All About Sister Francine!

All About Sister Francine!

Nick '26

I recently interviewed OLSH’s very own Sr. Francine. I found it a great opportunity to get to know the person behind all our favorite math lessons!


The Clarion- Where are you from?

Sr. Francine- I am from Oil City Pennsylvania


TC– Who all is in your family?

Sr. F- I am the youngest of five children. I have four older brothers and I’m the baby of the family.


TC– What made you want to come to OLSH

Sr. F– I was taught by the Felician Sisters in my grade school, and I was really influenced by my 7th and 8th grade teacher, one of the sisters. It was during that time that I was able to come and spend a couple of weekends here, at OLSH, and that’s when I decided that I wanted to come here.


TC– What year did you graduate?

Sr. F– 1968


TC– What was OLSH like in your high school years.

Sr. F.- Well it was quite different because I lived here, and so we lived on the third floor. That’s where all the dormitories were, and every day we went to school, so no sick days. It was all girls at the time, and we had girls that came locally from different schools, as well us girls who stayed here eleven months of the year. We also had girls who came here every Sunday and left every Friday, and they were called Borders. They were different than us girls aspiring to become sisters, we were called Aspirants. 


TC– What was your favorite class?

Sr. F– Definitely math


TC– Did you participate in any extracurriculars

Sr. F– I was a basketball player.


TC– What were you like as a student?

Sr. F– I guess I was an average student. Even though I loved math, I wasn’t gifted enough to be in an upper. The curriculum at the time was pretty bland. All freshmen took Algebra 1, all sophomores took Geometry, all juniors took Algebra two and that was paired with Trigonometry. And then as a senior the sister who taught pre-calc fell and broke her arm so I only had three and a half years of math in highschool.


TC– What college did you attend?

Sr. F– My first college was La Roche, which is now a university. At the time it was just starting out. It was created by four Sisters, and I went to classes with Sisters from other communities. I got a Bachelor’s degree in Science of Mathematics.


TC– How long after getting out of college did you decide to come back to teach at OLSH?

Sr. F– After leaving training, I taught one year on the south side of Pittsburgh. OLSH needed an organist so they pulled me back here. So I was pretty young when I taught at OLSH the first time around.


TC– What classes have you taught?

Sr. F– I’ve taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trig, and Calc. You also taught your homeroom’s theology class, so I’ve taught theology as well.


TC-How long after starting teaching did you become vice principal?

Sr. F– I became vice principal in 1982, and I was assistant principal. They called me a Vice because you took care of discipline. So I was assistant principal for twelve years with Sister Christopher(As in the Sister Christopher’s Cafe). When Sister left to be in the administration, I became principal in 1982, and stayed until 2010, so I was principal for fifteen years.


TC– After your tenure as principal did you immediately go back to teaching or did you take time off?

Sr. F– I immediately started to teach in the classroom again.


TC- What do you like most about OLSH?

Sr. F– The kids, getting to know about the kids, getting to them, and getting t know them as family. I always look forward to seeing the kids come back.


TC-What do you think the community can improve on?

Sr. F– Respect for one another. Not only from student to student, but also faculty to faculty and faculty to student. So, I think there are some instances where we do lack respect for one another, and it maybe comes from people’s experiences or maybe their family life. I don’t know, but I see a whole lot of disrespect for one another throughout the school.


TC-What is your favorite OLSH extracurricular to watch?

Sr. F– Sports in general, but more specifically baseball.


TC–  What is your favorite part of teaching?

Sr. F– Interacting with kids both inside and outside the classroom. 


TC– What is your favorite way to practice our faith?

Sr. F– Starting everyday with mass. With my lifestyle there are other opportunities for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is one, spiritual reading is another. Meditation is another one. Kind of putting yourself in scripture stories, that makes it more real than just a reading of literature.


TC– What legacy would you like to leave behind OLSH?

Sr. F- I always wanted to be known as a fair person, even as an administrator, I wanted to treat everybody equally. And if there was a transgression, it didn’t didn’t matter who that person was, where they were from, they were treated the same. In the classroom again, I wish that I am a fair person, and I put aside personal opinions in order to work with the kids.


TC– Is there anything that the community may not know about you, it might find surprising. 

Sr. F-I’ve been here a long time, and it didn’t take me long to realize that I worked best on the high school level. I spent one year in elementary, I had junior high (very exhausting), but at the high school level, the kids keep me going, and I like the idea of keeping going.


TC– What do you wish for the graduated OLSH students?

Sr. F– I wish them to be successful in whatever they pursue, I pray for them to have God to be a part of their lives, and we’re always here for them.


TC– What do you wish for the current OLSH students?

Sr. F– I wish for them to be successful in the classes they are taking, and not only learn things for the moment but learn things for life as well.


TC–  What do you wish for the future OLSH students?

Sr. F– I wish there will be students far beyond my days. 


Stop in and say hi to Sr. Francine–a true OLSH legend!