Dr. Chase McLaurinis an experienced educator and educational leader with over a decade of experience in education. Dr. McLaurin has an outstanding track record for improving school and student outcomes using his laser-like focus on academics, organizational development, and school culture.He is a teacher and student advocate who passionately believes in transparency, empathy, and a commitment to excellence when working with all stakeholders to ensure every student receives a world-class education. Chase has extensive experience developing specialized school programs, including language immersion, acceleration, cultural diversity, leadership, and college prep programs. His work has been recognized throughout his career with numerous awards, including Principal of the Year Awards, U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School Award, and Model Dual Language Immersion School Awards.
Dr. Chase McLaurin is a certified teacher, principal, and superintendent in Texas and Louisiana.Hehas served as an elementary Two-Way Dual Language Spanish Immersion Principal, Early College High School Principal, District Executive Director, and educational leadership consultant. In addition to leading the LFNO school network, he mentors new principals and serves as an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Chase McLaurin earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Secondary Education from Louisiana State University, Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas, and a Doctorate in PK-12 Educational Leadership from the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University.
Danielle Dufauchard was named Chief Operations Officer for the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans District in July 2022. Prior to her appointment, Dufauchard was the Principal of our Lower Elementary (Patton Campus) and served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the District.
Dufauchard's career includes working in education in secondary and postsecondary environments, the nonprofit sector, the healthcare industry, and corporate engineering corporations. She earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.B.A. with a Finance Concentration from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. Throughout her career, she has been a leader in her workplace and an example of positivity and professionalism.
Dufauchard has been part of the LFNO family since 2011 and has helped grow the school from a lower elementary to the largest free-public Lycée Français in the United States.
Mandi brings over 10 years of experience in the education sector and has passionately spent her career working for educational equity for all students. Mandi specializes in leading teams and systems, program design and development, special education policy & administration, talent management strategy and charter board governance through an Organization Development lens.
Mandi began her career as a special education teacher in New Orleans before moving abroad to work at an international school in Hungary and with early-stage organizations in Bangladesh, Slovakia, and Malaysia to support the design, development, and implementation of their teacher training programs. Mandi has since served as a co-principal, chief operating officer, special education leader, instructional designer, and consultant for a variety of organizations across the U.S. Additionally, Mandi has served on the Board of Directors for Living School New Orleans for four years as a Board member, Academic & Culture Committee Chair, and Vice Chair.
Mandi holds a B.A. in Psychology from Marquette University, an M.A. in Organizational Leadership and Learning from George Washington University and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Organization Development from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.
Tiguida Mathieu is the principal of the Priestley Campus and is of French/Senegalese origin. Mme. Mathieu previously worked as deputy head teacher in 2016, in France and abroad. Mme. Mathieu worked as Interim CEO of the French school (elementary and secondary) of Yaoundé in Cameroon in 2017-18. After a scientific high school degree in Saint-louis of Senegal, she moved to Strasbourg in the east of France to study chemistry, physics and sociology.
Mme. Mathieu has a Master's Degree in Physical Chemistry of polymers/materials and a Bachelor's Degree in sociology. After having taught physical sciences in middle and high school in the academy of Strasbourg, she took the competitive examination for the position of Principal Education Counselor and occupied these functions before joining the corps of management personnel in a French national competition. Mme. Mathieu has an unalterable passion for education because as Nelson Mandela said: "education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another."
Gina Bianchi brings a wealth of social work, French immersion development and extensive general education expertise to Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle Orleans. Mme. Bianchi started her career in Milwuakee, Wisconsin as a community organizer bringing help and attention to single mothers, foster children, adults with disabilities and several social justice initiatives.
Mme. Bianchi pivoted to a career in French immersion education with a move to St. Lô and then Rennes, France. She returned to Milwuakee as a French teacher and then became principal of The French Immersion school where she recruited and trained fluent French teachers and support staff, increased enrollment, established official relationships with community and faith-based organizations, recruited parents and community members to serve on School Engagement Council, and worked in collaboration with the Milwaukee French Immersion Foundation to create fundraising campaigns. She also raised significant funds to support program, successfully increased statewide school rating from “meets expectations” to “exceeds expectations”. As a result, the school earned recognition from France as a ‘France Label Education School”.
Mme. Bianchi earned a Master’s in Education in 2013, her Bachelor’s in Social Work in 2001 and a diploma in Advanced French Studies from Rennes Universitie.
Chana Benenson has a love for education, learning abroad and children. This combination has led to amazing experiences as a student living abroad in Switzerland and Spain, and as an adult working as a principal across several Lycee schools.
In 2004, Mme. Benenson landed in New Orleans and fell in love with the city while also working with her passion of building and leading high-quality public schools. Benenson, a fierce advocate for increasing opportunity for students, loves the energy of being in a school every day. When Benenson is not chasing students, she gardens, plays with her children and her pitbull. Mme. Benenson has been a member of the LFNO family since 2018.
Benenson earned a Bachelor's degree in language and linguistics from Earlham College as well as a Master’s degree in school leadership from Columbia University Teacher's College. Mme. Benenson taught in Thailand and Spain and worked in three public schools in New Orleans.