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2011 SIUE Alumni Homecoming Committee - Dr. Fran (Bridger) Diesbach Karanovich, '71 BS, '74 MSED

Fran Karanovich is a 1971 and 1974 graduate of the School of Education. She choose SIUE because she was the first in her family to attend college and the University was close to home. While she was taking night classes, she had to work full-time and sometimes on weekends. With this busy schedule, she did not have time for extracurricular activities but she did get to attend the Mississippi River Festival!

After completing her masters degree, Fran began working on special education courses to enhance to teacher and later completed an Illinois administrative add on certificate. She then relocated to Georgia as a doctoral student and completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia (1981). Throughout her administrative career which began in Georgia in 1983, she was active in Cub Scout Day Camps, Rotary, United Way, and professional organizations such as the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Principal's Association, and the Illinois Women Educational Leaders. She returned to Illinois as a superintendent of schools in 1990, retiring as an Illinois superintendent of schools in 2007. She then began teaching at SIUE, where she is currently employed.

She married Wayne Karanovich in 1978 and helped rear his five children and raised a grandchild who is now 31 years old. She has traveled the world as a Rotarian, college professor, and tourist. She loves to read, cross stitch, oil paint, go to the Fox theater, and travel. Her most recent interest has been to become more involved with SIUE alumni activities such as the STAT program. She was interested in serving on the SIUE Alumni Homecoming committee because she wanted to give back to SIUE for the life being educated at the University has helped her to achieve. "Many had a vision for SIUE that provided me a place to learn and I want to enhance what is here and build a place for future Cougars." Her favorite SIUE memory is "Coming to the main campus from the Rock Junior High School facility in E. St. Louis and seeing the buildings, parking lots, and "paths" where sidewalks would be built. The frigid winter walks to the student parking and knowing I was a part of a beginning for SIUE and my career."

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