alliance française de Cincinnati

Martine Verbesselt

Institute Director

Martine is the proud and passionate Director of Alliance Française de Cincinnati since 2013, where she enjoys creating new programs and developing new ideas for the students.
She was born and raised in the multicultural suburbs of Brussels, Belgium. She has extensive experience teaching French and Francophone culture to foreigners in the United States. She came to the United States in 1977, where she taught French for ten years in the first Immersion program in Louisiana. She moved to Kansas City to be the first Full Immersion Kindergarten Instructor and then moved to Cincinnati in 1989, where she taught in the Full immersion Program in the Cincinnati Public School School District. She received a Teaching Degree in Belgium and a B.A degree in Teaching / Montessori at Xavier University. She also obtained an E.S.L Degree from the University of Cincinnati.
She is married to Yvan Verbesselt, also a teacher at Alliance Française. They have a daughter, Gini. She also loves cooking with beer and wine, taking photos at events, traveling, reading, and watching movies. She loves being a grandmother to Maxwell, her two-year-old grandson who lives in the UK.

Fanny Plaisance

Communication Director; French Teacher

My name is Fanny Plaisance. I am from east of France and, for the past three years, I lived in Dayton, OH. I have a bachelor degree in Graphic Design & Communication. I came to the USA because my husband works for a French Company in Dayton. This year, I started my own French Pastries business. I like baking, traveling, horseback riding, photography, interior design, theater, knitting, embroidering, pets, tea & latte.

Jean Paul Berlestin

French Teacher

Hello everyone, my name's Jean Paul Berlestin Ella Edou.

I'm French, but I was born in Gabon. It's been two years since I moved to Mason, OH.

I have a degree in International Law and I worked for more than 20 years in a French Bank, my last role was insurance expert.

I came to the United States because my wife works for an American corporation in Mason. I am the father of 2 children and 2 cats.

And last but no least, I Iove to read, and play basketball and soccer.

Alal Elyadi

French Teacher

Jacqueline Fournier

French Teacher

Jacqueline Fournier has worked for Safran and is assimilated engineer since 2008.
She started teaching French n 2008 and loves it! She wants to thank all her students for their trust and tell them how much she enjoys sharing the French language and culture with all of them.

Rea Jalloul

French Teacher

My name is Rea Jalloul. I come from Lebanon. I moved to Cincinnati when I got married. When I was in Lebanon, I attended an American school, but my program was conducted in French. that's why I discovered my love for the French language. I obtained my Master’s Degree in French and Francophone studies from the University of Cincinnati. I enjoy spending time with my 2 kids. I also like reading, music, and traveling.

Cameron Kruse

French Teacher

Cameron is from the Cincinnati area and obtained his Master's Degree in French Studies with a focus in foreign language teaching at the University of Cincinnati in 2022. Previous to his studies at UC, he was an English language teaching assistant in France from 2018 to 2020. During that time, he worked at the elementary and primary levels with the Académie of Dijon, and at the secondary level with the Académie of Martinique. In his free time, he enjoys learning new languages, running, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Daniele Leong

French Teacher

Bonjour, Daniele is a life coach entrepreneur. She grew up in Madagascar where Alliance Francaise for her was the gateway to the world. After graduating from French Lycée, her family decided to settle in Canada. A few years later, she got married and the young family moved to Tampa Florida, and lived there for 20 years. She has a background in insurance, education, medicine, and coaching. Her family moved to Ohio in 2018. She likes to help others, do business, read, and travel to discover new places and to connect with all kinds of people.

Angela Lucarelli

French Teacher

Bonjour!  I live in Northern Kentucky with my husband and two children.  My mother is from Italy and so I developed a love of European culture and languages at a young age.  I am a francophile at heart and I have a bachelor's degree in both French and International Studies from NKU.   During my last semester in college, I lived in Montpellier, France and attended the Universite de Paul Valery.  I decided to teach French upon returning home, and so I went on to obtain a Master's in Teaching from NKU.   In the early 2000s I taught French at the high school level for 6 years and worked at the Alliance Francaise of Cincinnati as the director of the Institute and a French language teacher.  I love cooking and opened an Italian cafe and bakery for a few years and now I enjoy cooking at home for my family.  I am so happy to be reconnecting with the Alliance Francaise of Cincinnati to share my love for the French language and culture.

Anne-Laure Pithon

French Teacher

When she was in France, Anne-Laure shared her time between Britanny where she was born, and Paris where she lived for 20 years.

