Marie-Claire Ribeill

Executive Director & Founder

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

President of the Board

Sarah Ridder is committed to advancing the vision of L’ecole through nurturing its pre-school, developing its elementary, and going on to establish the Lycee Francais de Raleigh, which will equip students to graduate with full professional proficiency in French and English, holding both a Bac and a US High School Diploma, and prepared to enter university or careers in both languages.  Having learned French as an adult (DALF C2, tested at Alliance Francaise, Cambridge, UK) she appreciates the value of early childhood foreign language immersion. Sarah currently directs the full-time bilingual education of her own three children and holds graduate degrees in international affairs and film.  Sarah values each family in our community and invites you to contact her through the school to become involved in advancing our vision, through financial or in-kind contributions and volunteering.

Olivia Garsallah

Member of the Board

I was born in France.

I am currently Program Manager, Global Professional Services at Celonis.

My daughter attended the preschool and is now in the afterschool FLAM program.

Jerry Horner

Board Treasurer

I was born in the USA, I am President of Horner International, a manufacturer of all natural flavors and extracts.

My three daughters attended the preschool program at L’école. They are now atending a French Lycée.

Feh Gwanyallah, Esq.

Member of the Board

Feh Gwanyallah, Esq. was born and raised in Cameroon and she is excited to be a part of the Board.

Feh hopes that her experience will allow her to positively contribute to the continued success of the mission, vision and values of the school and make a difference in the community.

In her spare time, Feh enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Chad M. Lang

Board Secretary

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 Delayen

Member of the Board

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

Member of the Board

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.

Charles-Hubert Devaux

Member of the Board

I was born in France.

I am Senior Director – Patient Recruitment at Velocity Clinical Research, Inc.

I have two children at L’école, in the Preschool Program.

Josh Yelen, CPA

Member of the Board

Josh Yelen, CPA, is an established business executive, entrepreneur, and investor.

He previously co-founded two Biotech companies focused on drug and device discovery.

He has two children at L’ecole and his wife, Diana, heads the PTA.