NDP 2014 Header

Mark French
Rice Lake Elementary School
Osseo Area Schools
Maple Grove, Minnesota

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. 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.