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WINTER 2022 ENROLLMENT IS OPEN! - click here

For more information, call us at 914.681.8735

DELF Prim' and Junior information session - Jan 12 at 5pm - find out more


Our Team

At the Alliance Française de Westchester, our French teachers are experienced professionals, offering classes in small groups. We cover current affairs and cultural themes, we emphasize speaking and listening at all levels. We build a strong grammatical foundation for language development and enrichment.


Rachel Villéger - Executive Director

Rachel Villéger joined AFW in 2017 and is our Executive Director. Rachel has extensive language teaching experience, she has been teaching all ages and all levels since 2003. She has a host of relevant experiences in the AF network in Asia and the Middle-East. For instance, she led the teaching team of the French Institute in Qatar where she was in charge of creating French language programs for the Qatari Ministry of Education.

Bettina Duvernay - Deputy Director

Bettina joined Alliance Française in January 2019. She worked as our Operations Supervisor for 2 years and a half, before becoming the Deputy Director in August 2021. She is responsible for ensuring smooth implementation of AFW’s operations and managing our team.

She is a native of Mâcon, a city in the Burgundy county. She worked as a project manager in various industries in Paris and in South of France for 18 years before moving to the US with her family in 2017. She enjoys organizing and has a interpersonal and communication skills. She has 2 children and is involved in PTA activities.

Francesca Hagadus - Course Coordinator

Francesca was born in the United States but grew up in Mexico City where she attended the Lycée Franco-Mexicain. She received a BS and MA from Georgetown University in Foreign Languages and Russian Studies. She studied at  Sorbonne and received her teaching credentials in French, Russian and Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Francesca taught French and Spanish in the Chappaqua School District for 32 years.

Francesca is an active member of her community organizations. She loves to ski, hike and relax with a good book in English or French. Francesca lives in Pleasantville and has two sons.

Alice Amundson - Receptionist

Alice has been an avid francophile since she began taking French lessons when she was 11-years-old. Her love of the French language has led her to study abroad in the Wallonie region of Belgium and Paris. Originally from the state of Montana, Alice moved to Westchester to study French Language and Literature at Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating, she spent time as an elementary school English teaching assistant in Niort, France. Now, back in Westchester, she is excited to be part of AFW, an organization that has done so much to support her —and countless others’— love of the French language and francophone cultures.


At AFW, our French teachers are experienced professionals, offering classes in small groups covering current affairs and cultural themes while emphasizing speaking and listening to all levels to build a strong grammatical foundation for language development.

Juliette Ballière

Juliette, a native of Tours on the Loire Valley, holds a degree in Finance from Sciences-Po in Paris. She worked as a credit analyst and a project manager at BNP Paribas in Paris and in Beijing. She taught French during her 2 expatriations in China… and has always been teaching the French curriculum to her 6 young kids! She especially enjoys sharing her love of the French culture to young minds. She is fond of kids and teens education, cooking, politics and classical literature. Juliette is a teacher as well as one of our course coordinators.

Agnès Varjacques

Agnes, a native of France, holds an engineering degree in IT and applied math. She worked as a project manager at BNP Paribas in Paris for 10 years before moving to the US with her family in 1998. She has been teaching French since 2011 after she successfully completed the DAEFLE course of the Alliance Française. She especially enjoys preparing and teaching her conversation class based on current events using all media format (newspaper articles, video, radio podcast…). She also actively involved in enhancing our curricula through the use of digital contents.

Curious about the world, she loves to read and travel and exchange ideas with people from different cultures.

Aurélie Boquet

Aurélie is a native of Creil, Picardy. She arrived in New York in 2002 where she has since been teaching French to children from the age of 2 to 15. She holds a master 1 degree from Stendhal University in Grenoble and the DAEFLE from the French Alliance. She is passionate about languages and also speaks Spanish. Aurélie has a son with whom she shares her love of children literature and French language.

Anne-Marie Hulin

Anne-Marie Hulin is a French teacher at the Alliance Française of Greenwich and more recently at the Alliance Française of Westchester. She taught French in St John and Paul (middle school), Hunter College ES in Manhattan, but also in London. She has been teaching French as a foreign language to different levels thanks to her multiple experiences abroad, as well as Francophones students from 6 to 14 years old. Years back, Anne-Marie worked in Marketing and Corporate Sales in Paris, she moved to London (UK) in 2001, Bahrain (Middle East) in 2010 and in NY in 2015. She enjoys sharing her passion for her native language and culture.

