Head of School
Dr. Mary Frances "Fran" Bisselle assumed the role as Hathaway Brown's 14th Head of School in 2016. She holds a B.A. in History from Boston College, an M.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in History from Wesleyan University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from the University of Vermont.
Prior to joining HB, she served for nine years as the Head of School at Maple Street School, a K - 8 independent school in Vermont. In addition, she has held positions as a classroom teacher, dean of students, coach, dorm parent, educational consultant, and teaching fellow. She was a member of the faculty and administration at The Taft School in Connecticut, and she developed, redesigned, and taught the curriculum for the Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Vermont.
Fran also shared her expertise with Camp Dudley, a 130-year-old YMCA overnight camp for boys in the Adirondacks. In 2006, she spearheaded the project to establish the all-girls Camp Dudley at Kiniya, raising $12 million for the cause and procuring the camp's bucolic grounds on the shores of Lake Champlain.
A graduate of the prestigious Klingenstein Head Fellowship program at Columbia Teacher's College, Fran also has served on several high-profile boards of trustees, including Trustee and Treasurer for the National Association of Independent Schools, President of ERB board, Commission Member of New England Association of Schools and Colleges, President (past) of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools, and President of the Ohio Independent School Association. Fran is also a part of the Headmaster Association, Country Day Head’s Association, and Headmistresses of the East. She serves as a member of the faculty for programs such as NAIS’ Aspiring Heads program, Head’s Network Female Leadership Conferences, and Carney Sandoe’s female leader conference as Fran believes strongly in women’s leadership issues. Fran was a lifer at Merion Mercy Academy, a K-12 school for girls located near Philadelphia. An avid athlete, she was a Division I college field hockey player, and she's a marathon runner who also plays ice hockey, tennis, and golf.
One of 15 siblings with 11 sisters and two daughters of her own, Fran knows and understands girls. Her daughter Lucille recently finished her masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania and teaches at an independent school in Denver, CO. Fran's daughter Agnes recently graduated with her masters degree from Columbia University and works at Harlem Academy in New York as an advancement officer. Fran and her life partner, Dr. David Vincent, the lead chiropractor of University Hospital’s Connor Integrative Health Center, live in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood in one of Cleveland’s oldest homes known as “The Potter House."