our Teaching staff
We are proud to have a dedicated and talented teaching staff, all with extensive knowledge in French instruction and a passion for our mission!
CLAUDE PRADIER BATSON
Head Teacher - adult classes
Claude has been on the teaching staff of the Alliance Francaise Charlottesville since 2007 and is our Head Teacher. A native of France, Claude earned a Diplômes d’Etudes Supérieures in English from the Sorbonne in Paris. She came to the US as a Junior Instructor at UVA where she obtained a Masters Degree in French while teaching all levels of undergraduate French courses at the university. She taught at St Anne’s Belfield where she headed the Language Department. She also taught at Western Albermale High School several levels of French including AP classes.
Head Teacher - KIDS & TEENS classes
Michelle has a B.A. in French from UVA and a Masters in Teaching from UVA's Curry School of Education. She worked at EuroDisney in Paris the year it opened and then pursued a career in high school teaching at Charlottesville High School, where she taught taught levels 1 – 5AP. Michelle assisted in creating an online French language and culture learning program for Marines who will go to Senegal to serve. Michelle is the After School Coordinator for the AFC and teaches French to grades 1-5 in the After School program at Hollymead Elementary School, Baker-Butler, and Sutherland Middle School.
coordinator - le club
Sophie was born in Nimes, France. After graduating from Sciences Po Paris and from the Moscow State Institute of International relations, she started a career in audit for major companies in Romania, Russia and France.
She now enjoys teaching children and adults for the Alliance francaise of Charlottesville. Sophie is a member of our after-school program team and teaches in several schools in town. She recently became coordinator for our new children immersion program “Le Club” and also teaches a weekly adult class.
When not working, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, doing craft or reading about History.
Sally graduated from Mary Washington College (now University) with a BA in French. She spent a summer abroad studying French at the Université de Dijon in Dijon, France. Her personal motivation for learning French has been to communicate with her Belgian family.
Earlier in her teaching career, Sally was hired by the Fredericksburg City Public Schools to design and implement a French language program in the elementary school. She also helped develop the K-12 language curriculum for the city wide school system. More recently, she has been teaching French I-IV in the homeschool community and has taught French at Light Academy in Palmyra, VA.
Here at the AFC, Sally is delighted to be sharing her love of the French language and culture as she teaches beginning French. She also teaches in the After-school program in area elementary schools.
Though having had a Parisian mother, Lisa did not actually learn the language until college when she spent her junior year in Paris, studying at La Sorbonne and Sciences Po. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in French and passed on her love of the language and Paris to her husband.
Lisa has homeschooled her 3 children and taught art to 5-6 graders at a local coop. Lisa teaches for the AFC French After-School Program. She loves to make learning 'hands on' and to encourage children's love of knowledge. In her spare time she hosts international students, hikes, teaches swimming and trains for triathlons.
Claire-Marie Brisson provides a local opportunity to interact with the rich culture of Francophone North America. With her roots stemming from Québec and family living in the Great Lakes Francophone region, Claire-Marie is happy to share the traditions of the New World while teaching the language shared by the world Francophone community.
Her passions include history, geopolitics, the arts, and cinema. Her teaching interests include business French, dialects, cultural histories, and French arts in practice. She specializes in contemporary Francophone history, but is equally very interested by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Elle a très hâte de vous rencontrer!
Raphaëlle (a.k.a. ´Raffi ´) was born and raised in France. After graduating from the University of Bordeaux in Economics, she moved to Australia where she spent 3 years, first as an au pair in Sydney and French teacher for a family of 4 kids, then in a campervan in which she traveled around the continent. She worked in various places along the way, even volunteering in a kangaroo orphanage, and finally moved back to Sydney where she finished her studies. She moved to Charlottesville in August 2017, and has been teaching all ages for the International School of Charlottesville from the moment she arrived. Raffi enjoys crafts, painting and sewing. She also plays transversal flute.
PASCALE HAPGOOD, Ph.D.
Pascale was born and raised in Nantes, in the southern part of beautiful Brittany, France. She earned a “Licence” (B.A.) and a “Maitrise” (M.A.) in English from l'Université de Nantes. After marrying her husband, she moved to Charlottesville in 1988 where she earned a Masters and a Ph.D in French language and civilization from the University of Virginia. She has been teaching her native language for over 25 years, at UVA, in Madison county, where she taught French and Latin at the middle school, at Speak! Language Center as well as at Alliance Française.
Pascale is currently a lecturer in the French department at UVA, and teaches at Speak! as well as at AFC.
Her other interests are playing tennis, skiing, traveling, reading, cooking, singing and sharing exciting cultural experiences with people around town.
MURIELLE DE WEKKER, PhD
A native of France, Murielle has taught French as a Foreign Language in France, Finland, Canada and the United States.
She has taught both adult learners and children at universities, language centers, primary schools and even preschools.
She holds a " Maîtrise de Français Langue Etrangère" from Bordeaux University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Virginia.
Murielle loves teaching about all things French as well as about the diversity of francophone cultures. A bientôt!