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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Alexia Laforgue

Alexia was born in Lille and graduated from a Bachelor of Designer textile at LISAA in Paris and an HSK 3 in Mandarin at Jiatong University in Shanghai. She worked as a Press officer assistant for Issey Miyake and for the French Federation of prêt à porter féminin in Paris. In 2000, her husband had the opportunity to be relocated in Seoul. They left France and for the past 20 years, they have been living in South Korea, China, Singapore. They have now been in New York for 2 years. Exploring countries, learning new cultures and adapting to new environments and new languages is something Alexia loves.

When living in Seoul, Alexia became a French tutor for foreign students. She enjoyed the interaction with the students and has always tried to teach French by embedding culture in lessons and do her best to have happy students. Later on, she also worked for a web magazine that promoted French culture.

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.

Rolande Tam

Rolande is a French Native Speaker who has lived in several French-speaking countries. She earned her BA in French at Manhattan College, Riverdale NY where she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. While in College, she won a French essay contest sponsored by Manhattan College, for a study abroad summer program. Throughout her college years, she also worked as a French professor assistant and a French tutor. She has been a French teacher for the past 7 years. She loves traveling, discovering and learning about other cultures. She is also very passionate about her beliefs and she enjoys doing volunteer work and reaching out to those in her community.

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 still has time to teach in our children’s programs.

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.

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!

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.

Cécile Masson

Cécile Masson is a French native teacher from Paris. She worked in marketing and communication departments for international IT companies for more than 10 years. She has a Master degree in Business and a French university diploma in FLE ( Teaching French as a foreign language). She is now taking a Master degree in teaching French as a foreign language (FLE). She joined the Alliance Française team as French teacher in 2021. She is enjoying teaching and sharing French language and French culture. Married and mother of 4 children, she likes reading, traveling, visiting museums and cooking for her family and friends.

Karin Godin

Karin is a native of France. She Has a degree in business law and has worked as a contract drafter. She has lived in London and in Paris before moving in the US in 2019 with her family. She has followed the DAEFLE program of the Alliance Française to teach French as a Foreign Langage. She is passionate about art and culture. Her open-mindedness, her curiosity and her love of communication are all qualities which make her a wonderful teacher.