MEET THE BOARD
Jacques Whettnall - Operations/Publicity
Denise Ciabonu - Operations/Treasurer
Volunteer Parent Board:
Alicia and Reade DeCurtins - Marketing, Social Chairmen, and IT/Tech Support
Virginia LaFar - Marketing, Administrative Support, and Curriculum
With a Master's degree in French, Virginia has been with
the school since it originated in 2004. She continues to help
the school with administration, social engagements, and publicity.
Virginia's children, Emily (12) and Taylor (10), have been learning
French since birth with Virginia. In fact, with EDS's help and
Virginia's persistence, Emily was reading in French before she
was reading in English!
Our faculty includes seasoned teachers educated in France,
the U.S. and other francophone countries.
MEET L' ECOLE DU SAMEDI'S TEACHERS
Je me nomme Ayawa Sigui Amegadje, Tout le monde m'appelle
Sigui. Je suis née a Lome au Togo ou j'ai passe mon bac litterature francaise.
J'ai fait 1 an de Sociologie a l'Université de Lome mais j'etais plus interessee
par les voyages. Je suis venue aux Etats-Unis en 2004. Je travaille pour US
Airways depuis 8 ans, ce qui me permet de continuer par voyager a travers le monde.
J'aime lire et les films de tout genre. Mon rêve est de devenir un peintre.
Born in Carcassonne in the south of France and raised in
Toulon, Anne-Karine Melius brings a world-view to her classroom.
As the daughter of an airline pilot, she and her family have
lived all over the world, including 13 years in Africa. Madame
Anne-Karine has been teaching the Maternelles class at l' Ecole du
Samedi since its inception and has been a guiding force in the
school's growth. What she loves most about teaching is working
with children and seeing the French culture come alive in them.
She has two children of her own, as well as a little Jack Russel.
In her free time, she enjoys gardening and is a member at the
Stowe Botanical Garden.
Monsiour Whettnall was born and raised in Paris. With a license de
philosophie/psychologie from the University of Vincennes/Sorbonne,
he participated in the foundations of Recherché and Application
Pedagogic JDK alternative school. He realized his affinity and interest
for the subject of personal development and studied creative, innovative
and proven methods of learning and understanding. He came to the US
attracted by the practicality of the pioneer spirit, discovering a language,
which at best, is geared toward directness and doing, but he emphasizes
that listening may be the hardest and most beneficial of the communication
skills. He moved from the West coast two years ago, where he was teaching at
the Alliance Francaise of the Riveria California, Berlitz in LA. He also taught in
Japan and presently at the Language Academy. Jacques considers the privilege
of teaching as an honor and that you have to trust the student's own capabilities
to foster the rediscovery of their talents and calmness. Self respect is due
and paramount to flourish in all things. He learned from a dear friend that, "patience
is that thing which takes place when you run out of it." It is his great pleasure to give
confidence to the children, learning a language as a means to learn about yourself.
Jacques recognizes the situational approach and the authentic French approach to
one's interest and enjoyment. He is very pleased to join the total immersion
program that EDS proposes. Monsieur Whettnall, along with his wife, Delia, and
their two genius cats, enjoys Charlotte, which he finds as a compromise between
Fontainebleau and the South of France.
Madame Ciobanu was born in Bucharest, Romania and went to
the University of Bucharest. She taught French, Romanian and
Latin in middle school for 8 years before winning a Green Card
to the United States. Madame Ciobanu has 11 years of experience
teaching French. Currently she teaches grades 6 through 8 at
Dutchman Creek Middle School in Rock Hill, S.C. Denise loves
books, movies, live theater, music, flowers, traveling, photography,
cooking... and chocolate!
"I love teaching at l' Ecole du Samedi because it reminds
me of Romania, and I love the dedication and the candor of my
Madame Shembo was born in Belgium. She teaches fifth grade French immersion
at Waddell Academy of International Language and has been teaching in the CMS school
system for 20 years. Madame Shembo's daughter attended EDS years ago and
they loved the program. With a bachelor of Philology from the University of Louvain, she
taught at the International School of Brussels. She moved to the US with her husband in
1994 and has two children, Naomie and Jonathan. Madame Shembo strongly believes in oral
communication when learning a language and that the students should feel free to discuss, to ask
questions, and to make mistakes, all while respecting one another and having fun; grammar
will be learned at a later stage. Teachers should have high expectations for the learners, explain
clearly, and set rules and consequences. She thinks teaching is the best profession in the world,
although quite challenging, but she simply cannot imagine doing anything else!
Alex Vigo - Adultes 1 & 2
Alex was born and raised in Troyes, the capital of the Champaign region-on the border of Burgundy and 100 miles
southeast of Paris. His mother and brother still live there. Lacoste and the Templar Order were founded in Troyes, France!
Alex spent 10 years in Paris and began law school there. He moved to Boston, completed law school,
and then made his final move to Charlotte in 2003, becoming a US Citizen in 2008. Alex enjoys teaching French and is passionate
about French culture. His interests include: politics, history (19-20th
century, WWII), 19th Century French Literature, French and American Cinema (30s-70s), and running (10k-half marathon).
Arlette Dupont - Substitute
Madame Dupont was born in Bergerac and grew up in Bordeaux.
Her childhood was enchanted by the many wonderful narratives
of her father's long stay in Sénégal, which gave
her the desire to travel and to discover other cultures. Arlette
is fluent in French, English, Spanish and German. She has lived
in France, Germany and Québec as well as many different
states in the US to finally settle in Concord, NC.
Madame Dupont worked in the medical field as a nurse where she
has used her knowledge of languages to help Non-English speaking
She enjoys reading, writing, conversing with friends, gardening
She renews with her vitality through her contact with young
Nse Eyo - Substitute