Camille Francese

Camille Francese

Content Specialist
Instructional Services, Educator Edge

Meet Camille Francese (Cappa), Literacy Specialist on the Instructional Services Team. Her job is to relay current best practices in literacy to teachers in participating districts. Drawing from an array of material connected to literacy, Camille provides teachers with workshops, models lessons, and helps them plan curriculum.

“Literacy is fundamental to our ability to understand, evaluate, dissect, and gain knowledge, as well as to our ability to function effectively in society,” Camille says. “It is so important that students make that connection to reading.”

Camille has always felt that passion for reading. As a teen, she used to work at an afterschool program, where she discovered a talent for forging connections with students who were struggling with their studies. This experience led her to think: “Why not become a teacher?” She then attended SUNY New Paltz and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education, later earning her master’s degree in Literacy at Mount Saint Mary College.

She has been an educator for seven years, teaching preschool, Kindergarten, and Grades 3 and 5. While taking a class about literacy specialists at Mount Saint Mary, Camille’s focus shifted.

“I knew exactly what I wanted to do next—I wanted to teach literacy,” she says. Camille joined Instructional Services last summer and was able to begin working with both students and teachers on the very first day of school, something she was excited about.

“It has been such a difficult time for educators with the COVID-19 pandemic, so classroom time is so valuable,” she says, referring to the quarantines and absences that often disrupt learning. “We are trying to move forward and progress as best as we can in the face of all these challenges.”

Camille is looking forward to bringing more of her expertise to teachers, particularly in the area of shifting instruction to small groups, which allows for lessons to be differentiated and for students to make deeper connections. She often gives direct instruction to the students she visits, so that teachers can observe her methods, and then holds sessions where they can ask questions, reflect, and strategize. Camille says she loves this new role, which still allows her time with students, and is a great blend of both teaching and advising.

“I feel that I can reach so many more students than just those that were in my classroom. In my new role, I am able to help teachers, which in turn helps many more students,” she says.

School is not the only place that one may find Camille teaching. She is an avid fitness enthusiast, and teaches three different kinds of “Les Mills” (an international company from New Zealand) classes— “BodyCombat” (a martial arts-inspired cardio class), “BodyPump” (a weightlifting cardio class), and “Core” (a class focusing on strengthening the functionality of the body’s core).