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Fran Joersz

Fran Joersz (ND '93)


Horizon Middle School
Bismarck, ND

Subject(s) taught: Reading, Communications, Life Skills
Grade(s): 7

At the time of the Award, Fran Joersz was:

Hughes Middle School
Bismarck, ND

Subject(s) taught: Reading, Communications
Grade(s): 7

Biographical Information

Fran Joersz teaches reading and oral and written communication to seventh graders at Hughes Junior High School in Bismarck. Eighteen years of teaching, she says, have taught her that "all learning must be 'student centered.'" Mrs. Joersz does not rely on formal textbooks; to her, "learning is always fresh, new, exciting, and invigorating. I adore kids," she says, "and they know it." One senses that she also understands them. She urges everyone "to remember their own childhood and the need for empathy." Mrs. Joersz has managed to keep her own memories of childhood alive - the thrill of knowledge, the unhampered imagination, the generous reflexes, but also the vulnerabilities and the fears. "Each and every student that walks in the door of the seventh grade wants desperately to succeed, and I do everything in my power to see that they do." Indeed, if it were in her power to do so, she would give them the world: "I visualize kids on a dinosaur dig, learning about aeronautics while sitting in planes, retracing Lewis and Clark's route..." And that is only the beginning.

Additional Information


1975 University of Wyoming, B.A.

Language Arts, Phonics and Whole Language, Professional Development, Reading, Self-esteem