PEARL ― As a school counselor specializing in career and technical education, Logan Francisco takes pride in helping students discover their capabilities and find their calling. In recognition of her commitment, she is receiving the President’s Hard Hat Outstanding Counselor of the Year award from the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation.

“I love seeing those ‘Aha!’ moments when students have a plan that moves past high school graduation because I feel that is really our purpose,” said Francisco, a counselor for DeSoto County Career and Technology Centers in Horn Lake (West) and Olive Branch (East). “We are hands-on and teach our students true problem-solving skills that not only help in the classroom but also benefit them throughout their lives.”

MCEF’s statewide award recognizes CTE counselors in Mississippi who are instrumental in helping students achieve success in academics and career development. Francisco joined DeSoto County Schools in 2016 after working several years as a teacher and career counselor in North Carolina public schools.

“Logan is very good at helping students find their true calling because she’s found hers,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. “She is positively impacting CTE students in DeSoto County, and we are very fortunate that she is investing her extensive knowledge and skills in Mississippi to make our CTE programs stronger.”

DeSoto County Career Tech West serves students attending Lake Cormorant, Horn Lake, Southaven, DeSoto Central and Hernando high schools; while the East campus serves students attending Center Hill High School, Lewisburg High School and Olive Branch High School.

CTE programs include construction, welding, automotive, health sciences, industrial maintenance, information technology, law and public safety, transportation and logistics, engineering and robotics, digital media, information technology and culinary arts.

Francisco works with teachers and student services coordinators to ensure that students have the resources and support they need to achieve success after graduation. Whether students choose to continue their education in college, move directly into the workforce or join the military, Francisco and her fellow staff members make sure they have a strong foundation on which to build for the future.

“I think CTE is fascinating because of how versatile it is,” she said. “Even in the face of adversity, people in CTE-related careers such as medical employees and construction and welding crews have been the ones who are truly the essential workers. They have weathered the storm and have proven that they are the heart of what keeps us moving forward.”

Francisco appreciates the support MCEF provides for DeSoto County CTE students, including the establishment of a credentialing program through the National Center for Construction Education and Research. Hands-on guidance from MCEF also helps ensure that Mississippi’s CTE programs comply with state and federal guidelines and that instructors are well-prepared and effective in their training courses.

“MCEF’s commitment to our students is unrivaled,” Francisco said. “The scholarships, classes and apprenticeships show their commitment to promoting CTE careers in ways I’ve never seen before. They are helping create a strong workforce that has the training and dedication to do great things.”

Francisco grew up in North Carolina and received a bachelor’s degree in textile and apparel management from North Carolina State University. She completed the teacher licensure program for CTE - Family and Consumer Sciences at East Carolina University and is nationally certified. She also holds master’s and education specialist degrees in school counseling from the University of West Alabama.

“Logan has invested her career in public education, and she sincerely cares about helping students make the right choices that will lead to successful futures,” said Beth Turner, coordinator for DeSoto County Career and Technology Centers West and East. “We appreciate that MCEF has recognized her outstanding performance by naming her Counselor of the Year.”

MCEF is a non-profit educational foundation that provides NCCER craft training and credentialing in more than 100 career and technical programs across the state. The foundation’s mission is to train individuals for the construction and manufacturing industries in Mississippi.

MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades. Learn more about MCEF at