Every morning, whether in sun, rain, sleet or snow, Chancellor Marco French greets students as they enter Queensborough Leadership Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. During the holidays, he dons a Santa Claus costume and hands out small gifts as pupils arrive. The rest of the day French is rarely in his office; instead, he’s in the trenches with teachers in their classrooms, observing lessons, modeling instructional strategies and working with small groups of students. Every decision French makes keeps students’ needs front and center. When he realized that many students lacked warm outerwear as they waited for the bus or walked to school, French partnered with Operation Warm and got a coat for every student.
French has been instrumental in transforming multiple underperforming campuses into state and nationally recognized schools. Fully invested in increasing student achievement and developing educator expertise, French has a “whatever it takes” attitude that has earned him respect in the building and throughout Caddo Parish. Queensborough earned an A in 2019 for student progress and was named an Outstanding School in Northwest Louisiana for top growth in ELA and math. In 2018-19, Queensborough students outperformed the district and state for overall growth, as well as for performance of students of color, those who are economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities.
French strongly supports the district’s partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) through the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement. He has embraced its principles of continuous learning and leadership development through intensive, curriculum-dependent coaching. A former teacher, content coach and instructional coordinator, French leads weekly instructional team leadership meetings with Queensborough’s administrators, counselors, and master and mentor teachers to build the leadership needed to support teachers through weekly, job-embedded cluster meetings and one-on-one coaching. He works with teachers and the leadership team to analyze student achievement and qualitative teacher data throughout the year to make instructional adjustments. When COVID-19 closed the building in spring 2020, French quickly transitioned his instructional leadership team meetings to a virtual platform so the group could quickly help teachers adapt their curriculum materials and lessons to online learning. He is working to ensure that 100% of Queensborough’s teachers have Apple certification so students have access to the same opportunities with technology as their peers.
A leader in the district, French presents frequently for Caddo Parish teachers and principals on topics like classroom management systems, data-driven decision-making, individualized support for struggling students, and hands-on math strategies. When Louisiana rolled out tools for professional learning planning and curriculum implementation, French invited state and district leaders to visit so they could see how the tools worked in practice. In fall 2019, he hosted leaders from Tennessee who were interested in implementing high-quality curriculum in an impactful way.
French prioritizes building a strong school community. He organizes bowling parties and scavenger hunts, as well as workshops for parents to learn how to support their scholars at home. Outside of school, he runs tutoring programs and is actively involved in outreach ministries through his church and local social organizations.
French earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Grambling State University in 2009 and a master’s in educational leadership from Arkansas State University in 2015.
Press release: Marco French of Caddo Parish Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Creating Culture of Excellence for Educators and Students
"Everything I have in me, I try to pour back into the people that I serve—my students, my staff, this district, all the people who..." (read more)