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.

Debbie Eaton


After reaching a certain milestone birthday, Debbie Eaton decided to brush up on the two years of French she learned in high school in Indiana. She casually mentioned “Quickbooks” during a French class, and the next thing she knew, she was the Treasurer of the Alliance Francaise. Debbie is also an active volunteer at Refugee Resettlement and tries to use her French when talking to newly arrived immigrants. When not keeping the Alliance’s books current, Debbie can be found listening to the CSO at Music Hall, taking photos, or planning her next trip to Europe.

Cécile Chaillot

French Teacher

Hello. My name is Cécile Chaillot. I am from France and my home is 45 minutes from Paris. 

I lived in West Chester, Ohio from 2016 to 2019. I returned to the United States in August of 2021. I now live in Mason with my family. 

I am a certified primary school teacher in France with 13 years of experience. 

I taught French for the Alliance Française when I last lived here.  I loved teaching French, sharing my culture, and I enjoy helping others improve their fluency. I enjoy using different methods to teach and my students seem to enjoy this as well. In addition to teaching, I like to travel, bake, run and spend time with my family (I have two daughters: 7 and 5 years old).

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.

Francoise Harper

French Teacher

Before arriving in the USA in 2012, I had been a teacher for more than 25 years in France. In 2016, I started working with the Alliance Française of Atlanta as a French teacher. Then I became the Operations Manager for the Alliance Française of Atlanta in Roswell until February 2020. In May last year, I moved to Ohio with my husband and my two wonderful sons of 16 and 19. As an educator for the Alliance Française of Cincinnati, I love to share my culture and knowledge. Last but not least, I am a full-time artist.

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.

Seyi Adeniji

French Teacher

Bonjour! My name is Seyi Adeniji and I was born in Cleveland but grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. I am currently double majoring in International Business & French Studies at Xavier University. For about 13 years I attended a French school in Lagos where tuition was conducted in French and where I discovered my love for the language and culture as a whole. When I am not teaching and sharing my passion for French at the AF, I enjoy playing and watching soccer and ping pong and learning about computer technology.

Nadia Leon

French Teacher

My Name is Nadia Leon. I come from Paris and after marriage, I moved to the United States in 2017. I have a son who is 3 years old. I studied sociology at the University of Paris. I worked as a nurse in France on different services like geriatric, oncology, surgery, pediatrics. During my vacation time whenever I visit Pondicherry (India), I used to teach French to the children and adults. I have always loved teaching French and sharing my knowledge with others. I like baking, traveling to different countries, cooking different kinds of food. I like to learn and explore diverse cultures and traditions. I am very happy to teach French in Alliance Française of Cincinnati.

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.

Yvan Verbesselt

French 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

Our office is open Monday to Friday, by appointment only.

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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