Sheila Jeannot

Sheila is a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She moved to the United States when she was 16 years old. She holds a BA in French/Math and Secondary Education from the College at New Paltz, a Master degree in French Literature from Temple University. She worked on her doctoral studies in Philosophy with a concentration in French Speaking Communities. Over the past twenty three years, she has worked as a full-time teacher, a college teaching assistant, and an adjunct professor at various schools, colleges, and universities. Her teaching experience spans the elementary to the university level. She taught French, Haitian Creole, Algebra and English as a Second Language (she recently completed a certificate in TESOL). She is certified to teach in New Jersey and New York states. She has taught students from different cultural backgrounds, including international students and many students who possess a wide range of language abilities. Ms. Jeannot, never stops observing and truly learning about the politics in the world at large, compares and contrasts different learning strategies that can assist her students. She wants to develop her students so that they can function inside and outside the classroom. Sheila loves to travel the world, cook, dance, read, doing research, and spending quality times with family and friends.

Claudine Lespes

Claudine is a native of Montreal, Canada. She studied at the University of Quebec, where she graduated with a Bachelor in Teaching Literature. After receiving her degree, she immigrated to the United States, where she pursued her studies at Manhattanville College and obtained two Master’s degrees; one in teaching French as a foreign language and the other in school administration. Claudine taught in several settings, such as the United Nations, NYU, Berkeley College, the New School for Social Research, and at the French Institute of Manhattan. She also taught at the Brearley School in Manhattan for twenty years. Now, she is semi-retired, teaching part-time for her personal enjoyment. She is pleased to be a faculty member of the Alliance Francaise in Westchester.

Sonia Bernard

Sonia is native of Paris. After her degree in international trade in France, she worked in the perfume industry in Paris before following her husband to Mexico and then South Africa. She arrived in the Westchester in August after living 12 years in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is fluent in English. She lived 4 years in Mexico City. Sonia is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and she has the Alliance Française diploma DAEFLE to teach French as a foreign language. She used to be a private tutor, she taught French, Spanish and Portuguese to children and adults in South Africa and worked as a substitute teacher in the French school of Johannesburg (Lycée Français Jules Verne) in kindergarten and primary school.

She loves traveling and loves teaching languages. She enjoys also sharing her traveling experiences and life abroad with her students.

Violaine Lazecki

Violaine is native from Lorraine, a region in the East of France where she grew up with Polish parents. Therefore, coming to New York to experience the cultural diversity only seemed natural to her. Since her arrival, she has been working with Francophone families as well as students from diverse cultural backgrounds who are interested in improving their French skills, preparing their children to pass take standardized tests in french such as SAT, AP or DELF or to prepare their move to France. Violaine pursued her studies in psychology, education and linguistics in New York. She obtained a Master’s degree in psychology & education at Teachers College Columbia. When she isn’t sharing her passion for the French language, she volunteers for a food pantry, cooks for her friends, runs on the beach and enjoys “pousser la chansonnette” once in a while.

Lana Hamon

Lana Hamon has extensive experience teaching French both in the US and in France. She holds a PhD in French literature from Columbia University and two degrees from the University of Paris- Sorbonne (the equivalent of a Masters degree in French literature and Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature). She lived and taught French and English in France for twelve years before returning to the States with her husband and their three sons. Her university appointments include teaching French language and literature courses at Columbia and Drew University. While in Paris, she directed the Junior Year Abroad Program for Pine Manor College and also taught a class on the French theater. Lana recently retired after thirteen years as a full-time teacher of French at Trinity School in Manhattan. She is delighted to be teaching literature at AFW.

Armelle Gloaguen

Armelle is a teacher, a songwriter and a musician. She has worked with children in the US, France and Guatemala for over 20 years. She created the Learn French/Spanish Through Music program in 1998. Using this program, she taught French and Spanish at her studio and at LinguaKids in Larchmont. Armelle has recorded three albums for teaching French and Spanish to children through song. She is a featured vocalist in three award-winning language learning videos. Armelle performs at schools, libraries and birthday parties. She gives benefit concerts. Busy as she is, she stillhas time to teach in our children’s programs.

Sophie Sayaque

Sophie, native of Paris, is a former lawyer in French and Belgian law. She used to be a private tutor in law, and also taught French to children in England. She has lived in several countries after France, such as Luxembourg, Belgium, England, before coming to the US. Sophie can also speak German, some notions of Hebrew, and has successfully followed the program of the Cavilam to teach French as a foreign langage.

Sophie is also a jazz singer. Her eclectic experiences in many countries grants her an open-minded spirit valuable for a teacher. Sophie finds in the Alliance Française a great opportunity to share and promote her love of France and French culture.

