The Portland Board of Public Education and Superintendent Xavier Botana recently honored Casco Bay High School senior Franci Bliss for being a student who goes above and beyond the usual high standards that the Portland Public Schools expects of its students.
The recognition took place at the board’s Feb. 28 meeting.
Botana gave the following summary of Franci’s accomplishments:
“Casco Bay 11th-graders are required to do a weeklong career exploration. Franci chose to explore birthwork for that one-week requirement, but she became so engaged in the work that she went on to further develop her expertise in the work. In fact, she recently became a certified doula – a person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone who is just 17.
And that’s just one of Franci’s many accomplishments. The Bangor Daily News recently wrote a story about Franci’s doula work. The story noted that she also ‘is a member of the National Honor Society and her school’s ukulele club; she runs the school’s volunteer club, yoga club and debate club; she is co-creator and editor of her school newspaper; she works as a stage manager for school musicals; and finds time to work on a vegetable farm.’
Casco Bay Principal Derek Pierce says that Franci ‘exemplifies a life of joyful, dedicated and meaningful service for both the students and staff in our community.’
Stephanie Doyle, Casco Bay High School’s college and career transition coordinator, describes Franci this way: ‘can say with absolute certainty that there is not a kinder, more compassionate, engaged young woman than Franci Bliss. Franci lives her life with vitality and passion.’ Franci is an outstanding student, with an ‘impressive GPA’ and she is among a small cohort of students who will graduate Casco Bay with a STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – certification.
Last year, Franci also received the Navigator Award, the most prestigious award given at Casco Bay, for her leadership and commitment to the school."
Botana continued, “It is clear that Franci is a model student and we are delighted to be able to recognize her tonight. Congratulations, Franci, and we look forward to seeing what exciting challenges you take on in the future. We have no doubt of your success – in whatever you decide to undertake!”