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Meet Our Team

The French American School of Denver employs a highly qualified and skilled team of teachers, administrators, and supportive staff to ensure the best learning environment possible.

 

FASDenver also has an active and engaged Board of Directors supporting the

well-being of our school. 

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Our Administrators

Administration

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Suzanne Acheson

Head of School

“Young learners are primed and ready to learn, and an immersion environment gives them the opportunity to excel academically, socially, and culturally.”

Suzanne is an educational leader, entrepreneur, and classroom teacher with experience in public and charter schools. She has two bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Mathematics, and a M.Ed. in Administrative Leadership.

 

Suzanne brings a combination of charter STEAM school start-up experience and International Baccalaureate experience to FASDenver. Having been in education for 20+ years, she has demonstrated expertise in developing cutting-edge initiatives to advance organizational priorities and offer novel learning experiences to encourage success.

 

At the charter STEAM start-up, she generated high retention rates from year one to year two, and doubled enrollment by establishing strategic recruitment, training, and retention practices. She has been recognized for superior leadership and meaningful impact initiatives by being awarded the Colorado Assistant Principal of the Year, the Outstanding Service Award, and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year awards.

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Emmanual Bidan

Director of Curriculum

“I firmly believe that learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.”

Experienced French immersion educator, certified teacher trainer, and school program leader. Emmanuel has 20+ years of experience working in French immersion schools and has taught every grade K – 6.

Emmanuel was born in Laval, France. He has been teaching since 1990 and has experience teaching every elementary grade level from Kindergarten through 5th grade. His leadership experience includes serving as Director of after-school programs and summer camps at a Denver private school. Emmanuel has lead academic project teams to build curricula for French schools in the U.S. and create a report card system for bilingual education, among other projects. In 1997, he completed a pedagogical and teacher trainer certificate program. When Emmanuel moved to Denver in 2001 with his family to join a bilingual school, he quickly became a passionate advocate for immersion education.

Our Teachers

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Hélène Chaveriat

Kindergarten Lead

Before joining FASDenver, Hélène taught Kindergarten for the French Ministry of Education in the public school of Puy-Saint-Martin (Saint-Julien-en-Genevois) in France and has been an elementary school teacher in France, and also in French immersion schools in Singapore and Malaysia, for the past 7 years. She holds a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s in Physical Education (with a focus on swimming) and brings experience teaching French as foreign language. Outside of school, Hélène loves sports and specifically enjoys running, mountain biking, and the outdoors.

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Agnès Crépy

Kindergarten Lead

Before coming to FASDenver, Agnès was a school principal and teacher for the French Ministry of Education in the town of Ugine in France. She has been a teacher in public elementary schools for 22 years. She holds a Master’s in Sciences and Geology and has experience teaching children from preschool to 5th grade in multi-grade classes, which has given her great skills in differentiating her instruction based on each student’s needs. She also taught French as a foreign language to young Afghan refugees for two years. Agnès is passionate about exchanging best teaching practices with other colleagues and university researchers through a local group she co-created. Outside of school, Agnès enjoys traveling with her family and playing board games.

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Alexandrine Toh

Assistant Kindergarten Teacher

Before joining FASDenver, Alexandrine worked as a preschool teacher and has worked several years as a French immersion teacher with Global Village Academy and Colorado International School. She holds an Early Childhood Education Director Certificate, a German teaching license, and a Special Education teacher’s diploma. She comes originally from the Ivory Coast where she taught 3rd and 4th graders as well as children with mild to moderate disabilities for 9 years before coming to the United States. Outside of her passion for children, Alexandrine loves to cook, listen to music, and spend time with her family.

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Marie Poirat

1st Grade

Marie is currently teaching 1st and 2nd grade for the French Ministry of Education in the public school of Marc et Rosalie Jullien in Chatuzange-le-Goubet in France. She holds a Master of Sciences in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Tourism. She brings experience teaching children with special needs and tailoring her teaching tools to the needs of each child. Marie worked in tourism in different countries including Guatemala and Bulgaria before becoming a teacher and following the path of her parents, who were both public school teachers. Outside of school, Marie enjoys hiking in the Alps with her family, mountain biking, camping, reading, and spending time cooking and drawing with her two kids. 

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Christel Munoz

2nd Grade

Christel is currently teaching 4th grade for the French Ministry of Education at the public elementary school of La Plaine in Tignieu Jamezieu, France and brings 13 years of experience teaching grades preschool through 5th. She holds two Masters, one in Primary School Teaching and the other in Physical Education. She has some prior experience in the U.S. with a school internship in Virginia and as a summer camp counselor for teenagers traveling through California, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Outside of school, Christel loves reading and traveling as well as skiing, hiking, running, and artistic swimming.

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Stéphanie Agresti

3rd Grade

Stéphanie is currently a Special Education teacher supporting all 
teachers in the elementary school of J. Balmat in Chamonix, France. She brings 23 years of experience teaching all levels from preschool through 5th grade. She holds an Engineering degree in Agriculture, a Master’s degree in Education, a teaching license for Special Education, and a teaching 
license for French as a Foreign Language. She brings a wealth of 
expertise in differentiating instruction to ensure that each child’s individual needs are met. Outside of school, she loves reading, traveling, and sports such as mountaineering, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, biking and hiking.

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Daniella O'Malley

English/ELD

Before coming to FASDenver, Daniella taught English and Social Studies in Thailand, Germany and Hawaii.   She holds a Master’s in Cultural Linguistic Diversity in the classroom and a Bachelors in Social Science Education.  She has experience teaching children from Kindergarten to 11th grade.   She also taught English as a foreign language in Ghana at a local orphanage. Daniella is passionate about helping students explore the world they live in through reading and writing.  Outside of school, Daniella enjoys camping, swimming and reading a good book.

