Serving all of Louisiana

Administrative and Operations Teams

Get to know a little about our hard-working Academics and Operations teams! Say, “bonjour!”, next time you see them around campus.
If you’d like to see how the whole team works together, check out our organizational chart, HERE (updating).

Danielle Dufauchard

Interim CEO – Lower Elementary Principal (Pre-K4 through 2rd) – Patton Campus
I am a native New Orleanian. I graduated from the University of New Orleans, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and MBA with a Finance Concentration. Prior work experience has been in engineering, education (high school and college instructor), the non-profit sector and the health care industry. My passion for mathematics and being a positive agent of change propelled me to leave the engineering world to teach high school math. The beck and call has sounded again – to assist in building the first public Lycee in the United States. Great joy fills my heart to be a one of the LFNO team members!

Chana Benenson

High School Principal 
I have a love for travel paralleled only by my love for learning. This combination has led to amazing experiences as a student living abroad in Switzerland and Spain and as an adult traveling all over the world. In 2004 I landed in New Orleans and fell in love with the city and stumbled into my career passion: building and leading high quality public schools. I am a fierce advocate for increasing opportunity for students and I love the energy of being in a school everyday. I am thrilled to join the LFNO family and look forward to the years to come! I love being outdoors and have a beautiful garden, although pulling weeds plays second fiddle to chasing the pitbull and toddler around the yard.

Gina Bianchi

Upper Elementary (3rd through 5th) and Middle School (6th-8th) Principal – Johnson Campus

Bonjour! My name is Gina Bianchi and I am honored to serve as Principal at Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans. Originally from the Midwest, my roots are in social work and community organizing. My passion for French language and culture combined with a drive towards impactful, community-oriented work eventually led me to pursue an opportunity in France as an educational assistant and later as a public school teacher at Milwaukee French Immersion School in Milwaukee, WI. Before joining the team at Lycée, I served as the principal of Milwaukee French Immersion School for 8 years. I love serving as a principal and believe that this great honor and responsibility must go hand-in-hand with a strong commitment to inclusive programming and social justice. I know the Lycée is a special place and my husband, who is from France, and I are very excited to watch our three bilingual children flourish as part of the student body!

Sophie Capmartin

Director of Academics
Born and raised in Bordeaux, France, I moved to New Orleans in 2006 to work as a French immersion teacher for the CODOFIL. For the past 13 years, I have taught and conducted research in diverse French immersion and second language acquisition programs in the greater New Orleans area, including the French and ESL Departments at Tulane University where I am a PhD candidate. In my most recent position, as co-director of the Student Support Department at Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans, I worked with teachers on targeted instructional and environmental accommodations to ensure that all students could be successful academically, socially, and emotionally. I am thrilled to join the LFNO team and contribute in consolidating and developing the curriculum, academic programs, and pedagogical practices for this unique school. When I am not working, I love spending time with my husband, our two boys, and two dogs. I am also an avid runner and triathlete so you might catch sight of me on the river levee or down St. Charles Avenue!

Diane Duhesme

Director of High School
Bonjour/Hello/Hola!
Nationality? Française
Languages spoken? Three: Francais, English, Spanish
My first job? Spanish teacher
Principal character trait? Perseverance
Biggest character flaw? Gluttony
Favorite sports? Running, tennis, and volley-ball
My passions in life? My job and traveling.
What I detest the most? Hypocrisy
My heroes and heroines in history? Simone Veil, Sr Emmanuelle and Martin Luther King
A cause I support? William Holden Wildlife Foundation (WHWF) https://whwf.org/
My greatest dream? Peace in the world
Cities I lived in before New Orleans? Lyon (France), Paris (France), NYC (USA), Los Angeles (USA), Toronto (Canada)
Why Lycée? The opportunity to work in a public school offering a French-American program and to help develop the high school!
My favorite book? The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
My motto? “Dream big and never give up!”

Annie Neahring

Humanitites Content Coordinator
I am thrilled to be part of the Lyée family as a curriculum coordinator! Formerly, I was part of the ELA team, and now I am serving as the humanities curriculum coordinator at both Patton and Johnson campuses. The purpose of the coordinator role is to align ELA, literacy and social studies curriculum across all grade levels (pre-K through high school). Before joining LFNO, I had a backgroud teaching and writing ELA curriculum in a nearby parish. Additionally, after college I had an opportunity to work as an English assistant in Toulouse, France. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be part of building this historic French immersion school.

