Elizabeth LeBihan


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.