Marie King, French K/1st Grade Teacher
Marie was born and raised in the south of France on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In 2014, she received a cycling scholarship to come study in the United States and eventually decided to make Charlottesville her permanent home where she lives with her husband. Marie joined the ISC team in 2018 as a floating assistant and a physical education teacher, and then as a French JK teacher. She has obtained her bachelor’s degree with coursework focusing on education, languages, and social sciences. As a former professional cyclist, in her free time she loves to ride her bike in the beautiful Virginia countryside. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, crafting, and traveling.
Ahoefa Alipoe-Balogun, French K/1st Grade Assistant Teacher
Ahoefa initially moved to Virginia in 2015 from Nigeria where she moved to from her native Togo. In Nigeria, Ahoefa obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Lagos and is currently working on a Career Studies Certificate in Early Childhood Education from PVCC. Most recently she has served as the Assistant Director and JK Teacher at a nearby preschool in Charlottesville.
Raphaëlle Denat, French JK Teacher
Raphaëlle (a.k.a. ´Raffi ´) was born and raised in France. After graduating from the University of Bordeaux, she moved to Australia where she spent 3 years, first as an au pair in Sydney 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 and met her future husband. She moved to Charlottesville August 2017, was part of our French Toddler teaching staff in 2018 and transitioned to JK in 2019, and enjoys painting and sewing, playing music, and especially cheese and wine.
Monica Lawson, French JK Teacher
Monica has worked with kids her whole life and counts this as her biggest passion. She was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree before leaving home to live in Switzerland for seven years, followed by 2 years in London. Monica's time in Europe helped her pursue her interests and talents in education, language, and photography. Her time in London cemented her career choice as a teacher and photographer, careers that have allowed her to travel all over the world - from Europe, to Asia, and back to South America. Monica has moved to USA in 2007, and worked with the Autistic Program in Greene County Public school for 3 years. Monica is also the JK and K art teacher. Her knowledge of languages and her Interior Designer Bachelor's Degree, allows her to give the Art Classes in both French and Spanish languages. In her free time, Monica loves to spend time with her 2 children, and her husband. She loves bicycling, swimming and painting.
Kate Gates, French Preschool Head Teacher
Kate earned a B.A in Psychology from the University of Paris, France and a AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) primary teaching degree. She taught 3 years in Montessori schools in Paris before moving to Charlottesville. She was the Head Teacher in ISC's French Preschool classes from 1999 to 2011, and after a four-year stint as Enrichment Teacher at the UVA Malcom Cole Child Care Center, she is back at ISC! In her free time, she loves cooking, traveling and having fun with her family and friends.
Gloriouse Kade, French Preschool Assistant Teacher
Gloriose is in her second year at the ISC. Originally from Rwanda, she is a native French speaker and excited to share her knowledge of French with the children. Kade had worked previously at another preschool before joining the ISC in 2019. She was instrumental in our Afternoon Enrichment program before transitioning into a full time role this year in preschool. She recently had her first child and is so happy to return to the ISC this fall!
Kirsten McGee, French Toddler Teacher
Kirsten grew up in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, and started learning French when she entered third grade at the Washington Waldorf School. She studied in Paris during her junior year at James Madison University, and later her fluency began to emerge while she was an au pair in the south of France. Upon graduation, she taught English in Czechoslovakia for a year, and then volunteered on an archeological dig in Lille, France. She remained in Lille for two years, teaching English, perfecting her French, and gardening. When she returned to the United States, she pursued a Master’s degree for Waldorf education at Antioch University in Keene, New Hampshire, and then taught at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the Hartsbrook School in Hadley, Massachusetts. She is very excited about joining the faculty at ISC, as it combines her passions for French and working with young children. She enjoys playing and hiking with her three sons, being creative, and spending time with friends and family.