Freetown Lakevillle Middle School welcomes new principal

Jun 28, 2024

LAKEVILLE — As of Monday, July 1, the principal’s office at Freetown Lakeville Middle School will have a new occupant: Jackie Francisco. 

Francisco will take the place of Jack Higgins, who was recently hired as Director of Finance Operations of the Freetown Lakeville School District. 

Francisco has worked in education for 26 years, serving both the Fall River and Dartmouth School districts. As evidenced by her resume, she is no stranger to leading an administration, professional development and goal setting. 

Francisco served as principal of Talbot Innovation School in Fall River from 2013 to 2015. One of her greatest accomplishments as the school’s administrative leader was stopping faculty turnover, she said. 

Her leadership approach of “walking the walk,” was key in “building a sense of community and trust” in the school that ultimately resulted in higher rates of staff retention, she said. 

And by the end of her time as principal, Talbot Innovation Middle School had the highest end-of-year attendance of all middle schools in Fall River, said Francisco. 

A key part of her leadership success, she said, was offering adequate support to teachers, something she hopes to bring to Freetown Lakeville Middle School. 

Francisco, who most recently served as the District Director of Fine and Performing Arts of Fall River Public Schools, said she believes that she embodies what the Freetown Lakeville School district is looking for in a principal. 

The district is looking for someone that can “pursue excellence with kids and grownups” as well as “strive to motivate our kids to do their best work but also be there when they struggle,” she said. 

In all of the roles she’s held, Francisco strives for excellence, she said.

“I’m a lot of things to a lot of people, and I think the common thread is I try to push people to be their best, I think that’s what [the district] might be looking for. They’re looking for someone to push the school to be its best.” 

Francisco holds a master’s degree in Art Education from the UMASS Dartmouth and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.