French Classes for Children and their Parents on Saturday Mornings

Our Staff


Jacques Whettnall - Operations/Publicity
Denise Ciobanu - Operations/Treasurer

Volunteer Parent Board:
 - Marketing, Social Chairmen, and IT/Tech Support

Sonia Salas

Judith Perez

Ashley Mattei



Our faculty includes seasoned teachers educated in France, the U.S. and other Francophone countries.


  •  Denise Steluta Ciobanu   (EDS Director)
Madame Ciobanu was born in Bucharest, Romania and went to the University of Bucharest, Faculté de Lettres, where she received her Bachelor in Philology. She taught French, Romanian and Latin languages in middle school for 4 years prior to moving to USA. Mrs. Ciobanu has 23 years of experience in teaching. Currently she teaches French and IB French, at Northwestern High School, in Rock Hill. She enjoys reading, traveling and cooking. She shares her passions with her students and enjoys teaching language, civilization and cuisine.


  • Jacques M. Whettnall (EDS director)

 Born and Raised in Paris, Mr. Jacques Whettnall has been educated at Hattemer Academy, Lycée Janson de Sailly, University of Paris (Licence de Philo), and Recherche et Application Pedagogic School.He has been a teacher for  L’Alliance Française in the US for 16 years.

In this class level cycle 3, CM2, He proposes a consolidation of the grammar and most used verbs with prepared dictations.

Role playing and theater sketches, kinesthetic activities and songs to practice fluidity in the speech, reading and writing in that order. Study of some of the classics as Molière, Lafontaine , G.Sand etc...and will revisit the syllabic method and the “ analyse logique “ of the sentences....


  • Pamela Shembo

Madame Shembo teaches fifth grade French Immersion at Waddell Academy of International Languages and has been teaching in CMS for 20 years.

She has a Bachelor of Philology from the University of Louvain.

Mrs. Shembo believes strongly in communication in learning a language and encourage the children to feel free to discuss, ask questions, make mistakes, respect each other and have fun, Grammar should be learned at a later Stage. Her students learn songs and she creates a very strong group dynamic.

  • Radwa Ahmed

Born and Raised in Cairo, Egypt. Mrs Ahmed studied French at “Sacré-Coeur du Caire” a full immersion model school, studied medicine at Cairo University and practiced laboratory medicine for 15 years. Choosing a different career path, following her passion for the language, became a French immersion teacher at Waddell.

This class propose reading and comprehension: L’île aux mots (text and vocabulary), basic grammar for a good communication, poetry and songs, as well as children’s theater.

  • Alphonsine (Alpha) Musoki

Madame Alpha works with the “bout’chous”, our youngest group. Alpha was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She brings to our school her love of teaching the little ones, passion that she started cultivating since her high school years, her experience and her beautiful culture.

  • Abdallah Smahi

After passing his French Baccalaureat in Morocco, he pursued his studies at L’École Normale and L’Université Malherbe of Caen in Normandie.

He taught French in Tangier for more than 30 years to children of the second cycle and adults at the French Institute.

Abdullah gives a very pragmatic approach to the language, he knows how to respond to the expectation of his students in a very interactive and creative class dynamic, and loves to share the difficulties of his “second native language “. He will take over the classes for the adults.

  • Marie Martin Laguna Hesbert

Marie holds a Master Of Education in French as Foreign Language( FLE )from the University of Toulouse as well as a Master in Secondary Education from University of Madrid. She has taught children from 4 to 9 years old at the “École du Samedi in Pittsburg. Before moving to the USA, she taught at the Alliance Française in Barcelona and at the French Institute in Valencia, Spain.

Marie enjoys creating pedagogic materials and many activities for all ages.

She is open to any other requests according to the class composition. Marie will also make practice of the Syllabic Method.

  • Samuel Denis-Haayen

Monsieur Samuel Denis-Haayen was born in Paris and raised in Nice,France. Samuel served France as a commando Marine for 11 years where he developed a passion for teaching and instructing. Samuel spearheaded the CPR and first aid Certifications department as well as lead Entry Level Paramedic training.

Samuel values working with children of all ages in the classroom as much as he does on the field where he also shares his knowledge and passion for soccer. Samuel coaches Soccer and leads private sessions for children and adults on his spare time.

Samuel came to live in America to join his wife Cat, who is also an educator at Providence School.

As a travel enthusiast, he enjoys learning from different cultures and polishing up on his Spanish and Italian during his travel across Europe and South America.

  • Lea Nzieffe

Madame Nzieffe works at Waddell Language Academy, in Charlotte since 2016, and she is joining us for the first time.

Our substitute teachers :

  •  Mrs. Anne-Karine Melius
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' École 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.
  • Mrs. Nse Eyo
  • Mrs. Sophie David