Yann Colin

Director of Middle School
Half French half British, I’ve been very fortunate to travel to many countries, and live in a few of them.  As a student, I attended l’école Française Jacques Prévert and the French Lycée in London. As a professional, I’ve worked in law in Belgium, as a teacher, a dean of students and assistant principal in France.  All these experiences have allowed me to evolve in a multicultural and diverse environment. As an educator, my main focus was to empower students and make sure that they went into the world with all the necessary tools to flourish in anything they want.  This is why I’m very proud to be part of the Lycée, to be part of a team dedicated to every student’s success and to be able to call New Orleans my new home.

Samantha ‘Sam’ Kreuscher

Stem Coordinator
Hey there amazing humans! My name is Sam. I was born in New York, raised in Northern California, and received my undergraduate education at Occidental College.  There I majored in Kinesiology and Critical Theory & Social Justice, and found a love for education.  I earned my master’s degree at the University of San Diego in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics).  I have been an educator in New Orleans for 14 years, 13 as a classroom teacher, and 3 as an administrator.  I am certified in General Science (6-12), and Middle School Math (4-8).  As Lycée’s STEM Coordinator, I will be facilitating in the growth and development of Lycée’s STEM curriculum, materials, educators, and programs.  I enjoy spending time with my 5-year-old daughter, doing ceramics, yoga, kickboxing, training, photographing, and traveling.  If you have read this far and have ideas, connections, or donations to help improve and grow our STEM program, please email me at skreuscher@lfno.org.

Vincent Wieman

Coordinator of ESS – Johnson Campus

I was born and raised in Concarneau, which is located in the beautiful region of Brittany. After obtaining my degree in English, I packed my bags and moved to the UK. There I continued my graduate studies in education at the University of Exeter and was also awarded a Master of Arts in Teaching. In 2013, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work in Louisiana through the CODOFIL program. This is now my 4th year at Lycée Français and I am very excited about starting my new role as the Coordinator of Exceptional Student Services at the Johnson Campus. Outside of school, I am very passionate about hiphop music – I used to be a dj in a rap band and hosted a radio show in a British radio station. I also love rugby, agressive rollerblading, Thai boxing and Japanese graphic novels.

Hunter Pontiff 

Testing Coordinator
Bonjour, I’m Hunter! I’m originally from a small French-speaking town in Louisiana, and although French is not my first language, it is my second, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it and speak it with the students at Lycée.  I studied French throughout elementary and high school, then did immersion myself in Nova Scotia, before earning a degree in French from LSU.  My studies in linguistics then took me to Montréal, Québec for two years before continuing them as a Ph.D. student at Tulane.  I’m a firm believer in the immersion process, and I adore sharing my passion for language with my students!

Bernhard (Ben) Bruhnke

Dean of Student Culture – Johnson
My name is Bernhard Bruhnke, but Ben is much easier to say! I am originally from a sweet little slice of America known as Shreveport, Louisiana. I have been teaching since 2008, and I have a degree in English Education with a minor in Journalism. I am happily married and have a son named Emerson. I am really excited to be a member of the Lycée faculty.

Dean of School Culture – Patton

Yassa Aici

Instructional Coordinator – Patton
I was born in the north of France and was able to travel for my studies and my first professional experiences far away from home. For 3 years in Louisiana, I worked in the Bayou and in another immersion school. I am proud to put my experiences at the service of le Lycée Français.

Instructional Strategist – Johnson

Mary-Devon Dupuy

Director of Extended Day Programs
Mary-Devon is born and raised in New Orleans, and she enjoys standup comedy and free food. Mary-Devon. has worked part-time at LFNO for the past four years doing aftercare, and occasionally subbing. Mary-Devon loves the aftercare team at Lycee, and is excited about her new full-time role.

Ted Orphan

Extended Day Site Manager – Johnson Campus
I grew up right outside of Chicago. Before moving to New Orleans in 2014 I worked for ten years in special recreation. During that time I managed after-school programs, special olympics teams, and summer camps. I am excited to be part of Lycée’s Extended day network.

Get to know a little about our hard-working Academics and Operations teams! Say, “bonjour!”, next time you see them around campus.
If you’d like to see how the whole team works together, check out our organizational chart, HERE.(updating)

Chief Executive Officer

Keeanya Chenier

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 
I’m a dedicated public servant with extensive accounting & finance experience in educational institutions & non-profit organizations. As a key member of Senior Leadership Teams, I’ve been responsible for the growth of financial portfolios by ensuring alignment with grants, contracts, programs and services, core values and strategic objectives. Throughout my career, I’ve been committed to joining organizations whose missions are focused on improving the overall condition of humanity through education, health, opportunity, and equality. Although a native of Los Angeles, I consider New Orleans my home and I’m fully immersed in the vibrant culture my paternal ancestors helped create in the city. Besides attending local festivals, during my free time I love to crab and fish on the many waterways located throughout the city and surrounding areas.

Elaine Guillot

Director of Communications
Hello there! My name is Elaine Guillot, born in New Orleans and raised in north Louisiana. My background in French begins with CODOFIL teachers who instilled in me a love of the French language. As an undergraduate at Louisiana Tech University, I received two scholarships through CODOFIL, to study abroad where my love of Art and French blossomed. I earned my BFA, Studio Art and my BA, French. Inbetween undergrad and graduate school, I worked as a French teacher for Saint Scholastica Academy and worked in non-profits e.g. NOMA. During my graduate studies (MFA, graphic design), I used my thesis as an opportunity to bring together my love of French and design by creating the Say Oui campaign to promote French education in public schools. My professional experience extends from working in non-profits, teaching French at Saint Scholastica Academy, and as a senior graphic designer for an in-house advertising firm. I love doing what I do; designing and promoting French education for such an amazing school!

Data Manager

John-Henry Trant

Coordinator of Transportation and Meal Services

Bonjour a tous! Je suis un Acadien de Grand Coteau, Louisiane. I have 11 years of experience in the New Orleans Charter School education system, and a French-Acadian heritage, I am looking forward to helping advance and grow the mission of Lycee by keeping our students safe (transportation) and healthy (meal services). My beautiful wife, two wonderful kids, and I live happily in the Holy Cross Neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward. When we are not working, we enjoy canoeing, camping, whitewater rafting, and other adventurous outdoor activities. If we are not enjoying the great outdoors, you might find us dancing a two-step or waltz to any Cajun or Zydeco band, at one of South Louisiana’s many wonderful festivals, or crabbing down in Pecan Island, LA.

Sarah David

Coordinator of Admissions

I’m originally from the small town of New Roads, LA. After graduating from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches, LA, I went on to earn my BFA in Painting and Drawing from LSU. I then moved to New Orleans, where I received my MA in Arts Administration from UNO. I have almost 15 years of experience in admissions, both in secondary and higher education. I’m excited to bring my enthusiasm for exceptional institutions to Lycée Francais, as I believe wholeheartedly in its mission and outstanding staff and faculty. If you see me walking my dog with my young son in our Gentilly neighborhood, please stop and say “Bonjour!”

Ashley Respert

Senior Accountant 
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I have been working in education, primarily in the Finance office for 5, going on 6 years. The French culture and heritage is a big part of New Orleans history. For this reason, along with the mission of Lycee, has inspired me to want to be a part of this wonderful team!

Katie Bolin

Office Manager – Patton Campus
Hi! My name is Katie. I have been working for Lycee on and off for 3 years. I am happy to be back, you can find me in the front office at Patton.

Office Manager – Johnson Campus

Franklin Bell

Facilities Coordinator – Patton Campus
Hi! My name is Franklin Bell but you can call me, Mr. Frank. You can find me around most days around Johnson campus.

Roy Yost

Facilities Coordinator – Johnson Campus
Hi! My name is Roy Yost! You can find me around most days around Johnson campus.

Lacresha Washington

Custodian / Maintenance
Hi! My name is Lacresha and you can find me around Patton campus and the St. Paul building. Say hello!

Updated: July 28, 2021