A propos: Conseil d'administration

Board of Trustees - Officers

Nadine Durham, Chair

 

 Nadine Durham joined the Board of Trustees in July 2019.  She is currently the Director of Revenue Management IT services at Amerisource Bergen Corporation.  Nadine and her husband Gerard have been a part of the French International School community since 2008 and have two daughters who have attended the school from PK3 - 8th grade. Through business and personal travel around the world she and her husband have seen the importance and benefits of being exposed to other languages and cultures.  "With an incredible staff and community, the school has afforded our children the opportunity to receive their education in a diverse, multicultural environment.  This unique environment has prepared them to be great thinkers with a global understanding, fluent  in three languages".  Nadine has been a member of various committees through her career and in her community and looks forward to serving on the EFIP Board of Trustees.

Andrew A. Chirls, Vice Chair

Andrew A. Chirls joined the Board of Trustees in 2014, and is now one of its Vice Chairs. An attorney with Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C., in Philadelphia, Andrew is thrilled by his eldest daughter’s experience in kindergarten and first grade—the diligent approach to bilingual teaching, and the joy of discovery and creation that is part of every day for this child at her school. He believes that children benefit if they are citizens of the world, as they will understand and empathize with others and know how big their own experiences can be. His law practice and experience as a leader of the Philadelphia bar have brought him closer to the French community, as have his study of French and his travels in France. He is thrilled that he and his husband, Jim, are part of the community of families associated with the French International School, and he is delighted to be advancing the cause of an interesting and valuable education for the children of these families.  Andrew’s twin daughters are starting PK3 in 2020.

Jennifer Allen - Vice Chair

Jennifer Allen joined the Board of Trustees in 2021.  She serves as the Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, and Secretary of Triumph Group, Inc., an international aerospace manufacturing company headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.  At Triumph Group, she leads the company’s legal, human resources, and information technology functions.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she received a bachelor’s degree in English and political science from the University of Delaware.  Jenn and her husband, Charles, have two daughters who attend EFIP and they are enthusiastic supporters of the school and its mission.

Cornel Fuerer - Vice Chair

Cornel Fuerer has been a member of the Board of Trustees since July 2020.  He and his wife Bokkyeong have three children who were previously enrolled at the French International School. Their experiences living on three continents have given them a greater appreciation and understanding of other cultures. Their international travels have reinforced their belief of the importance of speaking and understanding several languages. Cornel serves as a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Corteva, a company dedicated to agriculture. He has earned his law degree from the University of Geneva School of Law and holds a master’s degree from the New York University School of Law. He was born in Switzerland.

Anne Schmidt Oltmanns, Secretary

Anne Oltmanns has been a member of the Board of Trustees since June, 2014 and currently serves as board secretary. She has also served as both president and secretary of EFIP’s Parents’ Association. She and her German husband have three trilingual children: two currently enrolled at and one a graduate of EFIP. Their experiences as an international multilingual family — everyone born and having lived in different cities on two continents — has informed their educational choice. With its warm and nurturing atmosphere, strong academics and commitment to global citizenship, EFIP has been the perfect school to call home. Anne holds a degree in Art History from Smith College. She earned a law degree and a master’s degree in Asian Studies focussing on law and Chinese language from Washington University in St. Louis. Anne practiced business and corporate real estate law in Chicago. She currently also serves on the board of PhillyKinder, a German-language enrichment program for children.

Sylvie Satre, Treasurer

 

Sylvie Satre joined the Board of Trustees in July 2018, returning to the Board after a previous six-year term as Treasurer from 2001 to 2006. Sylvie graduated from l’École des Sciences Politiques de Paris and is now Senior Director, Regional Finance for Covanta, a company providing renewable and clean energy from waste. She also currently holds the position of Treasurer on the Board of the French Benevolent Society. Upon their arrival in Philadelphia in 1999, Sylvie and her husband Gérard decided to send their two daughters to the French International School (EFIP) to help them transition as smoothly as possible to a new country and environment. They quickly realized that EFIP was the perfect place for them to continue speaking their native language, become fluent in English as well as grow and evolve in a multicultural environment where everybody had a different background, religion and culture, thanks to the more than 45 different nationalities represented at the school. Their oldest daughter attended EFIP from PK4 to 8th grade and their youngest daughter from PK3 to 8th grade, graduating in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Sylvie believes that, throughout their combined 21 years at the school, EFIP taught her daughters not only academic excellence through rigorous coursework and high expectations but also the acceptance of diversity as a driving force capable of developing open-mindedness and a more positive world view. From their time at EFIP, they have become fluent in three languages and learned to embrace multiculturalism in order to become friends with people from all over the world throughout high school, college and beyond. Through her new position as Treasurer for the 2020-2021 school year, Sylvie is thrilled to be able to take part in shaping the school’s future.