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Annie Papes-Barerra

English/ELD

Annie grew up in Michigan, received her elementary education degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and then moved to Colorado for adventure. Teaching preschool through fifth grade in rural Michigan, Denver Metro, the mountains of Colorado, and Germany have been some of the adventures on her journey. Annie’s current adventure is raising a young family while also supporting the needs of young learners at local French immersion school. She loves to enhance the wonder, energy, and inspiration children bring to life.

Our Support Staff

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Malika Bidan 

One-on-One Student Support

Malika (Mali for short) hails from Paris, France, but arrived in Denver twenty years ago. It was here that she discovered the school environment and fell in love with teaching, especially helping students become bilingual learners. Her passion is helping non-French speaking children progress in acquiring the French language. In order to be even more effective, she is currently in training to be able to teach FLD in elementary school. Mali is a proud mother of three and grandmother of two. She loves being surrounded by children everyday. 

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Romain Da Rocha

Administrative Assistant

Romain is a native of France who prior to moving to Denver lived in Singapore for 5 years.  Romain thrives in cross-cultural teams where he leverages his strong verbal and written communication skills and his experience in building productive working relationships with his colleagues.  Professionally, Romain is an engineer by trade and he uses this experience in professionalism, being detail oriented and committed to resolving issues in all aspects of his work.  In his spare time, Romain enjoys the outdoors and specifically mountain biking and running.

Laure Abercrombie

Social Worker

Jason Hamad

Psychologist

Allison Wilcox

Occupational Therapist

Madeline Booth

Speech Pathologist

Megan Dineen

School Nurse

Alfina Wilson

Special Education

Provider

FASD BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board Responsibilities

We ensure the French American School of Denver’s compliance to its contract with Denver Public Schools, set and monitor the implementation of school policies, manage the school’s annual budget and financial planning, and hire and evaluate the performance of our Head of Schools. For a complete list of board responsibilities click below.

Contact the Board – For questions, concerns, or to sign up for the public comments portion of a board meeting, please email Board@fasdenver.org.

 
 

Board of Directors

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Wendy Fisher

Board Chair

Wendy holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration and has 20 years of experience driving fundraising efforts for several leading cultural institutions. Most recently, she led events for the American Academy in Rome, where she worked in a bilingual environment to plan fundraising galas in both New York and Rome.  Prior to this, she oversaw special events programs for the New York Botanical Garden, American Ballet Theatre, and the Metropolitan Opera, and led major gift campaigns for the San Francisco Symphony and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She is honored to serve on the Board and to utilize her experience to create innovative strategies that will help the French American School of Denver continue to build capacity and exceed fundraising goals. Wendy relocated to Denver from New York with her husband Ari Pelto and her son Alessio, now in 3rd Grade at FASD.

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Stefan Hellstrom

Board Treasurer

Stefan, a parent of two FAS Denver students, was born in Vienna, Austria to a Swedish father and American mother and studied at the Lycee Francais in Jerusalem while in elementary school. Stefan is an Associate Director for Accenture, a large multinational consulting company, where he specializes in managing complex technical cloud implementations for his clients.  This work, in which he interfaces with a global team daily, continues to strengthen his values in the importance of language and cultural awareness.  Additionally, the nature of his profession requires Stefan to be capable of working well under pressure, solving complex problems, communicating very clearly, and bringing people together to achieve common goals.  Stefan brings these same skills to the FAS Denver Board.

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Phallon Treece

Board Secretary

A Michigan native, Phallon considers herself a global citizen; she has participated in many projects having to do with global health policy, emergency preparedness, and pandemic response.

While living in Italy, she co-founded Human Dignity International--an international NGO founded to promote change and stimulate holistic global development through signature projects in Haiti, France, Kenya, Morocco, and Zimbabwe. In 2013, Phallon spent time in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Health Organization as a part of the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) while also in collaboration with the Afro-European Medical Research Network (AEMRN). After living in Europe for some time, she returned stateside with her family.  She has served with the New Orleans Health Department’s 10-Year Post-Katrina Emergency Preparedness Plan.

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Kiana Sarraf Joersz, JD, TIPC

Board Member

Kiana is an experienced attorney and advisor, with 15+ years consulting and advising for a top-tier investment bank, private firms, and and in various roles with federal agencies.  Kiana is additionally the Chief Operating Office of a consulting and coaching firm, focusing on trauma-informed processes and methodologies for executives and professionals.  

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David Roberts

Board Member

David is the president of building solutions for Cypress Envirosystems.  He has worked with Internet of Things (IoT) technology for over 15 years and energy-related industries for over 20 years.

Before joining Cypress, David worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture where he assisted utilities in their selection of IoT technologies, crafted their strategies in the smart homes market, and helped develop California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategy. He also worked for Shell Oil and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan. David holds a BS from Michigan State University and an MBA from Dartmouth College.

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Yana Grigortchouk 

Board Member

Bio Pending

Thank You

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Angela Strange
Founder & Board Emerita

Yohainna Abdala-Mesa, Founding Board Member

Tara Bardeen, Founding Board Vice Chair

Emmanuel Bidan, Founding Director of Curriculum

Marie Elalem, Founding Board Member

Wendy Fisher, Founding Board Member 

Martin Lafitte, French Curriculum Advisor

Isabelle Shiffrin, Founding Board Secretary 

Jean Claude Ndefu, Founding Board Member, Community Liaison 

Angela Strange, Founding Board Chair

Special Thanks to all our Founding Board Members: