The UPEI Faculty of Education is very proud to announce that Carolyn Francis, coordinator of practice teaching in our faculty, received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions at the local, provincial, and international levels. Lt. Gov. Frank Lewis presented Carolyn with her medal at a ceremony held at Fanningbank on November 5th, 2012.
Before her time at UPEI, Carolyn taught in the public school system for thirty-three years. She was a principal at the elementary, junior, and senior high school levels and was a consultant for the Western School Board in PEI for two years. She was also a foster parent to many children and keeps in touch with them to this day. Since retiring from the public school system, she has continued to work in the education field as the practicum coordinator for pre-service teachers at UPEI’s faculty of education.
Carolyn has also been an active member of Farmers Helping Farmers (FHF) in PEI. This local group has been helping farmers, particularly female, in Kenya for over thirty years. One of Carolyn's most significant contributions to this organization has been the development of a school twinning project, whereby fourteen schools and church Sunday schools are aligned with and raise funds to support their partner schools in Kenya. The funds donated to this cause have helped to purchase water tanks, books, sports equipment, and have contributed to other improvements for the partner Kenyan schools. Carolyn has travelled to Kenya numerous times over the past ten years on behalf of FHF.
Carolyn said she feels honoured to have been nominated and recalls a neighbour stating “your mother would be so proud,” as Carolyn’s mother was a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family. “I think this represents the efforts to serve by many quiet people who just go about doing what they feel called to do,” added Carolyn.
Dr. Miles Turnbull, UPEI’s dean of education was thrilled when he heard about Carolyn’s nomination and award. “I can think of no more deserving recipient of this recognition. Carolyn’s contributions to public education and community service on PEI, at UPEI, and beyond are unparalleled. We are very privileged to count Carolyn as one of our leaders in the faculty of education.”