I was born in France and am an American naturalized citizen. I have a background in education and hold a CAPES and AGREGATION in Foreign Language teaching from the university Paul Valéry in Montpellier France. I founded l’Ecole in my home in 2009. I was the school director until 2012 when L’école became a non-profit, in order to be the recipient of the FLAM (Français Langue Maternelle). This allowed a grant from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dedicated to French schools teaching French to French children around the world.
I was the president of the board of l’école from 2012 to 2019. I have been the honorary Consul of France in North Carolina since March 2010. As such, I am dedicated to the promotion of France, friendship and trade between France and North Carolina as well as supporting the French population in the area. I worked for ten years as a teacher in France and England, then as a history teacher at the French School of Raleigh, and a French sub at Exploris Middle School. I also tutored French and history for French students in Raleigh. in 2011 I got a position at SKEMA Business School. I was an English and French teacher first, then the North America Development and External Relations Officer. In January 2018 I became the Executive Director of the French American Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas. I re-assumed the directorship of L’école in 2019. I have two sons: Guilhem, who works in Boston, and Axel, who works in Durham, NC.
Sarah Ridder has an innate, lifelong, love for education and is devoted to advancing the vision of L’Ecole. She has taught in the US and UK and is currently directing the bilingual education of her own three children. She holds advanced degrees in film and in international affairs and in her leisure time pursues interests in community building, literature, culture, and outdoor adventure.
I was born and raised in beautiful Burgundy in France, known worldwide for its amazing gastronomy and wine. I am a strong advocate of the French history, heritage and culture. A true epicurean that love life and people. I am an American naturalized citizen since 2019 and truly love the United States just as equally as France.
My background is in Finance and International Marketing/Sales in the Medical Device industry. I am an honest and reliable individual committed to get a job done and to help people as much as possible. I speak three languages and truly believe that as parents, we should prepare our legacy and teach our kids different languages. French is beautiful. I am a very proud and loving father of a little girl who at 4 years old already speaks three languages as well.
We moved to Raleigh from NYC in 2014 and are truly enjoying the city.
President of the Board of L’Ecole from 2019 to February 2022.
Assistant Director of L’école since February 2022.
Grew up in Latin America and attended the French school system in London, Madrid and Lima.
Father of 2 adult children, moved to NC in 2011 and have worked in export sales and logistics for over 30 years. Currently handling the wholesales accounts for La Farm Bakery.
Glad to meet you soon, Christian
Marcelo is a French-Argentine citizen. A Clinical Chemist by training, he moved to France in 1995 to earn his MS degree, and has lived there for a total of 8 years in the cities of Lille, Paris and Lyon. He also lived in Boston, Mass for 9 years where his two kids (Christian, 22 and Valeria, 20) attended the French-American School of Boston, which gave the entire family a true immersion in an international school like L’école.
Marcelo has been a Marketing Executive in top Diagnostics and Medical Device companies in France, USA and Argentina for 25 years now, lives in Raleigh since 2015, and is now devoted on a part-time, pro-bono basis to put his Marketing expertise at the service of L’école.
He is married since 1991 to Patricia Valdivieso-Cloës, who’s a clinician and interior designer and he loves music, cooking for family and friends, and biking -particularly in the nice NC greenways along the Neuse River.
Group VP, Global Marketing – Attindas Hygiene Partners
Board Secretary – L’ecole French School of North Carolina
Chad holds undergraduate degrees in French Literature and Chemical Engineering, and also has his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Marketing and International Business. His career has always focused on fast-moving consumer goods and he has worked on powerhouse global brands including Huggies®, Raid®, and Glade®. He currently heads the marketing department for Attindas, a global manufacturer and marketer of absorbent hygiene products in the Baby Care and Adult Incontinence categories across North America and Europe. Originally from Wisconsin, Chad has also lived in French-speaking Switzerland and now lives in Raleigh with his wife and two daughters. He speaks French at home daily, and in his spare time enjoys international travel (having visited 105+ countries and counting), cooking, and downhill skiing. He has been a member of the Board of L’ecole for over 5 years, and currently serves as Board Secretary.
Jenae has been passionate about raising her French-American children bilingual and discovered L’école shortly after her first child was born. Her family has attended baby and me classes, the preschool and now the after school program. During this time she has spearheaded the preschool PTA and annual Spring Festival Fundraiser. She holds advanced degrees in Clinical Nutrition and Spanish. In her free time, she loves to spend time outside and traveling with her family.
Cristina España is the Vice Consul of Guatemala in Raleigh, with over 11 years of experience in the Diplomatic Service serving the Guatemalan migrant community. Currently she serves over 80,000 Guatemalans in NC and 40,000 in SC, in charge of Cultural and Commercial Affairs, Mobile Consulates, the Protection and the Education Department and helped create the Empowerment Program of Guatemalans in the Carolinas and the Day of Guatemala, where about 4,000 people visit the event each year. Currently serves in the Board of L’école – French School of Raleigh and the Board of the Guatemalan Support Student Group.
She was previously posted in Atlanta in charge of the Civil Registry Department and covered the 2011 crisis, reaching 6,000 dual citizenship registrations in 2011. She was later assigned in 2012 to be in charge of the Protection Department serving the Guatemalans detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement until 2017 when she was promoted to be Viceconsul in Raleigh.
Viceconsul España holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Marketing from the University Latina of Costa Rica and the European University of Madrid and is currently getting her Master Degree in Neuromarketing at the University Latina of Costa Rica powered by Arizona State University. She has a background as a Theater Director in Guatemala and California with formal studies in Fine and Contemporary Arts.