Preston Albertine

Preston ALBERTINEPreston is a native of Washington State and earned his MA in French Studies from the University of Washington in 2016, as well as BAs in French and Business in 2013. As a graduate instructor at UW he discovered his passion for teaching and sharing his love of French language and culture and is thrilled to continue doing so at the Alliance Française. In addition to teaching French, Preston worked for two years as an English language assistant in French middle and high schools. He has spent significant time in Paris, Nantes, Romans-sur-Isère, and Amiens. Preston also works as a tour guide in the Seattle area. In his free time, he enjoys baking, the cinema, and playing music.


Hailey Burgess

IMG_4283Hailey Burgess received her Ph.D. in French from the University of Washington in July 2018. Previously, she got her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2011) and B.A. from Whitworth University in French with minors in German and Spanish (2009). During her Master’s program in Chicago, Hailey discovered her love of teaching language, and has now been doing it for 9 years. She grew up speaking French after attending The French American International School in Portland, Oregon (immersion program) from the age of 3 through 5th grade. Traveling was an early love of hers and she was fortunate to spend many summers in France. Hailey lives in Lynnwood with her husband and 3 year old son, and in her free time enjoys watching hockey and spending time at the beach or on the water.


Marie-Adèle Carli


Marie-Adèle, a French native, was born and raised in Normandy, close to Mont Saint Michel. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Belgium in Psychology and Education and her Master’s in Speech and Language Pathology in 2009. She lived and worked in several French-speaking countries around the world, including France, the West Indies, Switzerland, Belgium and Canada. In her spare time, she likes to read, hike, travel, play piano, attend concerts. She arrived in Seattle during the summer of 2014 and she really enjoys it!


Pauline Chateau

Photo Pauline ChateauPauline is a French native born and raised in Normandy. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy she discovered her passion for languages and began teaching French in 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She received her Master’s Degree in French as a Foreign Language in 2017 from the University of Artois and has taught students of all ages and from all over the world throughout various locations such as Denver, Colorado, and Brittany, France. In addition to teaching French, Pauline also served as “Officer of Development” for three years for a French culinary theater company, has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, and a Master’s Degree in Management of Performing Arts. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, listening to music, hiking, dancing, and learning new languages. Having recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, Pauline is thrilled to be teaching at the Alliance Française de Seattle and to meet the local francophone and francophile community!

Céline Fassetta


Born in Aix En Provence, south of France, Céline received a Master’s in French as a Second Language in 2013 at the University of Strasbourg in Alsace. The same year, she travelled to China where she worked as a french teacher for three years in a University in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. In 2016, her husband was transferred to the USA and she moved to Seattle. When she’s not in a class or glued to a book, she loves traveling, knitting, baking, hiking and learning new languages.


Fatouma Elmi

Fatouma-285x300Fatouma was born and raised in Djibouti. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Literature, she went on to study in the small city of Clermont-Ferrand in France. She spent 8 years there and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Corporate Management. Upon her return to her hometown, she was hired as a high school Philosophy teacher and taught French as a foreign language to American expatriates working in the Republic of Djibouti. She was subsequently employed at a bank but her passion for teaching never subsided. She returned to academia as a professor teaching both Banking and French. She has been in Seattle since 2014.


Liz Frazer

Liz_Frazer_headshot-150x150Dr. Liz Frazer is excited to be the new choir director for the Alliance Française. She received her doctorate in vocal performance in 2012 and has been working as the Director of Music at Soapstone UMC in North Carolina for the last five years, along with running a private voice studio, and teaching at a local community college. At the church, Liz conducted a variety of ensembles from children’s and adult choirs to a flute ensemble to handbells. Along with conducting, Liz is an accomplished classical soprano as well as voice teacher. She moved to Seattle in 2017 and is truly enjoying the rich cultural experiences that Seattle has to offer. Liz can’t wait to see what musical adventures await her in this beautiful town!

Sylvie Gaillard

sylviegaillardSylvie, a true Parisienne born and raised in Paris, moved to Seattle few years ago. After earning the “Diplôme de professeur de l’Ecole Supérieure d’Etudes Chorégraphiques de Paris” and then the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Dancing in England, she taught for 20 years in the Conservatories of Paris and in San Diego where she lived for 2 years.
When she arrived in Seattle she was a volunteer at Highline Community College where she taught French. She got excellent appreciations from her students and staff and then became a French instructor. She taught classes in several schools in the Puget Sound and at the Department of Army. Her focus is to make the study of languages enjoyable, to give the means and desire to discover different cultures and a way of thinking through communication. Between ballet and French language, her passion has always been the art of teaching. Sylvie is also our Alliance Française’s Ballet teacher.


Effie Janjic

effieOriginally from Thessaloniki, Greece, Effie began French in a Gréco-Français high school, and later graduated from the University of Thessaloniki in Langue et Littérature Françaises. She also had the chance to take literature and linguistics at the University of Tours in France under a scholarship from the French government. She came to live in Seattle eight years ago and started to teach French at the Alliance Française, bringing her love for French language and culture to students of all ages!


Danielle Jouët-Pastré

Photo_Danielle_Jouet_Pastre-300x281With a French and Italian background, Danielle was born and grew up in Brazil. There she attended a local Alliance Francaise as a child so that she could improve her skills to communicate more confidently with her family in France. The constant exposure to multiple languages led her to a Master’s degree in French Studies and later on to a PhD  in Francophone Literature (State University of New York – Albany). She comes to Seattle from New York State where she taught foreign languages for many years at public and private universities. Danielle is enthusiastic about being part of the Alliance Francaise again, this time sharing her experience and knowledge about French language and cultures.