With her Bachelor of Arts (Literature) and her Master of Economics, she has worked in Paris in Banking for 17 years in risk management, and B2B customer relationships, as a compliance team manager and workshop leader.

She moved with her husband and their two kids to the greater Cincinnati in November 2023. She likes promoting the French language and francophone culture using creative work environment. An interesting fact about her: she loves interior design!

Isabelle Radano

FRENCH Teacher

My name is Isabelle Radano and I am SO EXCITED to be your new French teacher!

French native speaker, I arrived in the Greater Cincinnati area (Northern Kentucky) during the summer of 2015 with my family: my husband and my daughter.

I am 47 years old and I was born in Provence (South East of France) not too far from Van Gogh’s final resting place.

I have 2 Bachelor’s degrees (Biology and Quality, Safety & Environment - ISO norms) and a Master's degree in Management of Quality, Safety & Environment.

Since 2018, I have been working as an Instructional Assistant in the Public School System (Kenton County School District). I was a member of the Special Education team at Beechgrove Elementary until May 2022 when I decided to give another direction to my career: teaching French language. Last November, I was able to start teaching French to my neighbor’s daughter (6 years old) following the French Foreign Language program (toddlers’ method).

My hobbies and interests

  • I love to read books, novels in particular. I follow several Booktubers on YouTube so I keep myself informed about literary news. 
  • I really enjoy cooking for my family and making sourdough bread is one of my favorites. 
  • I have several activities that make me feel good and keep me relaxed and peaceful. These are gardening, making puzzles and crafts (Diamond Art, knitting, sewing, etc.) 
  • I welcome every road trip we can do over our vacations. I love to explore new areas/locations within the US, especially wilderness and National/State parks.
  • Finally, I would say that music takes a big place in my daily life as I am deeply involved into my daughter’s bands activities (Marching Band, Wind Symphony Honors Band and Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra)

Patricia Rouchon-Wells

French Teacher

Born near Paris, Patricia calls Saint-Briac-sur-Mer home, on the northern coast of Bretagne, where she was fortunate to spend her summers growing up. At seventeen, she came to Carson-Newman University, TN, on a tennis scholarship. What started as a one-year cultural immersion turned into 35+ years of blessed professional and personal memories in the United States! Following a successful Corporate Finance career with Procter & Gamble, Patricia, a mother of 3, worked as a freelance consultant to spend more time with family. Now a part-owner of Altix Consulting, an international boutique management consulting firm, she is thrilled to start her 4th year teaching at the Alliance Française: a perfect avenue to feed her natural passion for teaching and helping others while at the same time share her love of French language, history, and culture with her students.

Céline Sagot

FRENCH Teacher

Hi, I’m Céline!I’m French and I taught English in France (high and middle school) for 19 years.Currently I live in Cincinnati with my husband and my two children. My daughter, Amber, is 12 and a half, and my son, Robin, is 9. It is not the first time I’ve lived in the USA. When I was a kid, I lived in Washington DC with my parents and my elder sister. I also lived in England for a year when I was a young adult. I was a French assistant there for high and middle school students. I like dancing a lot; I go to Dancefix classes in Blue Ash twice a week.

Yvan Verbesselt

French, DUTCH, ENGLISH Teacher

Bonjour! I was born in Brussels, Belgium, reared in a Flemish/French bilingual family and environment. In 1977, I graduated as a Dutch, English, and German Teacher as Second Languages and started my teaching career as a French teacher. I live in the States since the 80’s. I became a Foreign Language Education Consultant in Louisiana, supervising teachers from Belgium, France, Quebec, and the United States. I created a French Immersion Program in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and I also co-wrote the Louisiana French as a Second Language State Curriculum Guide. I have taught Math, Science, Social studies, and English Language Arts in a French Immersion Program for The Cincinnati Public Schools. I obtained my B.S in Elementary Education from Xavier University, Cincinnati, in 1992 and a Masters in French Civilization and Literature from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 1998. Retired from public education in 2011, I taught one semester at Xavier University. I’ve been teaching from 2012 until the present for the Alliance Française de Cincinnati and served as Institute Director from 2012 to 2014. I’m serving as a Board Member for the AF Cincinnati since 2020.
Finally, I have also been a drummer/percussionist for the local Cajun-Zydeco, New-Orleans Trad jazz band “Lagniappe” from 1992 to the present.

Opening hours

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The Alliance Française de Cincinnati is a non-profit 501(c)(3) institution.

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illustrations by fanny Plaisance