• November 5, 2010 – St. Louis Public School District has named Major James Francis as the 2010 Middle/Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year.


    Major James Francis has taught World History and Advanced Placement World History at Cleveland Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) High School, a St. Louis Public Magnet School, since 2004. He currently serves as the head of the school’s Social Studies Department.


    “Major Francis is not content with merely teaching world history, he brings it alive to his students. His impressive skills in technology enable him to create games, contests, and experiences in which the students place themselves in the daily lives of people who lived in particular periods of time,” said Cleveland NJROTC’s principal, Susan Viviano.


    An educator since 1995, Major Francis believes teachers have one of the most important influences on young adults as they are growing into maturity.   He states, “In 1997, while serving in the Peace Corps, one of my students in Thailand thanked me. He stated what he learned most from me was not the English I taught, but the lessons about life he learned from watching me. It was at that time, I made a promise to myself to be the best academic, personal, and ethical role model I can be.”


    Major James Francis also impresses the importance of leadership to the students and staff at Cleveland NJROTC by teaching courses on leadership to the Regimental staff and co-sponsoring Cleveland NJROTC’s first student government.


    “Major Francis empowers our students. Certainly they make mistakes, as all young leaders do, but he takes the time to process it with them, to give them the opportunity to reflect. Major does not watch them grow; he teaches them to grow so that they can experience the success,” affirmed Viviano.


    As the 2010 Middle/Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year, Major James Francis will receive a $1,000 check from the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. In addition, Major Francis will receive two plaques and a $500 certificate for professional development through the Parsons Blewett Memorial Fund.  For more information please contact the Office of Public Information (314) 345-2367.