to do. I would like to have the opportunity to continue to work to move our schools forward and help our students succeed.

As the youngest daughter of a career United States Marine Corps father I have lived in various parts of our country including North Carolina, California, Hawaii, Virginia and Maryland. Between Kindergarten and graduation from Crossland High School in Prince George's County, Maryland I attended 6 different schools. I also spent a year studying Elementary and Special Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.  Though teaching ultimately did not turn out to be my calling I have enormous respect for those who dedicate their lives to our children.

My husband, Mark, and I moved to Worton from the "western shore" in 2003. We have two children currently attending KCPS schools. When I am not shuttling my kids hither and yon I run a website design business. I work primarily with local non-profits, artists and small businesses. I am proud to be a founding member of the school advocacy group Support Our Schools. I like to volunteer and be involved in our community and have helped organize the Chestertown Tea Party Festival, the Chestertown HP Festival and I am on the Marketing Committee for the Garfield Center for the Arts.

Email: francoise@voteforsullivan.org

Serving the KCPS Community

Committees

Watch HB0365 testimony on YouTube by clicking on the image above

Representing KCPS in Annapolis

It is an honor and a privilege to serve on the Kent County Public Schools Board of Education. I have held the position of Vice President for the last 2 years.

In my role as Vice President of the KCPS BOE I have provided favorable testimony to the Maryland General Assembly on the following bills:

 

I hope to continue to serve our community and represent KCPS.

working together

Accomplishments

Board of Education members must work together to make the best decisions for our students and schools. No individual member can achieve this on their own. We have different backgrounds, different perspectives and different goals for our time on the board. But we can not accomplish anything without the support of the other members. We have all been chosen by our community to serve our schools to the best of our ability. I am grateful for the thoughtful deliberations and decisions that the board has made.

Some accomplishments from my time on the board include –

There is always more to do

My Goals

  • Additional resources and support for underperforming student groups

  • Improve MCAP ELA and Math testing scores

  • Update and adopt policies with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and transparency

  • Increase community support for KCPS

  • Additional resources and support for underperforming student groups

  • Improve MCAP ELA and Math testing scores

  • Update and adopt policies with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and transparency

  • Increase community support for KCPS

Mission of the Board of Education
To provide leadership and oversight for a high-quality educational system with community-supported goals, policies, and resources committed to benefit our growing and diverse student population. (KCPS BOE Handbook)

2024 Election

Important Dates & Upcoming Events


Past Events:

  • April 18 – Democratic Club of Kent County Board of Education Candidate Forum

    Questions & Responses Below:

I would like the new superintendent to build strong relationships with the local community, parents, teachers, and community leaders. I would also like them to be ready to roll up their sleeves and dive into the challenges that we face as a small, rural school district with many students and families facing the challenges of high-poverty. I want them to be a vocal advocate on every level for the needs of our students and schools.

I expect them to make sure that we have all the resources we need to provide opportunities for all of our students. I expect them to be able to manage our budget so that our needs can be met and challenges overcome.

I expect them to listen to our teachers. We have amazing, hard working teachers who are committed to the success of our students. I want to say that again – Kent County Public Schools has amazing, hard working teachers who are committed to the success of our children. Supporting and developing teachers to ensure they have the skills and resources they need to effectively teach in our schools should be a priority for the new superintendent.

Finally, I would like the new superintendent to be a good communicator who will keep families and staff well informed of not just school activities and challenges but of their vision for our schools and steps taken to make sure our students are successful.

The United States Supreme Court ruled over 40 years ago that “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books.” As board members we are responsible for upholding the constitutional rights of our students.

The decision to include school library books and curriculum materials on topics related to sexual and gender identity should be made with careful consideration of educational goals, legal requirements, and the well-being of all students. Our media staff prioritize award winning books from established lists of literary awards including the Newbery Award, Caldecott Award and ALA Award to name a few. I trust that our administrators, teachers and media specialists select materials that are of the most benefit to our students and will provide diverse perspectives and create an inclusive learning environment for all.

Books and materials that cover topics related to sexual and gender identity can help students see themselves reflected in the curriculum and promote empathy and understanding among classmates.

For LGBTQ+ students, seeing positive representations of themselves in school materials can be affirming and validating. It can also help combat feelings of isolation and provide important information about identity development and resources for support.

Some parents may have concerns about the age-appropriateness of certain materials or may hold different beliefs about these topics. There are many ways that parents can address their concerns starting with speaking with their child’s teacher to see if optional materials are available for their child. Parents may request a reconsideration of school library books as outlined in the KCPS Reconsideration of Media Center Materials policy by completing a request form.

We are all aware of the many book challenges that have been made in schools around the country. Kent County has not been immune to these challenges. In November 2022 a group of community members spoke during the public comment time and read excerpts from books that they did not believe should be in our school libraries.

I responded on this topic during my board discussion time –

I believe that representation matters. Students should read and hear stories that reflect themselves, their families, their struggles and achievements.

I believe that there are any number of ways that parents can and should be involved in our schools. I also believe that parents need to respect boundaries and not try to dictate curriculum and reading materials for our schools. 

Finally, to quote The National Coalition Against Censorship, 

“These books may not be of interest for every student. But if every library book was required to serve every student, the shelves would be bare. A library, including a school library, is meant to include a broad selection of books that provide value to students. These books do just that.”

According to the US News and World Report the KCPS student demographics break down as follows –

55.3% White
23.7% Black
0.6% Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
11.6% Hispanic/Latino
0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native
0% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

By providing training for our teachers – At the February 12 Board of Education meeting our Blueprint coordinator and CTE director Tom Porter gave a presentation on the KCPS Educational Equity Policy and discussed Equity-Driven training that staff have attended. This training includes REI (Racial Equity Institute) Training, Culturally Responsive Teaching Training, and Restorative Practices Training. Not all KCPS staff have been able to attend trainings. I would like to increase the opportunities for training and participation by staff so that all of our staff may attend.

By providing inclusive courses and materials – Another way to improve outcomes is ensuring that the curriculum is culturally responsive and meets the needs of our students. As I mentioned in my opening statement, new courses were introduced at Kent County High School this school year including American Sign Language and African American History. I would like our schools to continue to tap into our rich, diverse Kent County history and expand partnerships with organizations that can provide materials and resources for teachers and students including Sumner Hall, Washington College and Chesapeake Heartland. Students should learn about the people who share their backgrounds and interests who were pioneers for change.

By providing enrichment opportunities for our students – Today the 7th graders at the Middle School are participating in an event called Challenge Day. Tomorrow the 9th graders at our high school will hold their own Challenge Day. Events like Challenge Day help our students make deeper connections with one another. To quote from the Challenge Day website –

Using highly interactive and energetic activities, Challenge Day Leaders guide teens on a carefully-designed exploration of the ways people separate from each other, and model tools for creating connection and building community.

By tracking data – We should continue to use data to identify students who may be at risk of falling behind academically early on, and provide targeted interventions and support services to address their specific needs. KCPS has provided tutoring, academic enrichment programs, and social-emotional support to help students overcome barriers to learning. We need more tutors and volunteers in our schools to help with these needs.

your vote counts

Voter Resources

Maryland Board of Elections website – https://www.elections.maryland.gov/


Vote411 – https://www.vote411.org/maryland

League of Women Voters of Kent County – https://kent-lwvmaryland.nationbuilder.com/

Kent County Board of Elections website – https://www.kentcountyelections.org/

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