Board of Trustees - Members

Tiara Durham

Tiara Durham has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2019 and has also served as both President and Vice President of the Parents’ Association.  Tiara is an ecosystem builder who is passionate about enabling business owners to achieve economic success and prosperity. She currently serves on several non-profit boards, maintains a management consulting practice, and lends her marketing and business strategy expertise to business owners across the country. In addition, she leads business development for Founders First Capital Partners in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey region, which helps diverse led businesses accelerate growth through catalytic capital and advisory services. Prior, Tiara worked as a global business leader in the healthcare industry – driving fifteen years of innovation, growth, and sustainability across several therapeutic areas. 
She is a strong advocate for developing global citizens through comprehensive bilingual education, critical thinking, and a deep understanding and appreciation for other cultures.

Nancy Gabel

Nancy Gabel taught high school French at the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District for 35 years where she also headed the Foreign Language Program for the district. She founded and ran for 18 years one of the first French-American exchange programs in the area for high school students, a collaboration with Le Lycée Louis-Le-Grand and Jacques Decour in Paris. After retiring from public education in 1997, she also taught at The Agnes Irwin School, The Baldwin School, and The Episcopal Academy. During her public school career, Nancy served as president of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French for several years. She was a founder and trustee of the Board of the French International School in Bala Cynwyd, serving as its second Chair from 1995-2001. She also served on the board of Main Line School Night for twelve years, six of them as president. Since retiring from that position, Nancy has been teaching adults at Main Line School Night, where she has offered a variety of advanced French courses on contemporary subjects. 
For many years she was involved in teacher education in a number of capacities, serving on evaluating committees, running teacher workshops, presenting at conferences and serving as a foreign language consultant for textbook publishers and educational institutions. In 2003, Nancy was named by the French government, “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques”, in recognition of her efforts to promote French culture and language in the United States. The ceremony took place at the French International School of Philadelphia in Bala Cynwyd. In October 2021, Nancy retired as president of the Alliance Française de Philadelphie, having held that position for nine years. She was recently reelected to the Board, of which she was a member for many years before becoming vice-president and president.  Nancy has been a docent at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia for the past six years, where she gives tours of the collection in both French and English. She has two daughters and three granddaughters. A widow since 2013, she married Dr. George Broder, a retired radiologist, in June 2016. Their favorite travel destination is “La Belle France”.
Kate Farrell A reformed banker who has been a nonprofit manager for over thirty years, Kate Farrell is currently Inglis Foundation’s Director of Institutional Giving.  Before joining Inglis, Kate worked for several human service and cultural organizations, including the Children’s Aid Society of Pennsylvania, Tyler Arboretum, The Franklin Institute and The Pennsylvania Ballet.  Having spent an academic year in Angers, France, Kate is delighted to reconnect with her French experience and support The French International School’s mission of bilingualism and cultural exchange.  Kate earned bachelor’s degrees in Economics and French from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Cornell University.

Barbara Freed

Barbara Freed has been a member of the Board of Trustees for more than two decades and is the former chair of the Committee on Trustees. She currently serves as chair of the Assessment Task Force. A resident of Philadelphia, Barbara lives in France for part of each year (Villefranche-sur-Mer). She is Professor Emerita of French Studies and Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2010 she was inducted, as an Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Ambassador to the United States. Barbara claims her passion for bilingual/bicultural education is because, "It provides one with sensitivity to and enriched understanding as well as enhanced interactional skills with citizens of our global society. Research has shown that bilingual/bicultural individuals also have superior skills in the cognitive and creativity domains.” She adds, "The French International School offers the opportunity for students to acquire many of these linguistic and cultural skills. It is unique in that the student body is not ‘merely’ offered the opportunity to attain full bilingual proficiency in French and English, but its students are exposed on a daily basis to students from numerous other linguistic, ethnic and national backgrounds. " Barbara served as a Trustee for 25 years for the Institute for American Universities (Aix-en-Provence, France), where she was chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. For many years she served on the Boards of the Alliance Française de Philadelphie and the Mary Louise Curtis Branch of the Settlement Music School and the Friends Advisory Committee of Curtis Institute for Music. Currently she serves on the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Pepper Society Council and its Culinary Literacy Committee as well as on the Education Committee for PAFA and on the boards of the African Education Program and the Sociological Initiatives Foundation.

