President’s Circle Featuring Dr. Carol V. Francois

Throughout Women’s History Month 2023, the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch of ASALH presents brief features on a female Branch member or a family member of the Branch member.

Dr. Carol François is a lifetime educator who describes herself as a catalyst for positive change.

Dr. Carol François began her teaching career at age three when she says she taught her dolls on the doorstep of her home. Since that career starter, she has served in a variety of educational roles.

Dr. Carol François’ roles include posts as Associate Commissioner of Education at the Texas Education Agency; Chief of Staff for the Dallas Independent School; Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for Wake County Public Schools in Raleigh, North Carolina; Department Director at Region 10 Education Service Center; grade-level principal in the Richardson Independent School District; Dean of Instruction with the Dallas Independent School District; and Director of Learning at Learning Forward a 10,000 member international education association

Carol’s current learning/education project Why Are They So Angry? (WATSA?) aims to take participants into unexplored territory to unlearn what they thought they knew about American history and being Black/African American in the United States. The project examines how systemic racism is steeped into every institution of American life from education, business/labor, healthcare, housing, religion, criminal justice, pop culture, and politics. The end goal is to arm participants with the knowledge to see, say, and confront systemic racism then ultimately address it in their spheres of influence. WATSA? can be found on many platforms including a Facebook learning community, a weekly podcast, a public Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, website, Linked In, and an online course.

In addition to WATSA?, Carol continues using her expertise in education as a consultant to the Texas Education Agency, Learning Forward, and a variety of organizations. Dr. François holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Lock Haven University and a Master of Education degree in Education Media from Temple University, both in Pennsylvania. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in Education Administration at Texas A&M University – Commerce.

She has been awarded numerous honors including being named the Dallas Independent School District Teacher of the Year, a Meadows Foundation Principal Improvement Fellow, a Texas A&M University –Commerce Alumni Ambassador, and an inductee into the African American Museum of Culture and History’s Educator Hall of Fame. An avid gardener, she is married and shares a home in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Clyde Henderson. Dr. Francois and her husband are proud members of the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch of ASALH. 

I serve on the Johnstown Banishment Committee with Dr. Francois and her husband. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s largest ethnic cleansing in the State’s history. In 1923,the mayor of Johnstown Pa ordered most of the Black and Latino population out of said town. The Black and Latino population were forced out at gunpoint and threat of Imprisonment.

Ronald B. Saunders, President of Dr.Edna B. McKenzie Branch of ASALH

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