Principal's Bio

National Distinguished Principal is now at Fultondale Elementary


Mrs. Finney ringing her NDP bell in Washington, DC at the Awards Ceremony.

Frances R. Finney was appointed Principal of Fultondale Elementary School on July 31, 2014.  

Mrs. Finney’s favorite quote in guiding her faculty and staff comes from Successories that says, "When a collection of brilliant minds, hearts and talents come together...expect a masterpiece." In order to be successful, we are open to everyone’s thoughts by working together, fighting for the same vision and goals, and then sharing these with all of our stakeholders…students, families, and community. High expectations and consistency are essential to becoming a great school, which takes continued efforts and support from each other to succeed.

 Mrs. Finney is known as “Teacher of our Hearts” to her students as she believes that you have to build relationships with them in order to create changes in their lives. Students have to trust you, know you care, and believe you will follow through with the expectations set for them. She will do anything to motivate her students.


-Education Specialist Degree (EdS.) in Educational Leadership ~ Samford University, 2008

-Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Administration ~ University of Alabama at Brimingham, 1998

-Master of Arts Degree (MA) Early Childhood Education ~ University of Alabama at Brimingham, 1996

-Bachelors of Science Degree (BS) in Early Childhood Education ~ University of Alabama at Brimingham, 1993


-Principal, Fultondale Elementary School, 2014 - present

-Principal, Gresham Elementary School, 2007- 2014

-Assistant Principal, McAdory Elementary School, 2004-2007

-Kindergarten Teacher,  Cahaba Heights Community School, 2000-2004

-First Grade Teacher, Hewitt Trussville Elementary, 1993-2000

- Co-founder and Director, St. George Melkite Greek-Catholic Church Child Care Center, 1984-1987


-Alabama's National Distinguished Principal, Class of 2014

-Alabama Association of Elementary School Principals (AAESA) District IV Distinguished Principal Award, 2013

-NAESP National Certified Principal Mentor, 2013-present

-Mentor in the Alabama New Principal Mentoring Program (ANPMP), 2012-present

-Member of CLAS, AAESA and AASCD, 2004-present

-CLAS Board Member, 2015-present

-AAESA Vice-President, 2016-

-Member of AAESA District IV, Offices held: Treasurer, Vice-President, President, and Past-President, 2006-present

-Key Leaders Network (KLN), 2012-2015

-Powerful Conversations Network (PCN), 2012-2015

-Member JefCoEd Administrator’s Association, 2004-present     Board Member, 2010-present

-Active in many opportunities provided by Jefferson County including Feeder Pattern Work, Continuous Improvement Leadership Team (CILT)' Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)


-AMSTI school, 2012-present

-USDA Fruits and Vegetables Grant 2009-present

-Seven Jefferson County Foundation Grants totaling $3,400 won by four FES teachers!Congratulations Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Dumais, & Mrs. McLain!
-Mrs. Campbell's grant was for $500 to purchase Lego Education Robotics Kits for her students! She can't wait to use these kits next year!!!
- Mrs. Dumais won THREE grants! $1,425.73! 2016-2017 is going to be great!!! Get ready to bird  watch, to build, and to compost! We will be "Lighting the Fire"!
- Mrs. McLain won 2 of the $500 grants. One is called "Let's Get Physical" and the other is called "Sensory Overload" that will purchase supplies for the active students in her class!
- Mrs. Mary Frances Wood's $463.98 grant was for Building Blocks of Math to purchase 6 sets of Lego type building blocks and building mats!
*Lots of PBL (Project Based Learning) will be happening at FES!!!

-Congratulations to Mrs. Dumais who was selected as the "Gifted Specialist of the Year"

-Congratulations to Mrs. Slaughter, our Assistant Principal for receiving a $1000 "One Class At A Time grant from WIAT 42 to increase visitor security at our school.  She also was named Athens State "Alumni of the Year" 

-$3,500 Running Club Grant presented by Voya Run for Something Better School Awards Program Grants (Teacher Sponsors:  Bonnie Gilmer and Jill West)

-Recognized as a "2014 National Healthy Schools" Award for transforming its environment into a healthier place. (Teacher: Coach Ann Holcomb received this award at the Alliance’s 2014 Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC on September 13, 2014.)

-$390 Alabama Association of Gifted Children grant called “It’s A Gabfest!” to encourage reading and talking about reading. The gifted class was also recognized for participating in the Wall Street Game sponsored by the Alabama Council of Economic Education. (Teacher Sponsor: Mrs. Debbie Dumais)

-Donors grant was received by Mrs. Melissa McLain, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Wiseman, and Mrs. Earnest!!!

-$3,080.77 raised for "Jump Rope for Heart"

-We donated $394.55 to United Way, we collected over 1,000 can goods for First Baptist Church of Fultondale’s Food Pantry in November and this month we raised $2,900 with Pennies for the Leukemia Society. It is important to us to teach the children how to give back to the community.

-Chik Fil A sponsored a FES Night for our Technology Lab. We raised $659!

- We hosted the Newcomb Tournament and Area Spelling Bee at Fultondale Elementary. Our girls team place 3rd and Alexandria Morgan, a fifth grader won the Area Spelling Bee. She will compete in the next level of competition at the Jefferson County Spelling Bee in February.

 -We have many community sponsors who have provided school supplies, food, and support for our students, faculty and staff: Fultondale Elementary’s PTA; Mayor Jim Lowery, Fultondale Gas Corporation, Bojangles, Iberia Bank, Joe’s Donuts, Jim ‘n Nicks, Gardendale First Baptist Church. We are very appreciative of all the support we receive for the children, teachers and staff of Fultondale Elementary School.