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I come from Burundi. I am a Kindergarten grade French teacher at Académie Lafayette. I began teaching in 2014 after receiving my teaching degree from the University of Burundi (Ecole Normale Supérieure) in 2012. I have taught French in different schools. These include kindergarten, elementary and secondary school and finally in Burundi and Russia.
In my free time, I like to read news, poems, and literature-fiction. I also enjoy dancing and singing.
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 a Speech-Language Pathologist and Special Educator working at our Oak campus. I grew up in central Missouri and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia. I received my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Kansas where my research emphasis was in reading disorders. I’ve spent my career working with children with speech, language, feeding, and learning challenges in home, clinic, school, and hospital settings. I’ve worked at AL since 2017. I live in Waldo with my husband, two French-speaking kids, dog, and two cats.
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.
Hello ! I’m from Martigues, in the South East of France. I have been teaching music since 2009 and at Académie Lafayette since 2017. I have a degree in Music, French state diploma as a music teacher, a certificate from the conservatory of Marseille and a professional musician diploma from the Music Academy International of Nancy. As you can see I love music, so I’m glad to teach my passion to AL students, share with them my experience! I also love cooking, photography, cinema and traveling (US, Mexico, Japan…).
I am the English K-1 teacher. I have been with Académie Lafayette since August of 2018. This is my 21st year teaching in early childhood. I have been fortunate enough to teach here in the United States, Russia, Croatia and in the Marshall Islands.
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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.
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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.
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.”
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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.