Spring Branch ISD Featured News

My SBISD Story: ‘Think outside the cafeteria,’ SBISD’s Child Nutrition Services director follows life advice and creates endless possibilities



As a child, Michael Francis was captivated by the food industry. He loved to cook and enjoyed seeing how happy food made people. 

When Francis enrolled at the University of Houston, choosing his major was no quest. He was sure he wanted to study Hotel and Restaurant Management. 

Francis notes that throughout his career he has had many positions that have shaped him as a professional and have allowed him to grow and learn. He began his journey at Pappadeaux restaurant as a host and made his way through Luby’s Cafeteria and Katy ISD, where he worked in Nutrition and Food Services. Francis later became a Child Nutrition Program specialist at the Region 4 Education Service Center. 

In 2016, Francis joined Spring Branch ISD as assistant director of Child Nutrition Services (CNS) and in January 2022, he became director of CNS. 

“Each job has helped me achieve my career goals,” said Francis. “Without each of these opportunities, I do not think I would be in the role I am in today.” 

In 2018, Francis was elected to the Texas Association for School Nutrition’s board of directors and served as president during the 2020-21 school year. 

Francis is motivated by his family. His mother was a first grade teacher at Houston ISD for 31 years and his father worked in public relations for most of his career. Francis notes that they laid the groundwork for who he is. 

“My mom’s ability to teach and educate others in and out of the classroom has been a daily requirement as a leader in my career,” added Francis. “My father’s ability to develop and build relationships, while ensuring that operational services are provided at their highest quality is what makes up my foundation today as a CNS professional.”

Years later, the food industry continues to inspire Francis. He is dedicated to providing the best customer experience possible for students, staff, families and the community. He mentions that his team also drives his inspiration, as they teach him new things daily. 

“You never stop growing as a professional,” said Francis. “In 2008, Ronald Wright, then-vice president at Luby’s Cafeteria said to me ‘I can teach you all the tools in the world, but the greatest thing about teaching you those tools is that I cannot take them away from you.’” 

That piece of advice still holds true to Francis today. 

“I love to tell others to ‘think outside the cafeteria,’” he concluded. “SBISD has provided me the opportunity to think differently and more importantly, granted me the ability to create endless possibilities as a leader.” 

Learn about Spring Branch ISD staff and their commitment to Every Child. Read their stories here.