Professor Bios

Courses focus on communication and are taught by experienced, professional French instructors using European-designed teaching materials. Most Alliance teachers have masters’ degrees, are native-fluent and specialize in FLE – teaching French as a foreign language.

Rachele Avolio

Rachele holds a B.A in French and a Master of Arts in Teaching French as a foreign language from Portland State University, and has taught in Oregon universities and public schools. Before her teaching career, Rachele spent fourteen years in France, where she raised her two children and worked for a baker’s yeast company in Marcq en Baroeul near the Belgian border.

Alice Beauvallet

Alice is originally from Paris, where she was a public school teacher. Before she joined l'Alliance Francaise, she was a Teacher and a Pedagogical Coordinator in French accredited schools in Portland for 12 years. She is passionate about education and bilingualism and in her free time, she enjoys art, theater, designing clothes and hiking with her family.

Matthias Bladou

Matthias was born and raised in Provence, between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. He went to Concordia University in Montréal, Québec, to get a Bachelor\'s degree in Linguistics and Classical Languages and Literatures. He recently completed his MA in French Language and Literature at Portland State University where he has been teaching first and second year French.

Clara Blondel

Clara was born in the beautiful town of Besançon, France, and grew up in the Alsace region, on the border of Switzerland. She went on to study in the Netherlands, where she earned her Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts. After graduating in 2015, she moved to Portland where she has been teaching French to children and adults. She is currently pursuing a Masters in French for Foreign Learners.

Lucie Bonvalet

Lucie has two Master's degrees (English and FLE - teaching French as a Second Language) as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Originally from Dordogne, Lucie has taught French to adults and teenagers in high schools, conversation centers and cultural centers in Japan (both Kyoto and Tokyo) and in England. She has also taught French at Portland Community College. Lucie has been teaching at the Alliance since 2005.

Patricia Bourque

Patricia is a native of Reims and longtime resident of Montréal. Her academic background in applied sciences, medicine and history spans the years she has resided in both France and Canada. Since her arrival in the U.S.  in 2004, she has focused on keeping her three children bi-lingual, and assuming a role as a school leader and community volunteer. She is a trained instructor of French.

Marie-Hélène Diodati

Marie-Hélène has lived in Montréal, Canada, most of her life. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from HEC Montréal (École des Hautes Études Commerciales) and completed a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development and Environment from the Université de Montréal. She especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Québec life, culture and history.

Lisa Friedli

Lisa has taught French language and literature for over a decade at universities in the greater Northwest. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, and wrote her dissertation on Irène Némirovsky’s cosmopolitan vantage. Lisa has also written and published on francophone literature, philosophy, and media studies. Enjoying life back in her hometown after teaching several years in Japan, Lisa is happy to be part of the francophone community here at the Alliance Française.

Linda Fuchs

Linda grew up in Switzerland and is a native speaker of both French and German. She has a Master’s in Slavic Linguistics from NYU and a Master’s in Teaching with a French endorsement from Lewis and Clark College. Her experience includes six years teaching French in universities and over fifteen years of experience teaching French to children of all ages. Linda was the president of the Alliance Française in San Antonio, Texas, and founder of its language school. She has done in-depth research in the area of phonetics and is a certified DELF/DALF examiner-corrector. Linda has been with the Portland Alliance since 2010 and after 3 years as Pedagogy Manager, is currently the School Director.

Nathalie Gerts

Nathalie has a BA in Philosophy and completed studies of French Literature at the Sorbonne (University of Paris). She earned an FLE (Français Langue Etrangère) Teaching Degree from the worldwide headquarters of the Alliance Française in Paris and is also certified by the French National Ministry of Education. Initially a teacher in French elementary schools, she has also enjoyed a career in the tourism industry in Paris and the U.S., and has taught French in the public school system in Oregon as well as Linn-Benton Community College. Nathalie has been teaching at the Alliance since 2004.

Mélanie Hindman

Mélanie was born in Bordeaux, spent a few years in Mauritania, and was raised in Eugene. She earned her master's in French literature and language from Portland State University in 2014 and started working at FAIS shortly after. She teaches music and art classes at the primary school. In her free time she likes to play music and paint.

