Children & Teens - Francophones - Adults


For more information, call us at 914.681.8735

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.


Laure-Marine de Tilly - Executive Director

`Laure-Marine comes from Paris, where she worked for ten years as a Manager Consultant at Leyton, an international consulting firm that helps businesses leverage financial incentives to boost their growth and achieve long-lasting performance. She moved to the US in 2016 with her family. While living in California, she became a french preschool teacher.  

 She has 4 children and is involved in  the French Community.

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 22 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.

Kelley Royes Sullivan - Receptionist

Kelley, a native of New York City, grew up with a love of the French language. She studied French in college and eventually went on to study French at the Université de la Rochelle. She has lived in Toulouse, France for the past 4 years and has come back to continue her career in the medical field. She loves traveling and is a francophile who loves to share her passion for the language. 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lily Leff

Lily was born and raised in Côte d'Ivoire, a French former colony  in West Africa. She left her country at 19 years old to Study in France and obtained a Master in Business Administration at IAE de Perpignan . She taught French as a student to kids  and adults. She moved to Singapore in 2010 and worked at the International French School. She has years of experience in supervising kids as an extracurricular activities coordinator and has received her DAEFLE certification (Diplôme d’aptitude à l’enseignement du Français Langue Etrangère).

During her tenure in Singapore she was instrumental in promoting the French language through events such as “ les célébrations de la Francophonie “ organized by the Alliance Française of Singapore. She moved to New York in July 2021 and did voluntary work in FIAF before officially joining FIAF in March 2022, and AFW in Summer 2022.

Daouda Zeguime

Daouda is business development specialist at Harlem United in New York, serving the French-speaking community. He was born in Ivory Coast. His family being originally from Burkina Faso, he returned there in 2003. From 2009 to 2011, Daouda taught subjects like mathematics, physics and chemistry as a home teacher. In 2014, he became President of the UNESCO Club of the University of Ouagadougou. Then, he occupied the role of Financial Secretary of UNESCO's clubs of the west African Universities in 2015, after obtaining his undergraduate degree in Economics and Management. In 2016, he moved to New York. He has been teaching French in New York. Lately, he has also worked as a partial French interpreter at the Nest Clinique Community center, Harlem United.

Emmanuelle Chever

Grew up in Nantes, France. She has a degree in Business and Marketing. She worked for a few years in a Bank in Paris, and later in an Insurance Company in Zurich, Switzerland where she lived for 3 years. She moved for the first time in the US in 2009, in Hoboken NJ, where she raised her 2 children and worked as a volunteer in the HR department of the Red Cross in Manhattan. After 8 years in NJ, she moved back to France for 5 years. Back to France she worked for an association that helps children with learning difficulties and have special needs. Today she is back to the US with her family and is working on getting the DAEFLE diploma. She loves to work with children. She likes reading, going to museums, to the movies and singing! She is very happy to be part of the AFW!

Julia Tilley

Julia is incredibly excited to be joining the AFW team as a teacher specialized in children classes. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature as well as Broadcasting and Mass Communication. She worked with the AFW team as an intern shortly after graduation, creating social media content, contributing to the newsletter, and co-hosting a French and English discussion group targeted at university students. After this, she temporarily moved to Lure, France, to work as an English teaching assistant from October 2020 until May 2022. She is thrilled to be able to share her love for French language and culture with everyone!

Rachel Vilus

I'm a native of Haiti, a certified translator, a tutor, and a master's graduate student focusing on education with concentrations in French and Spanish languages and literature.   I have collected over 900 hours of tutoring and translating work for private and corporate clients. I am fluent in  French, Spanish, English, and Haïtian Creole. I am currently learning Mandarin and Arabic. As an enthusiastic foreign language lover, I moved to New York in 2010 with the same zeal to connect people from different backgrounds to the Francophone community.  I am incredibly keen to join the AFW in 2023 as a faculty member. I used methods and varied techniques to meet the goals and needs of each student while monitoring their growth. I am passionate about positively expanding the French language and culture to young children or adults living in the United States and, above all, making them enjoy the sessions and learning process. 

Laetitia Philippart

Laetitia was born in Belgium but grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in South Africa. Growing up as an expat gave her the traveling bug and she has lived in Spain, the UK, France, China and now the US. She holds a bachelor degree in education from the University of Maine. She also holds the DAEFLE from the Alliance Française. While living in France, she worked in an international bilingual school at the elementary level. More recently, she has been substituting in NY public schools for French and English as a new language.

Sylvie Guissou

Mrs Sylvie Guissou is a new teacher at  AFW. She is passionate about teaching and she believes that with hard work and determination we can achieve great things.