Meet Our Staff
Lori has twenty years of experience as a public educator in the Bay Area and Northern California. She comes to FCSO from Emery Unified where she has served as Director of Instructional Programs. Lori is no stranger to new charter schools. She was the lead petition writer and Executive Director in its founding year for charter school The Academy of Alameda. Since then, she has worked at Berkeley and Emery Unified School Districts to provide leadership, long-range planning and training and support for a variety of curricular and accountability initiatives. She has extensive knowledge of Common Core, Eureka Math curriculum, Balanced Literacy, as well as state compliance and reporting. Lori also has a track record of commitment to educational equity demonstrated through her work bringing Beyond Diversity and equity leadership trainings to her schools. In addition, Lori provided guidance to FCSO during the petition writing phase, and did some consulting work for the school in its first year.
Heidi has recently returned to the U.S. after many years of living in Germany, Switzerland and Montréal, Canada. She did her undergraduate and graduate work at Northwestern University, taught high school math and coached crew for several years, and then went to law school and practiced as an attorney before moving abroad. Heidi speaks English, French and German and is the parent of two Swiss-born Irish-American Francophones in grades 1 and 3.
OUR EDUCATIONAL TEAM
Born in France, Laurence grew up with a strong attraction and interest in foreign languages & cultures and started traveling very early in her life, as an “au pair” and a language assistant, as well as just exploring. She taught German at a middle school while earning a master’s in German literature and civilization, but decided to become a lower school teacher in hopes to be exposed to more diversity. She also moved from the center of France to the outskirts of Paris for the same purpose. She taught grades K to 5, and participated in a lot of project-based learning. In 2004, she was recruited by the French American International School of San Francisco, where she taught 1st and 2nd grades. She also took on the role of cycle coordinator facilitating bridges and consistency between grades working with bilingual students and top technology tools. She also participated in resource training across the country. Of her new position at the Francophone School, Laurence states, “I am now excited to be part of this amazing project that is FCSO where students from diverse backgrounds can thrive since an early age in an immersion program, in an education-for-all spirit. Working at FSCO is taking me back to where it all started, where the same chances are offered to all and where equity is the number one priority year after year. It is an honor to be working with a team that share the same values in developing the best curriculum for our students and new tools to address each of their needs in order to accompany the critical thinkers and responsible citizens in tomorrow’s world.”
Emilie was born and raised in the Bay Area in a diverse, French-speaking family. She completed her undergrad in Québec, Canada with a degree in English and Communications. After completing her B.A, she spent three and a half years in the Peace Corps living in Burkina Faso, West Africa working as an English Teacher and community liaison in the Girls Education and Empowerment program. Upon her return, she knew that teaching was her calling and went back to school to earn a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and teaching credential from the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI) and the University of the Pacific. After working for two years at an Oakland independent school she was thrilled join FCSO’s beginnings in 2015.
Previously working as an elementary school teacher, coach and reading specialist, Billie now supports the English component of the bi-literacy of the students at Francophone Charter School. “I am the proud grandmother of a student at Francophone, and I am happy to be able to watch her and her fellow students grow into being proficient readers in French and English.”
Ines was born and raised in Montreal, Canada to an Austrian mother and a Peruvian father. She is fluent in French and in English, and has some knowledge of Spanish and German. She earned a BA in Translation at Concordia University and a diploma in Teaching Second Languages at McGill University. She started my teaching career as a Multiple Subject French teacher at an elementary school in the Western part of Montreal where the students were learning French (main language), English and Greek. She taught grades 3 to 6 at that wonderful school from 1997 to 2006. She then moved to London, Ontario where she taught French Immersion for almost 3 years in grades 3 and 4 before coming to California with her husband in 2009. They have had two wonderful daughters since arriving in the United States. “I am very eager to resume my teaching career at Francophone Charter School of Oakland! What attracted me so much to this school in particular was how French is taught as a global language that is spoken in so many culturally rich and diverse countries. This opens up such possibilities to broaden teaching and learning horizons. I am excited to bring my love of teaching to my new students while continuing on my own learning path as an educator. I am looking forward to using my experience with Instructional Intelligence Strategies and Balanced Literacy in a French Immersion setting to support our school’s mission and goals.”
