Pauline Dides, Head of School
Bonjour et Bienvenue à l’Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans!
It has been both the greatest honor and my deepest pleasure to lead this school since 2009. I have the wonderful opportunity to support each of our students’ individual endeavors as we prepare them for lifelong fulfillment and capability in this multicultural world. For this remarkable dedication towards unwavering goodness and prosperity in the lives of our students, we thank our amazing and talented faculty and staff. We also thank our cherished parental community, which works side-by-side with school teachers and administration for the betterment of our students.
While we treasure the strong bonds that permeate throughout EB, our primary focus remains academic excellence in our student body. Thus, beyond the invaluable community that you will gain at Ecole Bilingue, your child will benefit from a world-class education, unparalleled by other local bilingual programs or academic institutions. In fact, Ecole Bilingue remains the only private French school in Louisiana belonging to the Association of French Schools in North America (AFSA), an institution in the world of French-immersion whose mission lies in the harmonization of the best qualities that French and American education systems have to offer, thereby preparing students to excel in the finest universities across the world. Our own mission draws from the principles of international education: academic rigor and diversity, critical thinking, and cross-cultural communication. Our students pursue a multilingual curriculum of French and English through the fourth grade, adding in Spanish education from the fifth through eighth grades. Thus, a graduate from Ecole Bilingue, still between the ripe ages of thirteen and fourteen years old, will boast highly advanced critical-thinking skills; fluency in three languages; and a vast experience rich in the arts, athletics, service learning, and travel programs.
At EB, we cherish the diversity of our community, from student body to faculty and staff. We believe that having an international community leads to a mix of perspectives, stimulating conversations, and an overall enhanced educational experience. Although our student body hails primarily from the Greater New Orleans area, we have families joining us from over thirty countries around the world. Our financial aid and scholarship programs also allow for socio-economic diversity to further broaden our students’ worldview.
We have high expectations for our students for a reason. Academic rigor and dedication lead to motivated and knowledgeable individuals, fully equipped to excel academically, professionally, and culturally after passing through our doors. Our eighth-grade graduates move on to the best public and private schools not only locally, but internationally as well. The foundation of an EB education — rooted in respect, responsibility, resilience, integrity and empathy — provides our students with the tools and unique experience to make the most of their future pursuits, wherever they may go.
Finally, on behalf of the entire Ecole Bilingue staff, thank you for your interest in our school. We feel vastly confident in what EB has to offer our students, and have included details of our globally comprehensive program throughout our school website. While we can continue to tell you about the brilliance of EB, we would love the chance to show you. Our doors always stay open, as we hold strongly to the timeless belief that seeing is believing. Please, don’t hesitate to call our Admissions Office at (504) 899-9796 to schedule a tour.
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 – 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 – 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 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 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).
Charles 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.
Edwin (Eddie) W. Dennard – Trustee, is a physician and currently the Chairman of both the Academic Department of Family and Community Medicine at Tulane University and the Clinical Department of Family Medicine for Tulane University Hospital and Clinics. He also serves on the Tulane Medical Group’s Board of Directors and was the Chairman of its Clinical Compliance Operations Committee for ten years. Eddie is a lawyer and formerly a shareholder at Liskow & Lewis in New Orleans, where he practiced corporate finance law. He is a Navy veteran, having served as gunnery officer on the frigate USS McCandless in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets. He has a BA from Tulane University, a JD from Cornell, and an MD from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He is a native of Houston, Texas, who came to New Orleans for college and decided to settle here. He is a father of four and a grandfather of three; his youngest child, Haydee, was a student at Ecole Bilingue for seven years, starting in Toute-Petite Section two months after Hurricane Katrina. She is grown now but still has French language fluency, EB’s lasting gift to her. Eddie and his wife, Malise, are francophiles and have remained friends with many in the EB community, attending picnics, Soirees and volunteering at Fête. They are committed to EB’s long-term growth and prosperity.
Jay 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.
Michael Harold – Trustee, is the Founder and Principal at YSR Search LLC, a firm dedicated to legal placement. He is a native of New Orleans and practiced law for 23 years at established firms across the city prior to opening his own search firm. Michael Harold is a graduate of St. Martin’s Episcopal High School in New Orleans. He earned a degree in Spanish from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee; spent his junior year abroad in Valencia, Spain; and received his J.D. from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. While practicing law, he was a member of the Louisiana and Mississippi Bar Associations. Michael began studying French in 2004 and became a member of the board of the Alliance Francaise, serving as secretary for five years. He is currently a co-chair of the Louisiana chapter of the French Heritage Society. Michael also has served and continues to serve on several other boards, including La Sociedad Espanola; the alumni board of University of the South; Friends of Music, a local chamber music society; the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans; and, lastly, as president of the Gulf Coast Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.
Alissar Kellow – Trustee, is a strategist, motivator, and experienced healthcare leader with a passion for bringing forth the best in individuals and transforming teams through strategic planning and leadership development. She possesses a proven track record spanning more than fifteen years of consulting and leading strategic projets of HealthNet, Pacific Gas & Electric, Blue Shield of California, multiple local and international non-profits, and most recently, Ochsner. She completed her undergraduate studies in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Philosophy, attended Medical School and, when she realized that medicine was not her calling, completed a dual Masters degree in Health Administration and Epidemiology. She is PMI certified. Alissar moved to New Orleans from the Bay Area with her husband, Bashar and two children, Sarmed and Armani, in 2014. She is proud to call New Orleans her home.
Andrew 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.
Gary 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.
Charlotte Collins Meade – Trustee, is an attorney with Meade Young, LLC, and the mother of four children who attend Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans. Prior to forming Meade Young, LLC with her husband and law partner, Charlotte worked in the Professional Liability and Commercial Litigation department of Deutsch Kerrigan, LLC for twelve years. Charlotte graduated from the University of Virginia in 1999, and received her JD from Loyola Law School in New Orleans in 2005. Between undergraduate and graduate school, Charlotte worked in Washington, D.C., first for the U.S. House of Representatives and later Adams and Reese, LLP. Charlotte enjoys gardening, running and spending time with her family and friends in New Orleans, where she grew up.
Jill Polk – Trustee, serves as Of Counsel with Armstrong Teasdale LLP and has been a member of the firm’s corporate services group for fifteen years, practicing primarily in the areas of securities, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. In her practice, she regularly advises clients on general corporate and securities matters, including securities law compliance, public and private capital raising and reorganization projects. Jill has extensive experience counseling boards of directors, committees and company leaders on fiduciary duties and responsibilities and executive compensation practices. She previously served as a member of the Gateway Region YMCA advisory board. Jill graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, and holds a B.A. in English, graduating summa cum laude, from Eastern Illinois University.
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.
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.
Julie Fabian – Chair Emeritus
To contact the Board with any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com.