Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

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Inspiring Confidence in Math Skills: Meet Sr. M. Francine Horos, CSSF

This past summer, Sr. M. Francine Horos celebrated her Golden Jubilee as a Felician Sister.  She has worked as a teacher for 47 of those 50 years.  Although she has taught both elementary and high school students, she feels most effective teaching on the secondary level.

Sister Francine is the only Sister still teaching at OLSH, where she serves as Chair of the Math Department.  Sister Francine holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics, as well as a M.Ed. in Secondary Administration.  A proud 1968 graduate of OLSH, Sister Francine currently teaches Algebra II to freshmen and sophomores.

Sister Francine was still working on her bachelor’s degree when she began as a full-time math teacher at OLSH.  At the same time, she filled the role of chorus teacher and served as the organist for the convent.

“Back in the day,” she explained, “we were trained to teach all courses”.

Sister Francine went on to teach junior high school in Cleveland, and returned to secondary education working at South Side Catholic for six years.  She also taught at St. Louise De Marillac for one year, and has been at OLSH since 1982, serving as an administrator for 27 years, in addition to teaching.

Her interests in math may have been sparked by her 7th and 8th grade math teacher at Assumption Grade School in Oil City where she lived.  While at OLSH, sister was fortunate to have another sister for all four years of math. 

Sister Francine has seen many trends “come and go” in the mathematics teaching field.  She noted that her students solve problems differently, but still effectively.  And she feels that the students are too dependent on their calculators and sometimes overlook the basics.  In the past, she taught a basic math class that included topics such as banking, managing credit cards, and how to make change, skills that are still needed today.  She is always willing to tutor students, but says that it’s important that they want to be helped. 

Sister Francine finds it most rewarding when students discover that math is part of coping with life, no matter what field they choose.  She feels a sense of satisfaction when her students are confident in their math skills.  Sister Francine also enjoys seeing the physical, spiritual and emotional growth in students during their time at OLSH.  “We make a difference in their lives”, she remarked.

Many OLSH athletic team fans know that Sister Francine is probably OLSH’s biggest sports fan.  She grew up in a family with four brothers which led to her love of sports.  “My mother told me that I would be stuck in the kitchen unless I learned sports,” Sister Francine shared, “and for me that was not an option”.  So she got involved in tennis and bowling, and spent her winters doing figure ice skating.

At this point in her life, she enjoys seeing the students outside of the classroom in their sports venues, and knows the players appreciate when faculty members attend their games.

Sister Francine’s proudest personal moment in sports was when she got to throw out the first pitch at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game in July 2013.  She prepared for her major league debut with some training from the OLSH baseball players, and successfully threw the ball over the plate.  Mrs. Terry Donoghue, OLSH President, recently recalled being at Sister Francine’s special game.  “The large crowd of Sister Francine’s fans assembled at PNC Park that day felt an overwhelming sense of pride as well as excitement for her as we witnessed her presence on the playing field!”

In recent years, Sister Francine has cut her teaching back to four classes.  This allows her more time to tutor students and to care for herself spiritually.  Less teaching has also provided her with the opportunity to spend more time with her family, thus becoming closer to them.

In addition to attending sporting events, Sister Francine likes to go shopping with a friend, and spend time with her fellow Sisters.  She can often be found working Sudoku puzzles which she said she enjoys “to the hilt”. 

Sister feels she will always be teaching in some capacity, possibly as a tutor at OLSH in future years.  “We are greatly blessed by Sister Francine’s spirited involvement in the day-to-day life at OLSH, and treasure the ways in which she maintains and nurtures her connections to generations of OLSH alumni and their families,” remarked Mrs. Donoghue.  “It is our sincere hope that she will remain a contributing member of the OLSH community for the rest of her life!”