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Joanna Shum recently taught French at Notre Dame de Sion from 2003 – 2018. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Education from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and Bachelor’s Degree in French with Minor in Education, K-12 and FLES Certifications from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota.
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Chris Neher has been working in the nonprofit industry for nearly 20 years. After a short-lived music career, his calling lead him to begin his fundraising career at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In 2005, Chris co-founded the world’s first and only international nonprofit toy company which focused on psychosocial programming for the world’s most marginalized populations. An avid traveler, Chris has broken bread in 45 states and 25 countries. In his free time, he spends his time being taken for a drag by his Mastiff, playing golf, tennis and finding new places to eat with his wife. Chris is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in diplomacy from the University of London.
Carlos McClain’s title is “Office Manager” but it should really read “Backbone”. Carlos came to Académie Lafayette for a job interview. While she waited she started taking phone messages – and she hasn’t stopped yet. In her 17 years at AL, she has assisted with the school’s start-up and day-to-day operations, coordinated the yearbook and 8th-grade graduation, and supervised student transportation, food service, and building maintenance. She also created our first outreach to minority students plan. Carlos first started her career as a paraprofessional in the Joplin, Missouri school district working with 7th and 8th grade remedial math students. She also worked at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, assisting with booking conventions into the city, and as a meeting planner for National Rural Health Association. She attended the Joplin Business College and the American Institute of Banking.
Carlos is one of the founders of the “Coalition of 100 Black Women – Kansas City Chapter”, a non-profit volunteer organization for American women. She is a volunteer at the WEB DuBois Learning Center, Black Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations. The Imperial Court and the Ernestine H. Buck Special Events Department of the Imperial Court/Auxiliary of A.E.A.O.N.M.S. of North and South America and its Jurisdiction, Inc recently chose her as one of the 2017 Outstanding African American Women Honorees and Hall of Fame Inductees. She is a very active member of her church and community.
I am from China (PRC), and a native Chinese speaker. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Science in China and a Master’s degree in Education in South Korea. I attended a Korean-Chinese immersion school for 12 years (P, M, H) in China so I am fluent in both Korean and Chinese. During that time, I studied a 3rd language (English) in middle school and high school. Before I came to the US, I taught Chinese in South Korea for many years (in a private school and college). I also worked for many years in the admissions department of a university in both China and South Korea. My last year of working in South Korea, I taught Korean in a University Language Institute. I taught for a year and then moved to the United States with my husband. The same year, Académie Lafayette hired me as the first Mandarin teacher in 2014.
My entire education background is very similar to Académie Lafayette students’. I learned Korean like AL students learn French (language immersion). I learned English like AL students learn a 3rd language (language acquisition). I experienced the two main approaches to learning languages. These language learning experiences help me understand my students who are facing exactly the same situation as I faced when I was young. Working at AL has helped me understand the American education system and American students.
Hello, my name is Randi McCreary, and I am the sixth grade English teacher at Académie Lafayette. I have been teaching for 18 years with a bachelor’s in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri and a master’s in education from Avila University. I truly enjoy teaching students how to become the best writers, readers, speakers, and listeners that they can. Académie Lafayette is a wonderful place to incorporate my love of creativity.
When I am not teaching, writing is a big part of my life. I am a published writer that has had work featured in Essence Magazine and O Magazine, and I am the author of two poetry chapter books found at Barnes & Noble. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters and love spending time with my family. A fun fact about me is that I am a Funds for Teachers Fellow and spent a summer in Harlem, New York, researching the life and times of Langston Hughes.
My name is Armand Tsafack; I’m married and I have five kids. I have master’s degrees in mathematics education and in pure mathematics from the University of Yaounde I. My 23 years of teaching mathematics include 17 years in my home country, Cameroon (6th–12th grade), and six years at Académie Lafayette (6th grade). I also have two Missouri teaching certificates: Mathematics 5–9 and Mathematics 9–12. The 2017–18 school year will be my sixth year teaching at Académie Lafayette.
I currently teach 6th grade mathematics. Teaching mathematics is a joy to me and I love to see the progress students make throughout the year. I hope my teaching style makes learning both enjoyable and effective for my students.
With 15 years in the Kansas City Public School District, I’ve taught kindergarten (5 years), first grade (1 year), second grade (2 years), third (3 years), and fourth and fifth grades (4 years). I joined Académie Lafayette in 2014 to teach science and math to fifth grade, which I still enjoy very much.I am a mother of a beautiful and intelligent young woman named Manuella. She is 20 and going to college but still lives at home with me.
Bonjour from the library! My name is Judy Clause, and I do the technical work in the library one day a week. This is mostly cataloging of new books and helping to make sure books make it back to the library from homes. I am a retired teacher and certified library media specialist. I taught in the primary grades, mostly 3rd grade for more years that I will admit! Then, I became a librarian.
