Meet Our Staff
Heidi began her career in education over 20 years ago. She holds both a B.S. (Mathematics/Secondary Education) and an M.S. (Advanced Teaching) from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She has taught students of all levels, published a book on the socialization of new teachers, and received a Fulbright Grant for teaching and study in the United Kingdom. She is also an attorney in good standing with the State Bar of Indiana, having graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law and practiced law in Indiana. Most recently, Heidi has returned to the U.S. after years of living in Germany, Switzerland and Montréal, Canada. She headed up Operations at FCSO prior to taking on the Executive Director role. Heidi is an enthusiastic Global Citizen, speaking English, French and German, and is the parent of two Swiss-born Irish-American Francophones in grades 2 and 4.
Pamela began her career in education teaching at L’Ecole Bilingue- Parc Monceau in Paris many years ago. She holds both a B.A. (Psychology and Art) and an M.Ed. (Teacher Training) from Lesley University in Cambridge MA. She has taught students of all levels, pre-school, elementary through adult, currently teaches and directs Improv. at Pan Theater. She taught as well at L’Ecole Bilingue in Palo Alto, CA and founded a childcare program called Pepper Tree House still on the Stanford campus. She most recently was the Administrator at Highland Hospital for the Internal Medicine internship program and before that was the founding director of the EF International School’s University Preparation Program in San Francisco. Pamela has lived in France for over 15 years, as her mother is French she is a dual citizen and speaks fluent French. She has taught in the US for well over 20 years, as well as in France and in China where she was an English professor at the Foreign Languages University in Guangzhou. Pamela loves to travel, to teach and to learn new things. She is the mother of two grown children who are both dual citizens and speak fluent French.
OUR EDUCATION TEAM
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.
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.”
Jessi joined Francophone in February 2017. She holds BA and MA degrees in Special Education and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She holds CA teaching credentials from Michigan State University in both Special Education and General Education – Multiple Subjects. In addition to providing oversight and services for Special Education, she is supporting Francophone in developing a multi-tiered system of academic and behavioral supports for students in need. Jessi taught in CA public schools as a Special Educator before becoming a consultant for schools, clinics and in-home programs for children with developmental disabilities. She specializes in collaboration with IEP teams, creating individualized learning programs and providing function-based positive behavioral supports. She knows that “small victories” with students who have learning challenges are often really big, and loves seeing her students achieve new milestones. Jessi loves to travel and hopes to instill the multicultural perspective found at FCSO in her latest endeavor, her 1 year-old daughter.
Vincent was born in Paris and raised near Orléans in France. He studied German at the University of Orléans. He spent two years in Germany working as a French assistant. Then he returned to France to become a teacher. he has over 10 years of experience teaching in a primary school. He loves his job and always makes his best to ensure a positive and safe learning environment for the children to enable them to achieve their maximum potential. Out of school, Vincent loves sports and especially tennis. He enjoys traveling, visiting new places, going out for meals. He is very excited to contribute to the future of the Francophone Charter School of Oakland and to develop his teaching career in this new and outstanding school!
Born in Namur, Belgium, Sophie has always wanted to become a teacher. After graduating in 2014, her first years in education triggered a lot of reflection. Her desire to discover teaching methods from other schools around the world has grown ever since as well as her desire to live a different life experience. She is a motivated, dedicated and altruistic young teacher. Adapting her teaching to students, particularly children with learning challenges, is one of her priorities. Her Bachelor’s thesis consisted of showing the advantages of parlour games as a tool to help dyslexic students acquire the French language. She is also passionate about the fulfillment of each child. In her class, she encourages listening, collaboration and sharing among students. It will be a real honor to contribute to the local education at FCSO.
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.
Born in France from a French father and a Malagasy mother, Solea grew up with a deep interest in travelling and discovering other cultures. She first completed a business degree, but during a year as a French teacher assistant in Glasgow, Scotland, she realized that her vocation was to be a teacher. She completed a B.A in education in Brussel, where she lived and worked five more years, strongly enjoying the multicultural dynamism there. Since then she also has travelled in some parts of South America as well as in Asia. In her class, she encourages personal development of each pupil. She’s delighted to join and be a part of FCSO.
Karine was born in Orléans in France. She has always been interested in foreign cultures and education. She studied English in France and England, where she lived for 2 years, first as a student, then as a French assistant in a High School. After completing her degree at the University, she became a teacher and has been teaching in primary schools for over 14 years now. She likes to arouse the curiosity of children and to provide opportunities for their confidence to grow as they learn. To her, it is the success and self-fulfilment of every child in her class that makes her job so rewarding. Her interests outside school include reading, travelling and outdoor activities such as trekking in a national park or giving a try to riding. She loves to take care of her 2 sons and spend time with her family. She is really looking forward to meeting her new students and to joining the dedicated and happy staff of the Francophone Charter School of Oakland, and of course to sharing this fabulous experience with my family.
Gaël was born and raised on Réunion Island, a small French island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, which, as a result of its history and location, has a great mix of cultures. He studied Anthropology and Interculturalité at the Université de La Réunion, where he improved his Creole as well as his knowledge of the history and the diversity of his island. A teacher since 2007, he has taught at the CM2 level (equivalent to fifth grade in the United States). Gaël is also a musician. He enjoys writing, traveling, eating and talking to people about everything. He also has a strong love of learning, and is currently working towards earning an online Masters degree in Electronic Music and studying the traditional music of Réunion Island. “I’m proud to come to FCSO and I hope to bring the Réunion way of living together in this multicultural school.”
Frédéric was born in Cameroon where he lived for 14 years. He arrived in France in 2004, where he completed middle school, and high school. After a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (Sciences et Techniques des Activités Physiques et Sportives, STAPS in French), he graduated with a Master’s degree in elementary education in 2013 in Tarbes, in the South of France. In June 2013, Frédéric passed the elementary teaching exam, and has been teaching for four years in the suburbs of Paris as a substitute, teaching all levels. Outside of general education, he is accredited as a PE teacher specializing in volleyball. Thanks to this degree, he coaches teams of various levels, in addition to his personal practice. He is also a runner. Finally he loves traveling and discovering other cultures.
Manon was born in Fontainebleau, France, a multicultural city with a global outlook (for instance through its prestigious business school of INSEAD), she first lived abroad as a student in Lincoln, NE, then Boston, MA. She studied History at La Sorbonne in Paris before turning to elementary education. During an internship at the Lycée International of Los Angeles, she developed a close bond with her host family, whom she saw again several times after that. After growing up traveling in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, etc. she got married and has now two children. Working at FCSO is an extraordinary opportunity to open up to the world and the American society.
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.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, Curtis Wayne Riley, Jr., better known as “Boze,” began drawing at a very young age, recreating cartoon characters as he watched them on television. Boze attended the Oakland School for the Arts, where he started developing his own unique style of drawing as a teen. Boze’s style of art draws from a wide variety of ideas and subject matters. His works reflects a deep appreciation of music of all genres, social issues, and spirituality. Utilizing various media to create beautiful works that speak to the soul of all people, Boze has been commissioned to create several personal works, as well as design logos and cover art for local independent record labels and major recording artists. He has also illustrated two children’s books.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ahmed has played sports and been involved in his community all his life. Recently he has discovered how much he enjoys working with children and hopes to eventually become a full-time teacher. In his free time, he enjoys biking around Lake Merritt, rock climbing at the local gym and going to car shows on the weekend.