Meet City Schools

  • November 2017Crystal Francis

    Crystal Francis

    Director of Early Learning
    I’ve been in this position since September. The early learning department supports pre-K and kindergarten, preschool special education, Judy Centers, and infants and toddlers with special needs and their families.
    I graduated from…the University of Virginia with a Bachelors degree in history and a Masters in Teaching in Special Education and a second Masters from Columbia University in sociology and education.
    I’ve been with City Schools since...January, 2015. (Hey, Judy Centers!)
    Before I joined City Schools...I worked as a preschool director in the Bronx, New York. Before that, I taught students with autism in Montgomery County Public Schools.
    If I could have a cup of coffee with any of my former teachers or would be Dr. Chris Emdin, my former professor at Columbia but now mentor and friend because he’s brilliant, is passionate about educating and honoring students of color, and is my biggest supporter. Also, he’d probably pay.

    My favorite TV Show is...The Golden Girls because they are hilarious! And they remind me of me and my best friends. I watch it every night before bed.

    One thing that many people may not know about me is...I can sing and play the piano.

    When I was growing up, I wanted to be...believe it or not, a special ed teacher.

    The best thing about my job is…impacting the lives of nearly 10,000 children in Pre-K and K.  I’m honored to do this work daily and so excited to see who they will become in the future and the impact they will have on Baltimore.

    I believe that one of the best ways to help young students reach their potential is to…believe that they can do anything.

    My favorite, fictional example of an ideal early learning experience is...The Magic School Bus because Ms. Frizzle was awesome and her students experienced so much. Meaningful learning for young children happens through experiences not worksheets.