Creative Writing Instructor and Communication Director
Elise graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, English and French Literature and Violin Performance. Sarah Lawrence’s renowned writing program gave our bookshelves the works of Ann Patchett and Alice Walker and allowed Elise to study the craft of writing with many authors including her advisors, Victoria Redel, and Mary La Chapelle. Elise is completely bilingual and holds the highest French DELF certification Level: C2. She spent her junior year of college in Paris where she studied violin at the conservatory- L’Ecole Normale de Musique in their professional division and took classes in French Literature through Sarah Lawrence College with former professors of La Sorbonne. Elise is very excited to be working with students. She is currently writing a children’s novel.
Advanced French DELF Teacher and Director of La Maison...
Laura was born in Aubagne, in the south of France. She grew up in Castellet, a small village in the Var County. After earning her Baccalauréat Degree (French High School Equivalent), she went on to complete an Associate’s Degree in business. Her studies in business gave her a better understanding of various cultural and social environments. Her cultural awareness and understanding were further reinforced by her travels around the world, to the US, Canada, Australia, New Caledonia and France. Laura got her first taste of teaching when she tutored middle school students in their homes and realized right away this was to be her vocation. She particularly enjoyed working with students who had special learning needs. She enrolled in a teacher preparatory program and concentrated her studies on speech therapy where she worked individually with several children of various ages. Laura finished her Bachelor’s of Science degree in education at L’Université d’Aix en Provence. Here, she discovered diverse educational methods and was able to observe children of all ages and stages of learning. She continued on for one year to the IUFM (teacher training school) in Avignon. Anxious to put her newly acquired skills to work in the classroom immediately, she began working as a long-term replacement teacher for private schools in the area. She taught many grade levels in several schools throughout the Bouches du Rhône area through this position. She was assigned full responsibility of a class almost immediately. Laura worked diligently to follow closely the French national curriculum and respect each child’s learning needs. Finding her pleasure in teaching, Laura decided to bring together her two favorite things, teaching and cultural exchange, which ultimately brought Laura to the teaching team at L’Ecole Française du Maine.
The question then becomes: “Where do they go from here and how can they maintain their French beyond their time at L’Ecole?”
That is where our DELF program comes in, providing our students, with their advanced abilities in French, to continue speaking and writing French, to continue to progress, at their level, something not available elsewhere in the area. Our DELF certified staff guide the students through the achievement of diplomas issued by The French Ministry of Education. EFDM has also become an official testing Center for DELF, alleviating the previous need to travel to Boston to take the DELF exams. Our program is the only accredited DELF program north of Boston!
Elizabeth grew up in Maine and earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Farmington, with a concentration in Visual and Performing Arts. In college, Beth studied modern dance and choreography and was a member of the modern dance company, The UMF Dancers, for four years. She also attended University College Galway, Ireland as an exchange student, where she reconnected with her family there and met her husband, Willy, a graduate student at the time. She began her career teaching grades 5,6, and 7 in Maine public schools, where she volunteered to teach French after school, as there was no foreign language opportunity offered for the students. After five years, Beth and her husband, Willy, decided to start a family of their own. She left the self-contained classroom to teach privately in order to meet both her professional goals and childcare needs. In their bilingual household, the ability for their own children to speak both French and English came naturally, and this sparked the beginning of a French-immersion program for Maine children. Inspired by the world-renowned Early Childhood program of Les ecoles maternelles in France, the wheels were set in motion for an adventure that would go on to become L’Ecole Française du Maine. With two small children and one on the way, Beth taught by day and studied evenings and weekends to earn her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development through the University of Phoenix. This experience increased her love of early education and fueled her desire to offer Maine children a valuable foundation for learning, beginning at an early age. She has worked in education for 25 years filling many different positions. During her first year as a classroom teacher, Elizabeth received a national teaching award, being named as “One of the Nation’s 100 Best First-Year Teachers.” She was Maine’s only recipient. In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, a Knighthood Order of Chivalry of France presented to academics and educators. The order was originally created by Napoleon. Beth is fluent in French and has raised her children to be bilingual. When not at school, she enjoys reading (with a cat on her lap and dog at her feet), gardening, knitting, boating, taking walks in the woods and on the beach and spending time with her family.