Working at AL is like working in a small global community with teachers from many different places. I have even learned a few words and phrases in French! The staff here has been very kind and patient with this non-French speaking librarian. I love my time at AL and am so impressed with the way the staff works so hard for their students’ success. The children never cease to amaze me at how quickly they transition to French. I feel lucky to be here with this staff and these students. It has truly been a learning experience for me!
My name is André Sockmack, a native from Cameroon, a French speaking country in Central Africa. I have been teaching children, as well as adults, for more than 25 years. I have been teaching in the U.S. for 18 years and at Académie Lafayette for 11 years. I got my bachelor’s degree from the University of Yaoundé and a master’s degree in the art of teaching from Webster University.
I am a teacher, an author, and a writer of the series called La Pratique de l’Immersion en Français “Practical French Immersion.” I have a great family with three children. I love reading, listening to classical music, and being around happy people.
“I believe that Teaching is a Call from the above. I have been inspired to become an inspiring person.”
I am a Senegalese teacher certified in pedagogical strategies. I was recruited in 1987 by the Ministry of National Education of Senegal as a French teacher. Ten years later, I resigned from the public service and was able to integrate into the French system through the Current Bilingual School of Dakar. At this great Senegalese school, I performed the duties of teacher and pedagogical director from 1997 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010, I was the director of a consulting agency, Les Lauriers, specializing in the management of schools, administration/education and also initial and ongoing training of teachers in Senegal. In 2010, I emigrated to the United States and taught French at Portland French School in Portland, Oregon (IB business and PNAIS/AEFE).
Then the following school year at the French American School of Puget Sound in Mercer Island, Washington (AEFE). In September 2012, I was back home and working at the French School of Dakar (AEFE). Since August 2015, I am happily teaching French at Académie Lafayette.
I am a teacher who strives to build a learning relationship with my students so that they know the importance of being in class and benefitting from every learning opportunity. My goal is to create a student-centered classroom environment where every student can freely thrive to their fullest potential.
Very involved socially, I was the volunteer president of the association À Bras Ouverts, an organization that helps women who are in difficult situations and children who are out of school. Passionate about writing, I manage two blogs: the first one deals with pedagogy and the other one is about literature and culture.
I have also published a novel, “Rescapée,” a Senegalese drama (Lille Foundation Literary Award Francophonie “Alain Decaux,” 2009) about the sinking of the boat Joola.
I am the proud mom of three kids, ages 22, 19, and 15.
I continue to express myself creatively through drawing, photography, and painting. I am an adventurous traveler and enjoy getting outside of my comfort zone in new situations. In 2011, I received my master’s in primary and secondary art education. I have had the pleasure of working at Académie Lafayette since 2008 as an art, computer, and PE teacher.
I believe that the support classes are crucial for teaching problem solving skills, creativity, math, science, history, and higher order critical thinking. I assess students based on point systems listed in Powerschool. I look forward to helping your student push himself or herself to be the best he or she can be, while supporting individual and creative learning styles.
If you ever have any questions about anything, please don’t hesitate to email me, leave a voicemail at the school for Art, or come by room 103 on the bottom level of the Cherry campus.
Best wishes and inspiration!
I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for over 30 years. Following my retirement from North Kansas City Schools, I began working at Académie Lafayette. I have a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri. I have lifetime teaching certifications in Missouri and in Iowa. I am certified by the American Speech Hearing and Language Association and am a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist in the state of Missouri. I enjoy working with students of all ages. I love Académie Lafayette. It is a small, close-knit community that looks out for everyone. Académie Lafayette believes in a quality education and in teaching about the global world. Our students have a much better understanding of the world and the people who live in it. I love traveling to new places, especially if there is an ocean involved. One of my goals is to travel to many countries and to learn about many cultures.
I love music and I have played the drums for 20+ years. I enjoy playing soccer, cooking, traveling, and reading.
I’ve obtained the following degrees: a bachelor’s in elementary education (curriculum and instruction), a master’s in TESOL (curriculum and instruction), and a master’s in Spanish (romance languages and literature). I also have certifications in elementary education (grades 1–6), Spanish (K–12), and ESL (K–12).
Madame Martine Kuevi was born in Lome, Togo, in West Africa. After finishing high school, Madame Kuevi enrolled at the University of Benin in Lome where she obtained her master’s in public law in 1998. In the meantime, from 1992 to 2002, Madame Kuevi was recruited to work at the World Health Organization (WHO) Training Center in Lome. She lent her services there and also worked in two different schools.
In 2002, Madame Kuevi decided to come to the United States and after a couple of years, started working as a paraprofessional at Académie Lafayette. In a need to improve her opportunities in the teaching field, Madame Kuevi registered at the University of Central Missouri (formerly known as CMSU) to study for a master’s in teaching: curriculum and instruction. She graduated from that program in 2007. By then, she had already obtained her certification in teaching of the French language. In 2011, she obtained her second certificate in education of young children. In the interim, from 2005 to 2011, Madame Kuevi worked for the Kansas City, Missouri, School District in order to become more exposed and gather more experience in the American school system.
