I had the good fortune of being born and raised in Lyon, a large city perfectly situated between Paris and the Mediterranean, and close to the beautiful ski slopes of the Alps. It is also the self-proclaimed gastronomy capital of the world.
I spent my first academic years in a small catholic school that combined strict discipline with a deep respect for the individuality of every child. I owe the most important elements of my education to the amazing teachers who shaped my childhood.
After obtaining the Baccaulaureate with a major in Economics, I studied philosophy and art at “Université Jean Moulin Lyon III.” I obtained a Master’s certificate in phenomenological anthropology, under the guidance of Professors Henri Maldiney and Odile Marcel, whose outstanding teachings and friendship have been a constant source of inspiration over the years.
My parents fostered in me an independent spirit, and as we had the great privilege of exploring several continents, including America, I acquired a taste for traveling at an early age.
I arrived in San Francisco in the early 1980′s. Well supported by the extreme kindness of my first employer, Sally Zappella, I not only discovered the American professional way of life, but realized that I had an affinity for it. Soon, I started teaching French at various schools, including the Alliance Française.
A few years later, Marie Galanti and Anne Prah-Perochon, owners of the “Journal Français d’Amérique,” entrusted me with an editorial position with their company. They also became two major role models for me as I progressed in my professional life as teacher, writer and business owner.
In January 1992, with the encouragement of a handful of dedicated students and a modest savings, I founded The French Class at 500 Sutter Street. Teaching has never been a job for me, but rather a way to share both of these worlds I love, my homes, France and California.
The door to my office is always open, inviting everyone to come talk with me. The French Class is constantly evolving and growing, often thanks to new ideas from students or colleagues. The goal I share with our wonderful staff is to provide a dynamic, supportive and fun environment to learn or practice French. Sharing our culture is our small contribution toward world peace.
After much research, finding no textbook fulfilling the needs of American professionals who want to learn French, I wrote a series of seven manuals for our elementary levels called “Devour French.” They cover all the basics and provide a strong foundation to enter the intermediate level. When I am not writing textbooks or our newsletter, I am teaching some of our advanced grammar courses. I look forward to welcoming you into one of my classes very soon.