The Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame is located in Hawkins Hall, home to Troy University's College of Education. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)
One of Alabama’s and the nation’s outstanding leaders in education will be inducted into the Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame at Troy University.
TROY alumnus Dr. L. Earl Franks will be honored with an induction ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 15 in Jack Hawkins, Jr. Hall.
Established in 1982, the Hall of Fame is a cooperative effort of Troy University, the Alabama Association of School Boards and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools to recognize and honor the achievements of outstanding leaders in education within the state. That first induction ceremony was held in April 1984. Portraits of the inductees are displayed in Hawkins Hall, home to Troy University’s College of Education.
“Dr. Franks’ career is indicative of his commitment to education, not only in Alabama but across the nation,” said Dr. Dionne Rosser-Mims, interim Dean of the College of Education, that hosts the Hall of Fame. “His leadership has charted a course that has greatly impacted the direction of education in our state.”
Dr. Franks currently serves as executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders. He represents pre-K – 8 principals on the Board of Directors of the Learning First Alliance, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration and as a member of multiple national educational organizations and coalitions.
Prior to his selection as the NAESP executive director, he served as executive director of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), Alabama’s leading umbrella organization for principals and school administrators. In his nine years at the helm of CLAS, Franks was the driving force behind the organization’s innovation and growth. The group achieved record membership levels eight out of nine years. With a target of continuous professional development for its members and a focus on fostering innovation, Franks pioneered the groundbreaking Certified Instructional Leader (CIL) program, which offers an advanced credential to principals and other school/district leaders.
Prior to serving as CLAS executive director, he served as a leader on the CLAS Board of Directors; before that, he developed broad experience in public education by working with the school system from top to bottom, and in all grades. Franks served as a principal from 1999 until 2008 at Luverne School, a pre-K-through-12 school serving 1,000+ students. Prior to that, he earned a glowing reputation as an award-winning band director.
Franks is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow with Major Donor distinction from Rotary International and has received leadership awards from the Alabama Music Educators Association, Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music, as well as the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of ASAE, the Center for Association Leadership.
Franks received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his Master of Science in Education, Bachelor of Music Education, and Educational Specialist degrees from Troy University in Troy.