Madame Kuevi returned to Académie Lafayette as a building substitute in August 2011. Madame Kuevi has been a member of the 3rd grade teaching team since 2012. Her drive in teaching depends on motivation, maintaining (focus), management (and control), meritorious (rewarding for good and hard work), and merriment (to do everything with joy). Her philosophy on education is founded on the established understanding of the role every individual plays in the field. She believes in developing strong relationships, working hard, engaging the child completely in the process of learning, making learning fun and finishing all tasks. She believes in mutual respect, honesty, and acceptance of individuals as they are.
In her free time, Madame Kuevi enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Visit Martine Kuevi’s classroom website here.
Stacia Milius grew up in central Nebraska. After high school, she attended the University of Nebraska where she received a degree in elementary education. Stacia’s 20 plus years of teaching includes a variety of experiences, ranging from rural country school teaching to inner city teaching. The majority of her years were spent in a combined 5th and 6th grades classroom teaching language arts and social studies.
In 2010, Stacia and her family moved to the Kansas City area from Nebraska. Her husband, Mike, is a civil engineer and vice president with Olsson Associates. They have three children. Courtney is a physical therapy student at Creighton University. Benjamin and Thomas are students in the Liberty school district.
In her free time, Stacia enjoys spending time with her family, reading, scrapbooking, watching movies, attending small group Bible study, and having coffee with friends.
Click here to access her website.
Married for 18 years with 3 loud, wild, and wonderful children, Lara’s passion is traveling to different countries and experiencing how other cultures live and love life. She enjoys watching her children play baseball and spending time with her friends and neighbors.
She has worked with people of all different ages and backgrounds and specialized in drug and alcohol treatment, trauma, and child and family therapy. Lara spent 10 years working in psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment and was excited to have an opportunity to work in the schools, beginning with Gordon Parks Elementary, where she was the school counselor for 7 years. Lara enjoys having a relationship with students and their families and feels great knowing that the school provides a safe and nurturing environment for them to learn. She is thrilled to be a part of Académie Lafayette and eager to engage with students and their families.
I have been teaching since 2007, and joined the AL family in 2010. I have always loved to learn new things and wanted to share my passion for learning. I think it’s pretty neat that I get to speak my native language in the middle of the U.S. My French friends always think that I live in Kansas because of the name of our city.
I grew up in a small French town of 800 people called Saint-Yon, located an hour south of Paris. When I was a senior in high school, I got a scholarship to come study for a year at Cottey College, a women’s college located in Nevada, Missouri. I liked it so much that I decided to be a teacher here in the U.S. instead of back home. I got my bachelor’s in K–12 French education from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, and my master’s in multicultural studies from Park University in Parkville. Since then, I have also earned more than 60 graduate hours!
I live in Blue Springs with my husband, my son, and my four pets. I love watching my son discover new things and speak Frenglish. My husband currently does not speak French but plans on learning once he is done with his mechanical engineering degree.
I was born in Chicago, where my dad was going to college, and moved back to Sioux City, Iowa, when I was about three. This is where I grew up as the eldest in a family of five kids. After graduating cosmetology school, I moved to KC in 1983 where I have lived ever since. I worked in the cosmetology and cosmetic industry for about 15 years, where I worked my way into managing a beauty supply company. I met my husband while visiting my family back in Sioux City. We met at the Old West Expo, similar to the Renaissance Festival but set in the Old West. A year later, we had our wedding during the festival, about 50 feet from where we met, with everyone dressed in Old West costumes.
Three children later, all under the age of five, I discovered it was too difficult to continue working nights and weekends, so I started teaching preschool and began classes in education. When my kids grew out of that stage of their lives, I started working in the office at Temple B’nai Jehudah, then moved on to the school office at Hogan Prep Academy. About 5 years after helping start Académie Lafayette, where all of my kids attended, and after many volunteer hours, I joined the team in 2005, just in time for the Missouri State transition to MOSIS reporting.
After eleven years and many classes and seminars, I have become something of an expert in state reporting and federal compliance. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at AL and look forward to many more rewarding years!
Franck received a bachelor’s degree in communications in media (2003) and a master’s in teaching French as a foreign language (2005) from UCO Angers in France. He earned his elementary education certification from the state of Missouri in 2016.
Franck Brichet moved to Kansas City in 2009 with his wife, Brynn, and has been working at Académie Lafayette ever since. He has two sons, Liam and Noah.