Elhem Lansburg

Elhem is a native of Annecy, one of the most beautiful cities in France. She grew up in the Alps. She loves skiing and rowing. She has a Master’s degree in Law and a bachelor in French literature. She is specialized in French Constitutional History (from 1780 to 1970). Elhem has extensive experience teaching FLE to children from foreign families coming to settle in France. She deepened different didactic and pedagogical approaches to the teaching of the French language in middle schools and high schools. She also successfully directed a specific program of teaching to the teenagers who resigned from the educational system to encourage them to regain the motivation to learn.

Isabelle Charbonnel

Isabelle was born and raised in Paris, France. She graduated with a Diploma of Aptitude for teaching French as a second language delivered by the Alliance Française (DAEFLE). She also earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in teaching French as a second language. Previously, she was a web author/editor. She is a passionate expert on the French language. Isabelle loves helping other learners to speak French in a real-world context as well as keeping students motivated with interactive learning support.

Pauline Appert

Pauline was born and grew up in Paris. She graduated from an engineering school. She worked about 10 years as a consultant in urban planning. Then she moved to Brazil with her husband and sons and then to the United States. It was time to think about what she really wanted to do now: her interest in French language and francophone cultures and her taste in sharing what she likes motivated her to become a “French as a foreign language” teacher. She’s studying in order to graduate of DAEFLE and she’s very proud to be part of the Alliance Française of Westchester!

Sylvie Sergent

Sylvie grew up in Paris and studied in the French Riviera ; she has a Master's Degree in communications. She is an experienced teacher, as well as a DELF examiner. She is also interested in teaching French through cinema, gastronomy and visual arts. She has been working on bridging cultural gaps between France and the US for the last 15 years. Prior to moving to the US, she was working at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris.

Olivier Costa

Olivier was born in Paris in 1970 and grew up with his parents and his 2 older sisters mainly in Nice, with a few years spent in eastern France. He is married and has three children. He studied in a business school in Paris and started a career in business management and marketing which led him to live in many countries: Morocco, the United States, England, French Polynesia and Canada. He moved to New York 6 years ago. He has always enjoyed teaching French and IT, both to children and to adults. He currently hosts weekly conversation groups in French with American adults. He enjoys travelling, music, cooking, photography and talking about world news.

Egide Capo-Chichi

Egide is a friendly teacher who likes teaching and sharing his knowledge. He has a degree in IT and is currently studying for his Master Degree in video games development. He has experience with teaching younger children, as well as tutoring adults seeking to improve their fluency in spoken French. He has a passion for helping all those who want to improve their French for academic purposes. He also has a passion for languages in general as he speaks French, English, Spanish, and is currently learning Chinese. He is convinced that learning foreign languages is key to expanding one's opportunities.


At AFW, while most of our French teachers are accredited examiners, we also have examiners who currently do not teach French classes or private lessons. For more information about French exams such as DELF, DALF, TEF or TCF, contact us.

Marie-Laure Raguenez

Marie-Laure was born and raised in Paris and holds a Master degree in Business and Management. She worked 6 years in an American Audit firm before moving to the UK. She spent 12 years in London where she raised her 5 children and taught French to young children in an English school. She holds the DAEFLE from the Alliance Française and a Master 1 degree from Stendhal University in Grenoble. She has moved to the US in September 2019. She loves History, Photography, and interacting with people.

Marie Hubert

Marie was born and raised in Brittany. She holds a Master’s degree in French as a foreign language and worked as an English and French instructor for 7 years in Paris before moving to New York. She has taught French and English in companies to office workers such as accountants, sales representatives, fashion designers, journalists, politicians, managers, TV and radio employees, musicians – and many more – who needed to learn the language (French and/or English) mainly for professional purposes. Marie enjoys listening to music, reading – she is a big Paul Auster fan which is nice when you live so close to Manhattan – and watching movies! Marie is a teacher as well as one of our course coordinators.

Cécile Hager

Cécile is a native French speaker who has lived in New Orleans and Los Angeles before coming to Westchester. She has many years of experience as a French instructor, and has worked with students of all ages and all levels, bringing to her classroom a love of learning and teaching.

Christine Anselmo

Christine was born and raised in Dordogne. After graduating with a degree in literature, she went to law school, then came to the US and obtained a paralegal Diploma. Christine is the mother of two girls. While raising her family, she never stopped learning and teaching, for years she volunteered at New Canaan Public Schools and New Canaan Library. She has spent the last 15 years tutoring French to students from New Canaan, Wilton and Westport, CT. Her passion and knowledge for her native language had benefited many students. For her, to teach at the Alliance Française of Westchester is a great opportunity to continue to do what she loves deeply.