Emma Francois

Degree: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

College: College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Emma Caris François planned to come to the United States after graduating high school. But she had to flee her hometown of Saint-Louis-du-Nord, Haiti as a seventh grader in 1986 – a time of dangerous political turmoil in her country.

When Emma came to the United States, she only spoke Haitian Creole and French. She attended Miami Edison Middle School as an ESOL student and became proficient in English after three years. Her personal experience as a student reaffirmed her desire to become a teacher like many others in her family.

Emma earned a B.A. in French from FIU and completed an M.S. in TESOL in 1998. Soon after, she worked as an ESOL teacher for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Emma hoped to continue her education after receiving her master's but placed her dream on hold to be the best wife to her husband and mother to her two daughters, who were 3 and 5 at the time. Twenty-two years later, Emma went back to school. Now, she is graduating with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Today, Emma works as a Curriculum Support Specialist for MDCPS, where she aids the Haitian Creole language arts elementary teachers. As for what's next for Emma, she plans to publish her dissertation on Haitian English language learners' engagement and disengagement with their educational experiences from the mainstream classrooms in MDCPS. She also plans to continue to write articles related to her research and eventually write children's books in Haitian Creole.

Christine Calvo
Account Manager
College of Arts, Sciences & Education