Principal Profile: Michelle Franci
Get to Know Michelle Franci
1. What do you enjoy most about your job?
Wearing my Mickey Mouse hand and welcoming all of my Cubs to school each morning.
2. Who inspires you?
My daughter, Kylee, a senior at ThunderRidge inspires me everyday. She is the strongest, kindest, smartest, funniest, most dedicated person I know. She makes the world a better place just by being in it. I strive to be like her everyday.
3. What was your first job?
I worked at a Video Store. I am sure my students have no idea what a video store is!! I still remember $3.16 for a nightly rental.
4. If you had the opportunity to pursue another career, what would you choose?
I would love to be a country singer in Nashville. But I don't live in Nashville and I don't know how to sing. But I love country music!
5. What's an interest or hobby you have that not a lot of people might not know about you?
I go boxing everyday after school. It is a great workout and super fun!
6. What's your favorite item on the school lunch menu?
Bosco Sticks... Cheesy goodness. They are fat free, right?
7. Do you have any pets?
Yes! I have a 12 year old Bichon/Poodle named Tanner. He was tormented by my daughter when she was younger. She used to dress him up in baby clothes and walk him around the neighborhood in her stroller. He is a very patient dog!
8. What was your first car?
I had a candy apple red Pontiac Fiero.
9.What advice would you give to a college graduate who is entering the field of teaching?
Dream with your students. Believe in your students. Laugh with your students. Learn with your students. Love your students.
10. If you could be any superhero, who would you choose to be?
I would make up a new superhero team - The Kindness Crew. We would go around the world and spread kindness like confetti!
There isn’t a single morning you won’t find Principal Michelle Franci outside in the drop-off lane waving with her Mickey Mouse hand and welcoming students into school. For her, this is one of her favorite parts of the day. Since 2007, when Stone Mountain Elementary opened, Michelle Franci has been a staple.
“I’ve been everybody in this building. I was a parent while my daughter went to school here. I was a teacher in this building, I was an AP in this building and now I am the principal. While transitioning in the same building can prove to be difficult, it wasn’t for me – not that there haven’t been ups and downs, but the investment that I have in this place withstands all. I have lived in everyone’s shoes and that makes it a little different. I see things that not everyone might see. Before becoming an administrator, it was important to me to teach as many grade levels as possible. Teaching first through sixth grade gave me a window into the lives of the age group and provided me with a level of expertise for my staff. I wanted people to know they could come to me for help. I can talk their talk and I’ve walked their walk,” says Michelle.
This year will start her tenth in the building and her second as principal. Over the years, Michelle has watched Stone Mountain grow from infancy to the budding school it is today. “It was crazy when we opened, it was like a ghost town. We had 186 kids. And our building is built for 750! It was crazy. We had one floor that was occupied and that was it. We had 25 staff members total. From day one, we built a family atmosphere where we celebrated strong student achievement and growth. That has always been one of our core values at Stone Mountain- always go back to what is best for the little people and big people in the building."
That’s something Michelle prides herself on and ensures will never change while she leads the school.
“High achievement and growth is extremely important to our staff, students and community. Ensuring that we are personalizing the educational path of our students is at the crux of what we do each day. We teach the whole child at SME. Creating a school built on culture and academic excellence is of the utmost importance to our community. We are proud of our achievement, but we are more proud of the integrity and perseverance of the students that we send to Ranch View and ThunderRidge. We are delighted to be part of the Grizzly feeder family."
This year, there are several new programs and ideas that will pop up throughout the building. But one Michelle’s favorites is expanding the already strong desire to take care of others. Stone Mountain was the first school to celebrate "Parties with a Purpose." This year, all grades will create an authentic service learning project that ties in with current curriculum. The only requirement… the give has to be bigger than the student. “It could be a worldly philanthropy, a state philanthropy, a county or school philanthropy. The sky is the limit! We want to educate our students on ways to problem solve to make our world a little better off than it was the day before,” says Michelle.
Michelle, along with the rest of the Stone Mountain staff, agree that it’s the family atmosphere encompassing Stone Mountain that made the school what it is today. From its consistent high achievement and test score ratings, to the community who supports every area and function of the school, Stone Mountain continues to be a destination elementary school in Douglas County.
“Walk into our building,” Michelle says. “I challenge you to find a student that isn’t happy, engaged or excited to learn or a teacher that isn’t passionate about their content or working with kids, or a parent that isn't supportive of the direction of our school. It is my job to make sure every kid, every adult, every employee leaves our building with a positive attitude, a love for life and is a little bit kinder than they were when they entered. And that is something I take very seriously.”