Brian Johnston

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Brian Johnston first joined the Board of Trustees in 2005. He and his wife Marina, a native of Italy, chose to send their two daughters to the French International School of Philadelphia to cultivate their multi-lingual and multi-cultural education at this extraordinary school. Brian and Marina co-founded Studio DPJ, a design and research firm located in Center City Philadelphia.  Brian has worked as a practicing architect for over 30 years and as an educator for over 15 years, teaching architectural design studios as well as history and theory seminars at various universities in Philadelphia. He currently teaches at Temple University, Tyler School of Art and Architecture.  He has also served as a board member for the Center City Residents’ Association, chairing its Zoning Committee, and has served as a co-chair for the Community Design Collaborative’s Design Review Committee.

Helen Koenig

Helen Koenig joined the Board of Trustees in 2021 after she and her husband George had been part of the French International School Community for 4 years. An Infectious Diseases physician, she was deeply impressed by the way in which the EFIP community banded together to prioritize equally the educational environment and the safety of students and staff as the COVID pandemic struck. This strong commitment to education is what drew Helen to EFIP, and she has been thrilled to see her daughter and son (entering 4th and 3rd grades, respectively, in 2021) thrive in this rich bilingual and diverse environment. Helen’s youngest child will be entering PK in 2021. Helen is an Associate Professor in the Infectious Diseases division at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves as Medical Director of the MacGregor Infectious Diseases Practice and cares for primarily patients living with HIV. She also serves as the Medical Director of the HIV Prevention program at Philadelphia FIGHT, an AIDS service organization in Philadelphia. Her first language was actually French, born to a Lebanese father and American mother who met in Paris with French as their only language in common. Helen and George love seeing their children converse easily in French and English, and are enthusiastic supporters of the French International School mission and vision.

Catherine Kosman

Catherine Kosman was a member of the French International School of Philadelphia’s Founding Committee ahead of the school’s opening in Bryn Mawr in September 1991. She then taught at the school for more than twenty years, first in Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 and later in Kindergarten. She also served as a Program Coordinator until she retired in June 2014. During the 2014-15 school year, Catherine returned to the school to oversee its reaccreditation work along with Kathy Kotchick. In 2015-16, she served as Interim Co-Head of School with Mrs. Kotchick. Now fully retired, Catherine is happy to serve on the school’s Board of Trustees. She also serves on the Board of the Alliance Française. Bilingualism has always been important to Catherine. It was natural for her to speak French to her children who are all bilingual. She also speaks Italian having lived in Genoa as a child and having studied it at school. Before coming to Pennsylvania, Catherine was a teacher at the French American School of New York in Larchmont, NY. She graduated from the American University in Paris and received her certification from the American Montessori Society in New York.

Peter Lorenzi

Peter Lorenzi has been on the Board of Trustees since August 2016 and was Chair of the Board between 2018 and 2022. He and his wife, Pandora, moved to Philadelphia from London in 2006 and chose the French International School for their three children because they believe that curiosity, creative problem solving and getting along with people from all backgrounds and nationalities will be amongst the most important life skills for their children. Peter is a strong advocate for EFIP’s excellent teachers and staff, and the sense of school community that has developed under Head of School Kathy Kotchick’s leadership. Peter is a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry and was formerly a senior executive in GSK’s Pharma R&D division. 
Ryan McCaffrey Ryan McCaffrey is the General Counsel of Post Brothers, a Philadelphia based mixed-use real estate developer.  Prior to joining Post Brothers, Ryan was a real estate and corporate attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he represented real estate private equity sponsors, investment banks, high net worth individuals, developers, real estate operating companies, and hospitality clients in all aspects of private equity real estate transactions.  Ryan is also an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School teaching classes on the practice of transactional law.  Prior to attending law school Ryan was the President and Co-Founder of McCaffrey Realty Professionals, a residential real estate brokerage company. He holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame.  His wife Isabelle is a French citizen, and has two children who attend EFIP. 
Dimitri Prosper Dimitri Prosper joined the Board of Trustees in July 2021. Dimitri has a background in Information Technology and consulting for small, medium, and Fortune 500 firms. He has been with IBM for over 20 years working with next-generation technologies, and currently is a Product Manager in their Cloud organization. Over these years, he has forged strong partnerships based on trust, integrity, and the ability to execute with customers and business partners.  Originally from Haiti, Dimitri is fluent in French and Creole. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1990 to attend Drexel University, met his wife, Natalie, in New York, and convinced her to move. They now reside in Bala Cynwyd with two children: their daughter who is currently at EFIP, and their son who graduated EFIP in 2019.
Dimitri firmly believes in the importance of having diverse experiences and learning from different opinions, an idea cemented over the years from meeting people from all regions of the world and of different backgrounds. He is excited to have his children go through the educational system offered by EFIP and have similar experiences.

