L to R: Anne Bellec, Emmanuelle Bonin, Sylvie Berger, and Soledad Rodas
The FIAF Preschool Staff
All FIAF Preschool teachers are native French speakers with degrees in early childhood education. They have comprehensive experience in working with toddlers in multicultural and multilingual environments. They are regularly evaluated, trained, and supervised by specialists in early childhood education.
Vice President Education, FIAF
Marie-Catherine has been in charge of educational programs at the Embassy of France in Washington for the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia from 2009 to 2013. Previously she worked in various countries including Czech Republic, Russia, China and Latvia where she has been successively occupying teaching and managing positions in institutions and organizations such as high schools, universities, Centre culturel français and Alliance Française. Originally from Marseilles, she studied French and comparative literature at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon and pursued a specialization in teaching French as a foreign language at the Institut de recherche et de formation en français langue étrangère of the Université de Nantes.
Director of FIAF Preschool
Mme. Bellec was raised in Versailles, France, and has lived in the United States for more than 20 years. She attended business school both in France and the U.S. and earned an MBA in International Management from the University of Dallas. After holding marketing and sales management positions in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, Mme. Bellec decided to change careers and go into education. In the years since, Mme. Bellec has taught French at EFNY, Education Française à New York, the Garden House School, and FIAF (à petits pas, programs for Kids and Teens). She also has many years of experience teaching French as a second language to both children and adults. Mme. Bellec is married to an American and has two children, ages 10 and 17, who she has raised in New York City.
Ms. Rodas was born and raised in Lyon, France. She has an advanced degree in Education from the University of Lyon. She worked as a preschool and elementary teacher for more than ten years in France. She has also taught in the Lycee Francais of Barcelone and has done volunteer work as an educational coordinator in Ecuador. She has collaborated with researchers in the rhythm of the young child and the early learning. During the last ten years she has been teaching French and Spanish in a pre-K program in New Jersey. At FIAF she has taught toddlers, kids, and teens. She aided in the start of the children’s program at FIAF Montclair and has lectured for professional development programs for French teachers.
Ms. Bonin was born in Perigueux in Southwestern France. She grew up in the vibrant city of Lyon. She holds a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and a diploma for youth leaders. She worked for several years in daycare and recreational centers with children ages 3 months to 14 years old. She has taught at FIAF since 2010 and has worked for the "à petits pas: French for Toddlers" and "Kids and Teens" programs. She is a dynamic, optimistic person who is eager to share French culture and language with children.
Sylvie Berger was raised in Paris where she received her French degree in pastry-making. She worked as a pastry assistant at "La Grande Epicerie" as well as a consultant for "Cuisine TV" in Paris before moving to New York. For the past five years, she has developed culinary playgrounds: classes and workshops for kids ages two and up in both English and French. Each class is a "tastebud" adventure focusing on seasonal ingredients and recipes challenging the little gourmets to use their five senses as well as develop their motor skills. Sylvie also does adult workshops and private birthday parties and is currently working on her first interactive cookbook for children and their parents to enjoy together.
Mrs. Marchois has 20 years of experience as a preschool teacher. She focused her academic research on the teaching and acquisition of foreign languages in early childhood development. In 2002, she became a Pedagogical Counselor working for the French Ministry of Education and now trains teachers in foreign language instruction for young children. Mrs. Marchois is also a successful author of French and English textbooks for children.