Frances Bessellieu

-Founder of Side-by-Side Educational Consulting

Frances Bessellieu was a lifelong educator. During her 27 years in the education field, she worked as a special and general education teacher PreK-12, district administrator, United States Department of Education reading consultant and program administrator, and national educational consultant for a major publishing company. She also was the PreK-12 Director of Reading in Charlotte, North Carolina, worked with the College Board’s EXCELerator program, and consulted on several major educational publications. Frances was involved with federal, state and local implementations of Reading Excellence, Reading First, Early Reading First, School Improvement Grants (SIG), and other educational initiatives.

Using her extensive experience as a foundation, she founded Side-by-Side Educational Consulting in 2007. Being a teacher was at the heart of everything she did. She was known to be an engaging and dynamic presenter who was full of wit and fun and always had a good story up her sleeve—one that was sure to make you laugh out loud. Most of all, she was passionate about education and ensuring all students had the tools necessary for literacy success.

Her personal life was as multi-faceted as her professional one.   She supported her local animal shelter, owned rescue dogs, a rescue horse, and sought ways to adopt animals after Hurricane Katrina. She was happiest on horseback and worked hard to train her beloved Ody.  She loved the water and lived near it most of her life.  She was comfortable navigating boats around her homeport of Wilmington, NC, was the first woman on the east coast to obtain her commercial captain’s license, and once caught a record-breaking marlin.  When business travel took her to the western states, she was thrilled to meet her first Montana cowboy and see her first tumbleweed, once even shipping a tumbleweed home so that she could decorate it and use it as her Christmas tree. She reveled in learning about Native American culture.

Her many friends, both personal and professional, remember her for her big heart, generous spirit, sense of humor, and her curious and energetic nature. We are proud to continue her legacy through the work of Side-by-Side Educational Consulting.