Khadija Khalife

Khadija has dedicated her professional life to the study and instruction of French literature and language. She holds a Ph.D, M.A. and B.A. in French Literature from Saint-Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as a M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Portland State University. She is a published author and book reviewer, and since 2013, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Portland. Khadija also is a Review Editor of \"Work Creatives\" for The French Review.

Emmanuel Laurin

Emmanuel hails from Rochefort, Charente Maritime, on the west coast of France. He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, and a B.A. in History and English language from the University of Poitiers. He lectured at the University of Créteil and Paris 8 before moving to Oregon where he currently teaches all levels of French.

Lucile Lemons

Lucile hails from the medieval town of Auxerre in Burgundy. She has been teaching French immersion in Portland for the past year, as well as workshops here at the Alliance. Before joining our team, Lucile was a practicing podiatrist in the Parisian suburbs, and holds a Master’s degree in clinical research from the Sorbonne.

Francine Martinie Chough

Francine is a native of Autun, near the Burgundy region. Following a career in teaching in Autun at the Lycée Bonaparte, then teaching French in an English public school near London for a year, and in the hotel business in Paris at the Paris Sheraton Hotel, she received a Bachelor degree in English and French from Lewis and Clark College. She taught French in a Montessori school in Vancouver, WA, then earned a Master's degree in Education from Loyola College of Maryland with an emphasis on Montessori Education. She taught 3 years as a Montessori Elementary teacher, and taught 1st through 5th grade at the Catlin Gabel School in the Lower School where she developed the French curriculum. She continues to teach all levels of students from elementary to adult, and is a certified in DELF/DALF examiner and corrector. Francine has been teaching at the Alliance since 2009.

Bénédicte McAlpine

Bénédicte is an experienced teacher from France and a specialist in second-language acquisition methods. She has a Master's Degree in communication from Paris, and is also interested in teaching French through arts.

Pierre Metens

Pierre is originally from Belgium where he studied pedagogy and sociology at the Université de Liège. In addition to teaching at the Alliance, Pierre is also a voice talent for recordings of commercials and guided tours in French for Bruce International. He has been with the Alliance since 2003.

Rheanna Murray

Rheanna Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Rheanna fell in love with French during her first day as an undergraduate at Portland State University. Four years later she has a degree in French and International Development Studies with a focus in African Studies, having spent a year studying French and International Development in France and Senegal. After four years of working as a preschool teacher, nanny, and tutor in both French and English, her expertise lies in working with children and building linguistic capacities through structured play. When not at the Alliance, she can be found translating movie subtitles for Sahel Sounds, a Portland-based music label that collaborates on music and film projects with artists across the Sahel region of West Africa, as well as dancing her heart out to blues music with the Portland Blues and Jazz Dance society.

Julie Nelson

Julie received her Bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Oregon and her Master’s in French with a strong focus on second language acquisition and pedagogy from Portland State University. She previously studied FLE and French literature at the Université of Poitiers in France, then spent three years teaching English in Spain. Julie has extensive experience teaching French, Spanish, and ESOL in a variety of contexts to language learners of all ages.

Jack Sieber

Jack received a Master’s degree in French Studies from Brown University in 2015. Originally from Indiana, he became enamored with France and the French language during his undergraduate studies and decided to live and work there as an assistant d’anglais and lecteur d’anglais for a total of four years. In the United States, he has had the opportunity to teach a wide array of French courses and has worked with a range of students from both kindergarten through college..

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Marie-Pierre Wolfe

Marie-Pierre is originally from Lyon and was one of the founders of the French Elementary School program of the Eugene 4-J public school district. She served as a school principal in France before returning to the US where she enjoys teaching at the Alliance and was an adjunct professor for several years at Washington State University in Vancouver. Marie-Pierre has been with the Alliance since 2008.

Elene Zedginidze

Elene graduated from the École du Louvre with a Masters of Arts in Museum Education and Cultural Studies. Originally from the Republic of Georgia, she was exposed to French starting from elementary school. She enjoyed teaching children and adults in various Parisian museums and researching for her doctorate at the University of Paris VIII before moving to Portland in 2014.

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