Aude is from Lorraine, a French region next to Germany. After earning her high school diploma, I studied modern literature at the university of Metz for 3 years. Her first job was as a french teacher in a college for one year. She then earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching in Belgium. She taught for 5 years in Brussels, where many of her students were not native French speakers. Outside of teaching, she loves literature, art, sport and photography. “Working at FCSO is a great opportunity for me. To be in a bilingual context and learn about different cultures is a strength for our future citizens. I’m proud and very excited to work in a school opened to the world. Together, with my colleagues, we will do our best so that children reach their maximum possibility.”
Natacha comes from the south of France. She studied pedagogy and education for several years, and wrote a master thesis about language teaching. She has been teaching for nearly half a decade. Her pastimes include playing the violin. “I like sports, discovering new cultures and meeting new people. I am passionate about teaching and research in education. I am looking forward to living a new experience, and sharing ideas in a new environment.”
Nicolas was raised in a small city near Paris, from a Portuguese mother and a Mauritian father, with family spread throughout the world. He graduated from college with a Master’s in Art and Modern Literature, and decided to become a teacher. He taught elementary school in Paris, teaching kindergarten through 4th grade. Outside of teaching, his passions include traveling, reading, cinema and most of all: cooking. “I love teaching elementary grade levels because students demonstrate such enthusiasm to learn and a thirst for intellectual stimulation that it is contagious and transforms my work into passion. Teaching reading, writing, mathematics, sciences, as well as developing the taste to learn is the fantastic responsibility I have for the success and the development of all my students. It is a fabulous opportunity for me to be part of the Francophone Charter School of Oakland. Together with my colleagues, I will give the best of myself to serve the ambitions of my new school, and beyond all, serve the children!”
Mathilde was born in the mountainous Alsace region of France, grew up on the Brittany coast and studied in Paris. After high school, she studied History at the University of Rennes, then I earned a degree in Education Sciences before passing the Elementary School Teacher exam. After that, she happily taught in Paris for 6 years in schools where students came from all over the world. “I love teaching young children because those years are such a pivotal and important period for the child, marking the passage from child to student, from dependency to autonomy and intellectual inquisitiveness. In those early years, playing, singing, manipulation and language serve both the learning process and the personal development of the child. I am excited and proud to be a part of the Francophone Charter School of Oakland, where I want to share my experience and my work to contribute to the success of the students.”
Jenny was born in Japan and lived there until she was 8 years old due to her father’s job in the car industry. She was raised in a very large, multicultural family with a father of European descent and mother of Puerto Rican and Filipina decent in a small town close to Detroit, Michigan. She has a BA in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and was a teacher for 3 years in Chicago, where she earned her MA in Curriculum and Instruction in ESL. She moved to Oakland 6 years ago to be closer to her family, directing an after-school program in San Francisco. Deciding that she missed working directly with the students, she started working as a substitute teacher at the Francophone School and fell in love with the kids and school. “I am looking forward to working together with Francophone staff, parents and students for the rest of the school year!”
OUR RECESS AND BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE (BASC) TEAM
Bouchaib Abdelhadi, a native of Casablanca, Morocco, is fluent in French, English and Arabic. He has over 14 years of experience working as a sub teacher at The Academy in Berkeley. Bouchaib’s true passion is music. He has had a distinguished musical career on both sides of the Atlantic. As leader of the Orchestre Abdelhadi, Bouchaib performed throughout the Kingdom of Morocco in the 1980s. Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Abdelhadi has been much sought out as a multi-instrumentalist and as a vocalist in Middle Eastern and North African traditions.