ISABELLE KELMAN / SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Isabelle Kelman was born and raised in Paris, France. She moved to Irvine, California in 2001 with her three children and husband. She was first introduced to the Alliance Française in New York in 1995, where she trained to become a French literature teacher. She began at the Alliance in Newport Beach in 2005 as a professor. Isabelle moved up in management at the Alliance Française in 2007, when she became director of the Newport Beach location. She is currently continuing to teach French literature and is attending Cal State Long Beach to obtain her Masters in French literature to further her education. She is focusing her teaching in 19th century literature. She enjoys skiing and hiking with her family.
She is a certified TCF/DELF/DALF examiner and she is currently teaching every level of French.
ELENA R. / TEACHER
Elena Rolland has been teaching French at the Alliance Française for over a year. She also works with the International School of Los Angeles and is the Instructor in charge of the program “Mommy and Moi” at the Campus of Orange. Passionate about the interface between first and second language acquisition, Elena advocates for bilinguisme and its memory benefits.
She is a mother of three children and moved to Irvine with her family in 2014. Previously, she has lived in Bordeaux for over twenty years and is very fond of the regional south-western cuisine. Her favorite: the Canelés de Bordeaux!
Elena is currently attending the Irvine Valley College and is taking classes in College English Writing.She is involved in the Friendly Visitor Program with the Council on Aging Southern California as a volunteer.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, hiking and reading.
PASCALE C. / TEACHER
I moved to the US 20 years ago with my hubby and my two year old baby. After adapting to the “American way of life” I took the opportunity to have another baby, who is the “real American” of the family!
I taught French for adults and students in Long Beach during a couple of years and during 10 years I was a High school French teacher in a famous and extremely demanding Charter School in Tucson, Arizona. I love to teach French and its fabulous culture. Specifically, I have a strong experience in teaching AP French.
The dark side of my life (because everyone has one!) is a passion to make “entremets”. I really enjoy the difficulty of baking these cakes and I always find a good excuse to create a new one when I am not teaching! I also enjoy having a drink once in a while (un petit apéritif!) with my friends and family like people do in the South of France, where I grew up.
Finally, I have a (big!) cat named Zizou, like the nick name of the famous French soccer player Zinedine Zidane, and because I have 3 fans of soccer at home!
Antoine B. / teacher
I moved to California only 6 months ago to follow my spouse. Leaving my country, Belgium, was challenging at the beginning but I am moving forward and adapting myself to this new life in this new world!
Back in Belgium, I was a historian for a government agency in Belgium, where I used to set up exhibitions. It was also a real pleasure to do the guide tour of the exhibitions and to have the chance to pass on my knowledge and my experience. I guess that is why I am so excited to work for the French Alliance where I can, once again, pass on my French culture and language.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading or listening to music at the pool. And of course once in a while having a Belgian beer under the sunny sky of California.
MargaUx C. / MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION MANAGER
Volunteer at the Alliance.
Margaux has always lived in the south-west of France in a small town called Mimizan, very close to the ocean. She holds a degree in communication, she worked in the world of advertising and she speaks Spanish.
In September 2017, she decided to leave France to join her husband to discover the United States and more particularly California.Wanting to share culture and the French language, Margaux decided to join the rewarding adventure of the French Alliance in Newport Beach!
She loves graphic design, the ocean, skating, wine and of course traveling!
Rim M. / INTERN
Rim is the marketing and communication intern in Alliance Française. She studied French & English literature in hypokhâgne/khâgne in Paris before getting into the business school Audencia Nantes where she’s majoring in cultural management, in the areas of cultural entrepreneurship. She loves hiking and traveling, independent films and learning new languages.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
LESLIE TERPIn / VICE PRESIDENT
Leslie Terpin grew up in Oregon. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Oregon State University and spent her career in the insurance industry. She has lived in Southern California since 1987 and began taking French classes at the Alliance in 2002 following her first trip to France in late 2001. She continues as a student today in the literature class. She has been involved with the Alliance in various capacities since that time, serving as a committee chair or board member. She is an avid baseball fan, loves to read and enjoys traveling.
ANTOINE KELMAN / TREASURER
Antoine Kelman has lived in Orange County since 2001. He has a Masters in Science/Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris, France; a Ph.D in Computer Science from Paris VI University, France; and he attended the Executive Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer - North American Payment at Oberthur Technologies. He has been involved at the Alliance since 2005 where he has served as treasurer and as the Webmaster from 2006-2015. He enjoys playing tennis, hiking and skiing.
HUGUETTE SCHAER / SECRETARY
Huguette was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland and landed on the US shore over 20 years ago. She has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Temple University in Philadelphia and is presently working at Turtle Rock Elementary School in the computer lab helping students K through 6. She enjoys walking, skiing, yoga, and discovering new places.