This (2016–17) is my first year teaching kindergarten English at Académie Lafayette. Prior to this position, I taught eleven years of preschool in Liberty, four years of first grade and two years of second grade in the North Kansas City School District. I graduated from William Jewell College with a degree in elementary education and then continued on to earn my master’s degree in the art of teaching at Webster University. I married my college sweetheart, and we recently celebrated our 21-year anniversary. We have three active and happy children. Cara is 16 and attends Northland Christian School as a sophomore. Curtis is 14 and attends Liberty Middle School as an eighth grader. Cade is 8 and attends Lillian Schumacher Elementary as a second grader.
I have a passion for working with younger students and having the opportunity to be a significant part of their “first” school experience. Creating a positive and safe learning environment where students love to be is an amazing blessing for me. I’m grateful to be a part of the rich culture here at Académie Lafayette!
I am the daughter, wife, sister, and mother of teachers, and even though I started my career in the corporate world, I found my way to teaching eventually. I graduated from UMKC in 1995 with degrees in liberal arts and elementary education. I started teaching in the Kansas City district in 1996 and joined Académie Lafayette as a 2nd and 3rd grade English teacher in 2005.
Being an avid reader myself, I love teaching communication arts to my 1st and 2nd graders, especially poetry. Other interests I have are camping, music, gardening, and getting together with friends, family, and most of all, our two granddaughters!
I was fresh out of university in 2004 with no full-time job when my mom saw a newspaper advertisement about Académie Lafayette. They were seeking full-time French teachers. She pushed me to send my résumé; I did, and two days later I received a phone call from the school asking me to come down for an interview. I spent a couple of days in KC, and I discovered this great city! One month later, the principal called me and offered me a full-time job. I told her that I had to think about it. In August of 2004, I moved to Kansas City! I told my parents that I would try it and that it would be for only a year or two. After thirteen years, I am still here! I am now the proud mother of two beautiful girls.
As a true Canadian, I have always loved the cold weather and winter sports. I was a figure skater and a coach for more than twenty years. I represented my province in several important figure skating events.
Being a mother changed my perspective in life. I do believe in a firm and loving relationship between the student and the teacher. The help and trust of the parents are also very important for me.
My dad told me I needed to graduate before going to America…just in case I would ever come back to France. So, I got my degree, left my small hometown of Chateau Thierry (one hour east of Paris) the week after… and never came back (except for vacation). Kansas City is home now…it’s been 23 years. Since then, I have graduated from UMKC with a bachelor and Master’s in education, I became an American citizen, and most importantly, my husband are proud parents of Ella (14) and Alex (10).
I have been teaching at Académie Lafayette for 17 years and have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. I now teach all subjects in my self-contained 5th grade class.
A few fun facts about me are that I love roller coasters, science-fiction movies and chai tea latte (hint hint). I run and swim (on and off), I also do hand lettering and calligraphy during my spare time.
I am delighted to be part of this special community and to share my culture and native language with my students.
I was born in Independence, Kansas, (about 20 minutes north of Oklahoma and an hour west of Missouri), and studied at the University of Kansas for both my undergrad and master’s degrees. While there, I studied foreign language education with a focus on French and English as a second language (ESL). I’ve also studied at Université Laval in Québec City, Québec, and Huazhong Normal University in Wuhan, China.
The 2017–2018 school year will be my fifth with Académie Lafayette. AL immediately attracted me because of a few different things: excellent test scores, diversity, French language, and a certain je ne sais quoi.
A couple — subjectively — interesting things about me: I’m getting married in June to l’amour de ma vie, Christine. We have a — again, highly subjective — perfect dog named Hurley. I like to play music (guitar and drums) and whatever sports my knee can handle, work in the garden/woodshop/backyard/garage, and taste exciting foods and drinks as often as possible.
I received my BA in accounting and business management from Graceland University in Iowa and worked in banking until my oldest son Jackson was born. I began volunteering in the office at Académie Lafayette in 2003 when Jackson started kindergarten here. After many years of volunteering and chairing various fundraisers for the school, I began working in the business office in 2009.
Jackson is now at the University of Arkansas, and Sam, my younger son, is at Bishop Miege High School. Both are graduates of Académie Lafayette.
Besides cheering on the boys in their various sports and activities, I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with a large extended family.
A lifelong resident of Kansas City and fluent French speaker, I have been with Académie Lafayette for eight years. Working closely with our admissions team, I love welcoming new families to our school and making them feel at home. I also coordinate the intern program, interviewing and placing student teachers from French speaking countries in kindergarten classrooms and host families from our school community.
I hold a master’s degree in education from UMKC with an emphasis in foreign language research and curriculum. It is an honor to be part of a diverse international faculty providing an outstanding education to Kansas City students.
In between working and raising two charming, rambunctious, and inquisitive boys, I serve on the Alumni Board of the UMKC School of Education. I enjoy volunteering for organizations devoted to making Kansas City a great place for all children to learn.