Mark French: The secret of cooking for families

Mark French is on the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast

Better Leaders Better Schools guest Mark French has been a principal for eighteen years, the last ten of which he has spent at Rice Lake Elementary School. Since he arrived there, he has served as a role model by exhibiting compassion, enthusiasm, and a strong affinity for technology. “Mark builds strong relationships with families, staff, and community members by showing respect, treating everyone fairly, and showing that he really cares,” says parent Tammie Epley. Nine years ago, French and Epley started a program called “Students Connecting through International Service” where fifth grade students gather school supplies for Mexican students. Every year, they are taken to Sonora, Mexico to meet with pen pals and deliver the supplies in person.

Mark French is known for cooking dinner for his staff and dressing up in various costumes to amuse his students. As a veteran principal, he is well-versed in technology and uses Twitter, blogs, and email to connect with the school community. With French’s encouragement, the PTO has purchased a computer lab, Chromebooks, iPads, projectors, and other technology to enhance the student learning experience. French is the president of the Minnesota Elementary School Principal’s Association and was the recipient of its Division Leadership Award in 2007 and 2010. He holds a B.S. from Northern Michigan University, an M.A. and an Ed.S. from the University of St. Thomas, and an Ed.D. from St. Mary’s University.

mark french dressing up for the kids!

In this episode you will learn:

  • how to be the #1 role model
  • how to show up with a good attitude
  • the importance of breaks
  • make people the priority
  • why you should start cooking for families
  • how to use your calendar
  • are you making videos for your staff … you should be!


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