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A city school board member who made a difference

The North Avenue headquarters of Baltimore City Public Schools. File.
The North Avenue headquarters of Baltimore City Public Schools. File. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

As former Baltimore City School Board members, we would like to acknowledge the passing of our dear colleague and friend, Jerrelle Francois. A graduate of Dunbar High School and Morgan State University, where she earned her Bachelors and Master’s degrees, Jerrelle dedicated more than 40 years of service to Baltimore City Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and associate superintendent. Upon retirement, she was appointed to the Board of School Commissioners in 2004 where she served for eight years.

Jerrelle loved visiting with students from pre-school to high school and encouraging them to value learning, study and hard work. She was passionate about children receiving a quality education. She believed that all students could learn and succeed in the Baltimore City Public Schools when taught by well-prepared, committed educators with the support and encouragement of caring, involved parents, families and community. She represented the board on state and national levels including the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, the National School Board Association, the Council of Urban Boards of Education and the Council of Great City Schools. In 2011, she was selected as the statewide school board member who made outstanding contributions to school board service by MABE.

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Principals, teachers, board members, all benefited from her ongoing leadership in many areas of education, but most especially in student learning and achievement. We know that continued advocacy on behalf of student learners is the best way to acknowledge her service and honor her memory.

Jim Campbell and Maxine Wood, Baltimore

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The writers are former members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.

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