Annabelle Sallé 

Annabelle Sallé is honored to transition from the Vice-President of the Parents’ Association to a member of the Board. A native of France, having grown up in Orléans and lived for many years in Paris, she moved to Philadelphia in 2012 where she lives with her family including a daughter, Chloé, who is presently in third grade at the Lower School.  Annabelle is grateful for the outstanding work FIS is doing to share French culture and has herself benefited from being multilingual, embracing a love for the experience of travel and sharing in cultural exchange. Annabelle graduated with honors from the National School of Architecture of Paris Belleville (ENSAPB) and studied at the University of Roma Tre in Rome, Italy.  Annabelle has been fortunate to apply her love of art and architecture to the educational field, working with the CAUE in Parisian elementary schools and assisting with student critiques at Temple University. She has worked as a licensed architect at a number of dynamic design-oriented studios in Paris and Philadelphia and presently owns her own architectural studio, Unfound Object Architecture and Design.

Alexandra Stanziani (PA President)

Alexandra Stanziani joined the Board as a member in 2022 and is the President of the Parents’ Association. Alexandra is delighted to support the mission of the school and to promote the spirit of community. Native from Bordeaux, France, she moved to the suburb of Philadelphia in 2001. Alexandra & her husband Nicholas are raising a blended family of 5 children. Her Family has been a part of The French International School community since 2007 and their youngest son Quentin is entering 3rd grade. Alexandra is a Realtor ® with Keller Williams Main Line, and honored to be part of Keller Williams Luxury & the Culture Committee.

Michael E. Scullin

Michael E. Scullin, Esq. is a member, ex officio, of the Board of Trustees. He has served on the board since 2005. Counsel with the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP in Philadelphia, Pa., Michael serves as Honorary Consul of France in Philadelphia and Wilmington. Michael embraces the benefits of bilingual education in the development of children's minds and mindsets. He said, "Beyond bi-lingual fluency, the students learn to function in a diverse global environment." Michael also serves as a member of the boards of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Alliance Française de Philadelphie, and French Benevolent Society. He is a trustee of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, director of the Lyon-Philadelphia Bar Association Twinning and Exchange Program, a fellow with the Institute for Korean-American Studies, and member and past president of the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia, Inc. In addition to serving our students, Michael is also a mentor with the University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Mentorship Program.

Mathew Williams

Mathew Williams has been on the Board of Trustees since August 2020 and has one child at the French International School. Mathew was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and completed his undergraduate degree jointly in London, Canada and Dunedin, New Zealand. This sparked his interest to discover the world and he moved to the Netherlands after graduation to take a role in the financial sector. In Amsterdam he met his future wife Berengere who introduced him to the wonders of French culture. Together, they moved to Singapore where they spent ten wonderful years before moving to take new roles in the Greater Philadelphia area. They chose the French International School because of their own multinational background and the belief in the atmosphere of curiosity, discovery and diversity that the school promotes. They were also drawn to the school by the warmth they observed in the teaching staff and the extent to which they go to understand the children and foster their love of learning. Mathew is now a Commercial Vice President at Elsevier Clinical Solutions, a leading provider of information and analytics solutions for the healthcare sector.

Deborah R. Willig

Deborah R. Willig has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2008 and served as Board President from 2009 to 2018. Deborah is the managing partner of the largest labor and employment law firm in Pennsylvania, Willig, Williams & Davidson. During her tenure on the Board, she has been a tireless advocate for the school and the best interests of our students, families, faculty and staff. Deborah is a parent of one of our alumni who started in Pre-K 3 and graduated in 2017. "Studies have long recognized the incredible assets of a bilingual education in brain development and language acquisition. Our school is unique in its combination of rigor and nurture, and our outstanding faculty and incredibly diverse student body prepare our children to be leaders in a global world." The first woman Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Deborah has been recognized for her leadership and diversity efforts with the Agent of Change Award from Women's Way, the Sandra Day O'Connor Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association, The Legal Intelligencer Lifetime Achievement Award, and was chosen as one of the 10 best lawyers in Pennsylvania in 2020 by SuperLawyers magazine.