A native of Sochaux, a small community in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France, Jerome has been working in French preschools in the Pacific Northwest since 2015.  He joined the L’Etoile team in 2017, working both as an assistant and a classroom teacher during the summer and after school programs. As a trained musician, Jerome loves to incorporate music into each school day through group songs, use of instruments, and individual expression.

Originally from central France, Emilie initially worked professionally in the fields of art, art history, and archaeology. After several years she redirected her focus to teaching, realizing that children inspire her and are a source of joy. She worked in a French international school in Jordan for seven years, before moving to Portland in 2019 with her husband.  This will be Emilie’s fourth year at L’Etoile as a preschool and maternelle art teacher.

Steve graduated from the University of Ain Chams with a degree in French Literature. His career began in the tourism sector, but his passion for working with children became clear as a scout leader and a counselor for kids. He strives to build independence in his students, and to grow their skills such that they become capable, thoughtful learners.  He began his teaching career as a special-ed teacher at the Lycée International Misr. From there he became a pre-k (MS) teacher at the Lycée Balzac, applying the French national educational model to his mode of teaching. In 2018 Steve moved to Kuwait to work at the Lycée Français of Kuwait to teach 3rd grade (CE2), and then to L’Etoile in 2021. Steve is married with two daughters who attend L’Etoile. He enjoys traveling, snorkeling, writing and cooking.

Céline taught for 23 years across multiple grade levels in many places including Nantes, Avignon, Marseille, Montpellier and Paris. Additionally she worked as an administrator in schools for a few years.  In 2022,  she made a milestone decision to teach abroad, and will start her first year at L’Etoile as a pre-k teacher.  Céline strives to create warm, inclusive spaces where she encourages her students to be open-minded to a range of ideas, thoughts, and expression.

Joëlle began teaching in 1995 in France. While teaching, she completed a Master’s degree in clinical psychology at the University of Nancy II. In 2013, her interest in teaching abroad brought her to Portland. At L’Etoile, Joëlle strives to create a nurturing, engaging environment where the children can feel secure and learn at their own pace, in harmony with their personalities.

Mélissa grew up in the Bourgogne region of France and completed her English degree in Dijon and her Masters in Education in Auxerre. Her first few years professionally were very formative, teaching many grades in a French public school. In 2021 she crossed the ocean to join L’Etoile, where she had interned in 2018.  This will be her second year teaching 1st grade, an important year, where students develop foundational academic and social emotional skills. Mélissa strives to do everything she can to support her students to achieve their milestones in an atmosphere of openness, kindness, and positivity.

Céline, a native from the Picardy region in northern France, obtained a Master’s degree in medieval history at the University of la Sorbonne In 2007. From there she moved to Egypt and discovered the pleasure of teaching. After earning her French teaching certification in Paris, Céline taught in the Lycee Balzac in Egypt where she eventually became an educational coordinator of the French elementary school.  In 2019, she moved to Kuwait to work for the Lycée Français du Koweït as a 3rd grade teacher, transitioning to Portland in 2021 to teach 2nd grade. Céline is married with two daughters who attend L’Etoile.

Laure grew up in the rolling hills of Gascogne in Southwest France. After studying English and Spanish in France, Spain and Northern-Ireland, she worked in many places including Canada, India, and Chicago, before landing in Portland.  Initially she worked as a French instructor at Lewis and Clark College and also at the Alliance Française. From there she transitioned to L’Etoile, at first as a substitute teacher, instructor of the DELF (French language proficiency exam), and instructor of the parent French class. From 2020 to 2022 she taught 3rd grade at L’Etoile, while at the same time earning her French teaching certification through the Université Clermont Auvergne.

Native to the Franche-Comté region, Clémentine graduated in Child Psychology from the University of Lyon where she developed a strong interest in different learning styles. She earned her Masters degree in Education at the University of Nimes with a focus on bilingualism. Clémentine has taught both in the South of France in the public system and in a French immersion school in California. She prioritizes giving her students a place to learn at their own pace in a caring environment, as she hopes to see them grow up and learn with confidence.

A seasoned teacher with a Master’s degree in teaching, Sarah spent most of her career teaching first and second grades, as well as preschool and parent/child classes. Sarah is passionate about early literacy, and enjoys using music and poetry to help language come alive. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, singing, and exploring the city with her family, including five-year-old twin daughters. Sarah strives to build self-confidence in her students by providing a warm environment where questions and the exchange of ideas are welcomed.


Theresa loves teaching elementary grade students, who present unique challenges as they establish their independence and craft their identities. From her teaching experience at Portland Public Schools and the Portland Village School, Theresa understands what it takes to build a solid foundation in writing, reading, and grammar, and how to best apply those skills in constructive ways. Her students have put on full-length Shakespeare plays, have hosted Open Mic nights in which they’ve read their creative writing, and have built model cathedrals to contribute to their understanding of Medieval history. She loves including parents in the classroom to both visit and celebrate their children’s work.

Administrative Team

Joëlle brings her deep experience as both an educator and administrator to her new role.  With an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a master’s degree in education from PSU, Joëlle spent nearly a decade teaching elementary aged children, first in Portland Public Schools and later at the Bryn Mawr School, a recognized leader among independent, college-preparatory schools on the east coast.  For over nine years she directed her efforts to advancing the needs of children emphasizing experiential and collaborative learning methods. Subsequent to her teaching role she began as an administrator at L’Etoile in 2017, but still maintained an anchor in the classroom. As both a L’Etoile parent and administrator, Joëlle is delighted to be part of this vibrant community.

After receiving her teaching degree in Aix-en-Provence, Nathalie moved to La Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, where she taught maternelle from 2000 to 2004. She went on from there to teach elementary at the Lycée Français de Caracas in Venezuela from 2004-2010. Her desire to explore America led her to the International school of Arizona and then to Portland.  At L’Etoile her experience includes teaching 4/5 grade and directing pedagogy.

Susan graduated with honors from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in French Language and Literature and spent 6 months studying in Dijon, France.  She has a strong background working in customer service and administration, including 2.5 years as the office manager at the Alliance Française de Portland.  In 2021 Susan joined L’Etoile and has since then been an integral part of the administrative team.  In her free time, Susan enjoys fostering pups for a local animal rescue, planning her next trip to France, and biking around Portland.

Inspire, Nurture, Achieve

At L'Etoile French Immersion School we aim to develop capable, independent thinkers.

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