Fran Fortner – President

Fran Fortner

Meet Fran Fortner

As TL2’s support team, my role is to understand the goals, projects, and other deliverables that Jim plans to produce and provide as a result of his workshops. Although Jim is the subject matter expert, my strong written and oral communication skills will be valuable. My experience in writing curriculum will be valuable in assisting Jim in defining the course goals, determining course content, developing teaching methods and tools and determining how to evaluate learning.

More about Fran


Growing up in a household with four other siblings makes life a competition. It was noisy, boisterous and chaotic at times. I grew up in the unplugged generation where we played outside. My parents checked my homework; they didn’t do it for me. I watched very little TV, but I thought my childhood was idyllic. I am one of those fortunate kids whose parents were avid readers and read to us from the time we could sit up. One of the fondest memories of my youth was riding my bike to the public library to apply for my junior library card. That card was the Holy Grail for me. I loved to read. I spent many summers putting books on hold at the small public library, or waiting for someone to pass one of the popular summer books around. Fast forward to high school, college and post college. My favorite class? Literature of course. Not only did I love to read books, I loved to talk about them and to hear what others had to say. As you many have guessed, I grew up to be a high school English teacher and loved my profession for more than 35 years.

Literature provided me a means to present to my students well-rounded, complex pictures of people in all walks of life – people whose challenges, particularly psychological and emotional ones, paralleled those of my freshmen and senior students. Every novel offered my students outstanding principles to learn from and ways to grow as a leader – or not. In ninth grade, there is no better book than TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to show an example of what leadership really is. Atticus Finch stands up for what he believes, literally putting his life on the line in the middle of a hateful, racist town. On the other hand, ANIMAL FARM is an example of leadership at its worst. So what did my students learn from reading great literature from the classics to the current? They learned that great leaders know they need to read to learn and stretch their minds. And they understand that reading is a great way to do that. Fiction can be as instructive about leadership and organizational behavior as any business textbook.

Reading is valuable because it keeps important concepts at the top of my mind. Reading challenges me. Reading something I disagree with can have a big impact on my ability to think, both creatively and logically. I read to develop knowledge to improve myself.

Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

— Marian Anderson
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