A native of Strasbourg, Eléonore has a Master’s degree in French and Music. She has taught in immersion schools for many years including the Portland French School, and in Houston at the Awty International School in pre-k and kindergarten. As a teacher and a mother of a three-year-old, Eléonore loves creating new activities that spark enthusiasm and the desire to learn more. Her first love is music, which infuses many of her activities in the classroom. She is a proponent of open and guided play, experimentation, exploration, expression, and learning by doing.

A native of Brittany, Aurélie has been teaching for 13 years across different grade levels. Her wish to work in an international context led her to L’Etoile, where she sought a rich experience in a small-school environment. Aurélie loves to travel, explore new countries, and meet new people. She is thrilled to discover American culture and teach at L’Etoile where her son attends at the elementary level.

Carine moved from her native France to the US more than a decade ago. She found her true passion for teaching, working with both adults and preschool-aged children at the Portland French School and L’Etoile. She incorporates creative theater into her curriculum, building on the techniques used by the French drama company she co-founded, Fabulations. Her teaching philosophy: to arouse children’s natural curiosity and encourage positive learning in a stimulating, safe, and caring environment.

Bénédicte has been teaching since 2000 across many grade levels from pre-K to 5th grade. She worked for 5 years in public school in rural areas in the south of France. Her wish to teach in an international context led her to the Lycée Français de Chicago and thereafter to Portland in 2006 to teach in French schools. Together with her husband and two boys she enjoys the outdoors, practicing music, theater, and dance.

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.

Amandine was born in the French Alps. She has a degree in sports education and her French teaching certification. Amandine worked in the south of France for 10 years before realizing her dream of working abroad and relocating to San Diego and then to Portland. Amandine loves to incorporate her passion for travel to the classroom. Her approach to teaching French involves exploring and discovering the world and its many diverse cultures. In her spare time Amandine enjoys hiking, skiing, and playing ultimate frisbee.

A native of Provence, Cécile earned her diploma from the French Ministry of Education in 1998. Since then she has taught across all elementary grade levels in schools in France and in Oregon. In 2018 she and her husband were excited to return to the Northwest, particularly to teach in Cycle 2. In her classroom, she wants her students to feel motivated to come to school every morning, to be confident, and to feel secure in exploring and sharing their ideas with their fellow classmates.

Julien, originally from the region of Franche-Comté, obtained a degree in Cognitive Science in 2005 and his teaching certification in 2007. Since 2013, he has taught in a number of countries: Poland (CM1); the French American School of Princeton (middle school math, physics, chemistry); the French School of Manila (CE2 and CM2); and the International Bilingual School of the Côte d’Azur. Building self-confidence and independence are primary goals for his students. While not working, Julien enjoys discovering new food specialties and traveling.

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. She loves teaching in Cycle 3 and leading the students on the 5th grade trip to France.

A seasoned first grade teacher with a Master’s degree in teaching, Sarah comes to L’Etoile from the Beaverton school district. Prior to that she was at the International School of Denver, where she taught 1st grade ELA for 3 language tracks (French, Chinese, Spanish), applying the IB curriculum. 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.

Yannick Desfarges, P.E.

Yannick originally studied engineering and worked in various domains such as mechanics and computer science. He most recently lived in La Réunion for 5 years, where his innate enthusiasm for sports led him to launch many diverse projects in physical education. He loves teaching young students not only about sports but also about their health and well-being in general. Yannick enjoys many types of physical activity himself, especially trail running, climbing and participating in triathlons.

Marc Bescond, Music

Marc was classically trained in the French musical conservatory system. Born in Brittany, he has studied music since childhood. He taught music to children at French schools throughout Portland for over ten years, as well as at several French conservatories. He enjoys teaching children and sharing his love of music with them. Marc currently plays bass with the Portland Columbia Symphony.

Administrative Team

Before coming to Portland, Gérard was head of school at the French International School of Vancouver, B.C. He has extensive experience leading the operations of French schools throughout the world including London and Washington DC. He has also directed the French Cultural Centers in Iraq, Jordan and Sweden. In his spare time, he enjoys discovering Portland’s neighborhoods with his wife, Marie, and their Bernese mountain dog, Bouba. Gérard is delighted to bring his ideas and experience to the L’Etoile community.

Lynn holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and has been an instructor of French and German language for many years. She has also worked in several administrative positions in the field of elementary education. In addition, Lynn and her husband are business owners, running an import company specializing in French wine. As someone who was born in England, grew up in Germany, and has traveled extensively throughout France, Lynn has always been a strong advocate for language immersion at a young age.

Joëlle received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Stanford University and her Masters in Education from Portland State University. She taught Kindergarten for two years, 4th grade for five years, and then K-5 French for two years. At L’Etoile she served as the Parent Committee President before joining the administrative team.

Inspire, Nurture, Achieve

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

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