Board of Trustees

Ecole Bilingue’s Board of Trustees’ purpose is to decide and enact policy

that contributes to the benefit and longevity of Ecole Bilingue while fostering the school’s mission. The Board meets monthly to determine long-term strategy for the school’s academic and financial success. Board members are not paid for their position and receive no financial benefits for their service.

2018-2019 Board of Trustees are:

Polly Hardie

Polly Hardie – Chair, is a personal stylist for luxury menswear brand J. Hilburn. Ms. Hardie serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans as well as on the Boards of Directors of Durham Nativity School and the Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health in her native North Carolina. Ms. Hardie holds a degree from Duke University where she majored in Marketing, French, & Political Science. She worked as the Director of Marketing for Envision LLC., a sports management firm in Los Angeles, California before leaving to follow her husband overseas in his career as a Diplomat. Following 10 years in Europe (Austria, Malta, France & Finland), the Hardies and their four sons are pleased to call New Orleans home.


Amber Howell

Amber Howell – Vice Chair, is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Academy of Ophthalmology, a 66 year old non-profit ophthalmic educational organization. Amber has over 16 years’ experience in executive nonprofit leadership and nearly 25 years’ experience working for nonprofit organizations. Amber completed her undergraduate degree at Centre College in Kentucky and has a minor in French. She holds a masters in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. As consultant from 2008 to 2013 to the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Amber assisted in the growth of YEP to one of the largest organizations addressing the comprehensive needs of court-involved and out-of-school New Orleans youth. She has consulted for other organizations as the Capital Appeals Project (now Promise of Justice Institute), Freedom Sailing International and The Degas Gallery. Amber has also served on a number of boards in various capacities, and started her service on the Board of Directors of Ecole Bilingue in 2016. She is married and has one child, Ariel, who is a junior at the University of Arizona.


Anne-Gwin DuvallAnne-Gwin Duval – Secretary, has 24 years of experience in law and risk management. She has worked as an attorney in local law firms, and has held positions in law and risk management in both the public and private sector. Currently, she is employed at Boh Bros. Construction Co., LLC where she handles claims and litigation, insurance procurement, bonding, and contract negotiation. Anne-Gwin has a son in 6th grade at Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013.




Cathy GreenCathy Green – Treasurer, is Chief Financial Officer for OrthoSynetics, Inc., an orthodontic practice management firm headquartered in Metairie, LA.  In that role, Ms. Green oversees all accounting, finance, legal, treasury, tax and human resource functions for the company. Prior to that, she served as Chief Financial Officer for Wound Care Specialists, a company providing outsourced management of outpatient wound care clinics throughout the southern and central U.S. She also served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., a company providing construction, repair and conversion products & services to the military and commercial marine industry.  Prior to working in industry roles, Ms. Green had 8 years of senior level audit experience in public accounting with PWC and Ernst and Young, LLP.  Ms. Green holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of New Orleans.  She is a CPA licensed in the state of Louisiana.  Ms. Green joined the EB Board in 2016 and currently serves as Treasurer.  She has also served on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Ballet Association since 2004 and is a member of the Finance Committee.  Ms. Green has two children, Quinn (12) and Lily (9).


Joel Vilmenay

Joel Vilmenay – Past Chair,  is the President and General Manager of WDSU-TV, the Hearst NBC Affiliate in New Orleans, LA, since February of 2007. In this capacity he provides strategic leadership for WDSU-TV, MeTV New Orleans and a suite of web and mobile applications. Joel is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, where he received a B.A. in Radio, Television and Film. He also holds an MBA from the University of Maryland. Joel serves on the Board of Directors of Second Harvest, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Kingsley House, The Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and the Fore Kids Foundation. He is also the immediate past president of the NOCCA Institute board. Joel began serving on the Board of trustees of Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans in 2015.


Charles BookerCharles Booker – Trustee, joined Advantage Capital Partners in 2003. Charles serves as Chief Operating Officer for BizCapital, the small business lending division of Advantage Capital. BizCapital has invested more than $500 million in promising small businesses since its inception in 1999. Charles is also involved in the firm’s capital raising transactions, national expansion efforts, sourcing and structuring of investment transactions, and portfolio monitoring. Charles has a wide variety of experience, including principal investing in real estate and real estate development. As an attorney, Mr. Booker worked in the real estate sections of Mayer, Brown and Platt in Houston and McGlinchey Stafford in New Orleans. As a commercial broker, he worked with Property One and Stirling Properties, focusing on retail properties. He also has worked in asset management and development for others and on his own real estate projects. Charles graduated magna cum laude from Tulane School of Law, where he was a member of the Tulane Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He received his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Vanderbilt University. In 2012, Charles was recognized with a “Leadership in Law” award by New Orleans CityBusiness. The award honors professionals who have helped move the legal community forward with energy, innovative ideas, achievements and a commitment to excellence. He is a former board member of the Preservation Resource Center and a current member of the PRC’s Historic Preservation Easement Committee.


Jay HakesJay Hakes – Trustee, began his career teaching at the University of New Orleans, but left in 1977 to join the administration of President Jimmy Carter, where he worked as assistant to the Secretary of Interior and special assistant in the Executive Office of the President.  Over the years, he has served as chief of staff to Florida Governor Bob Graham, head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta.  In 2015, he moved back to New Orleans, where he writes about past and current U.S. energy policy.  He earned his PhD at Duke University.



Gary Mannina 2018Gary J. Mannina – Trustee, is a native New Orleanian who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tulane University and a diploma from the Sorbonne, University of Paris. He spent over forty years as a teacher and school administrator. He is fluent in French and serves as honorary consul of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.





Maggie Runyan-Shefa Maggie Runyan-Shefa – Trustee, is the Chief Operating Officer of New Schools for New Orleans and has been on the NSNO team since the fall of 2007. Maggie oversees NSNO’s school investment, school support, human capital investments, internal operations and organizational culture. In her time at NSNO Maggie has helped to fund or launch 31 schools, doubled the size of NSNO’s human capital portfolio, and was a chief architect of the Common Core programming offered to 33 schools across the city. Before coming to NSNO, Maggie founded and led KIPP STAR College Prep Charter School in Harlem, New York City and she is a graduate of the KIPP School Leadership Program. Under her leadership, KIPP STAR was among the highest performing open-enrollment public schools in Harlem and its graduates have gained acceptance into some of our nation’s finest college preparatory high schools and colleges. She was recognized by the Robin Hood Foundation with its Hero’s Award in 2004 and is a member of the 11th Cohort of Pahara Aspen Education Fellows. Maggie is a former Teach For America corps member (Mississippi Delta ’97) and holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Andrew LapeyreAndrew Lapeyre – Honorary Member,  is a graduate of Tulane University and is employed by Intralox, a world-wide conveyance solutions company, for 24 years. He is married to Crickett and they have twin daughters, Martha & Vivienne who attended Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orléans from 2003-2013. Additionally, Andrew volunteers as Assistant Treasurer for the Church of the Annunciation in New Orleans. He is a past President and has served on the Board of Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans since 2010.



Julie Fabian – Chair Emeritus


To contact the Board with any questions or concerns, please email