Tribute to Teachers: Dwight Francis of Piper High School creates opportunities for thousands of students

Dwight Frances, a counselor at Piper High School in Sunrise, is making an immeasurable difference in the lives of his students.

SUNRISE, Fla. – Every year, Local 10′s Tribute to Teachers campaign recognizes the best educators in South Florida, with only five honorees selected from hundreds of nominations.

Dwight Francis, a counselor at Piper High School in Sunrise, is making an immeasurable difference in the lives of his students.

“There are hundreds if not thousands of young men and women in Broward County alone that have their diploma because of him,” said Piper High School Principal Marie Hautigan.

“He gave me optimism and belief that I could still go to college,” said Frantz Holy, a student.

“He sees a lot more potential in the students than they see in themselves, and as a student I feel like we need those types of counselors,” said Nashana Davis, a student.

An educator for more than 25 years, Francis willingly puts in long hours as Piper’s guidance counselor. Throughout the school year, he makes it his mission to mentor, council or encourage all 2,200 students at the school.

“I’m Italian. I know Italian, Spanish, but my English is like, but he’s always patient. He help me and he can understand me. He’s just amazing,” said Emanuela Zaniso, a student.

He’s also a loving husband, father of four and the founder of a non-profit “Helping the Poor.”

“To be in this profession, you have to love what you do and you have to care about kids,” said Dwight Francis, Tribute to Teachers Honoree.

Francis says his it was his father’s love that prompted him to make education his career of choice. His father passed away in February and Francis is thankful to his students to lifting his spirits.

The recognition from the Tribute to Teachers campaign comes with a $1,000 gift card from Publix Super Markets.

The four other teachers selected this year will be announced during the 5 p.m. Local 10 newscasts.


About the Author:

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.