Cécile Kestenbaum

Cecile K 2Cécile grew up in the Paris area, where she greatly enjoyed the cultural life.  She received her Master’s degree in teaching Spanish from the University of Paris Ouest la Défense (ex Paris X Nanterre) and successfully completed the competitive test to become a certified teacher (C.A.P.E.S.). She taught middle and high school students for about ten years, and organized trips and exchanges in Madrid to foster the language learning. Cécile relocated to Seattle three years ago. She has been teaching French for two years now at the Department of Defense for the Officers of the Special Operations Forces. She loves sharing her passion for languages in order to broaden cultural awareness create bridges between people. When she is not working, Cécile likes to spend time with her 14-year-old daughter, cook, read, and check out independent cinema.


Brice Lantheaume


Brice grew up near Valence, in the Drôme, one of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region’s departments. Before teaching, he traveled around the world to train professionals in the biomedical industry. Brice received his Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Montpellier and his Master’s in microbiology from Claude Bernard University Lyon 1. He moved to Seattle in 2017, where he has been teaching French at l’Alliance Française to students of all levels.


Alina Ptak

IMG_3403 (1)Alina  grew  up  in  the  Seattle  area  and  fell  in  love  with  the  French  language  when  she  went  to  Paris  for  the  first  time  as  a  young  teenager.  This  prompted  her  to  study  French  as  an  undergrad  at  the  University  of  Washington  and  later  on,  get  a  Master’s  in  French  from  Paris-Sorbonne  University.  She  also  holds  a  second  Master’s  in  French-Spanish  studies  from  the  Complutense  University  of  Madrid.  Alongside  her  studies,  she  has  spent  the  past  few  years  teaching  (both  English  and  French),  translating,  interpreting  and  traveling  extensively  throughout  Europe.  Recently  relocated  back  to  her  hometown  from  Madrid,  she  is  excited  to  share  her  passion  for  French  and  love  of  teaching  with  the  students  at  Alliance  Française.  In  her  spare  time,  she  loves  to  travel,  attend  concerts,  swim,  do  yoga,  rock  climb,  hike,  backpack  and  read!

 Laurence Ragazzi

@20180831_0062 (2)Laurence is a native French speaker from Geneva, Switzerland. She tutored kids in all subjects at the primary school level during her college years and after studying and earning a bachelor’s degree in tourism management in the small town of Sierre, Switzerland , she moved to the United States with her husband in 2005 and to Seattle in 2007. She is a stay-at-home mom to her two kids, an 18-month old girl and a 4-year old boy. In her spare time, she likes to walk her dog, read French “bandes dessinées”, bicycling, and play board games. Laurence is in charge of our Bébé-Club!


Emili Barcellos Martins Santos 

Photo Emili SantosEmili Barcellos Martins Santos holds a PhD in French Studies (Linguistic, Literary and Translation Studies in French) from the University of São Paulo (Brazil). She has over 15 years of language teaching experience at several institutions. In addition to her teaching experience, she has also worked at the Québec Immigration Office in Brazil. This experience allowed her to learn more about this French speaking Canadian province, which she had the opportunity to visit for the first time in 2006 for the teacher program “Stage en Langue, Culture et Société Québécoises”, held at the University of Laval. She moved to Seattle with her family in 2017 and besides teaching, she is passionate about reading, exercising, and cooking.

Aimie Shaw


Aimie began teaching at the Alliance Française de Seattle in 2011. Originally from Canada’s east coast, she completed her PhD in contemporary French literature at McGill University in 2014 and spent the next few years teaching French language and literature at various universities throughout Canada and the US. She has since found her way back to Seattle with her husband and young son and is excited to once again be working at the Alliance Française and at the University of Washington. Outside of work, Aimie is a running, cycling and literature enthusiast.

Lusine Shoukourian

lusineOriginally from Yerevan, Armenia, Lusine Shoukourian began studying French in bilingual Franco-Armenian school in Yerevan. She fed her love for the French language and literature by studying at the faculty of Romance and Germanic philology, at Yerevan State University.  She also had a chance to complete her Master’s degree in Linguistics in France, in Montpellier, at University Paul Valéry. She has been teaching French and Italian languages more than 10 years, at Yerevan State University, at École-Fondation Française in Yerevan and at the University of Bologna. Lusine is also a Literary translator, having translated authors like Marguerite Yourcenar, Claude Roy, Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, etc., to Armenian. She settled in Seattle in 2015 and in September 2016 had the chance to be a part of the great family at the Alliance Française of Seattle.


Aude Stadtmueller
Sans titre-1
I was born and raised in the Normandy region of France. I studied in Paris and lived there many years. I am fascinated by communication and the many ways to express ideas, I studied different languages (English, Spanish, Chinese). Before coming to United States, I was a training program manager in a corporate university of an international aeronautical company. I was responsible for a wide range of subjects in intercultural, personal development and retraining programs. I promoted Excellence in French language in my company, was responsible for the quality of an active, engaging, and innovative pedagogy, and I am particularly committed to creating an environment conducive to learning and its development such as security, confidentiality, trust, sharing, without judgment. To teach is to listen, respect, transmit and exchange, stimulate, awaken, open doors and grow together in the joy of sharing and communication!


Margo Vansynghel

Sans titre-2Margo Vansynghel is a Belgian journalist covering news, visual art, culture, human interest, contemporary issues and social movements for newspapers and magazines. As an Art Historian with an expertise in modern and contemporary art, she specializes in modern and contemporary art and the art market. Her hobbies are photography, yoga and cycling. She speaks and writes English, Dutch and French and understands Spanish and German.