Board Members

Britton Adam Reeser, President

Dr. Nathan Heide, Vice President /Interim President

A native Oregonian from Corvallis, Nathan was born into a three-generation military family and has lived in Oregon, Washington State, California, Michigan, Rhode Island, Maine, Georgia, Tennessee, and Italy. He is a veteran (former Naval Officer), an Eagle Scout, Acupuncturist and Oregon MBA Candidate. He is proud to have served his country in the Navy and continues to serve the American people in healthcare.

Nathan holds a National Board-Certification in Integrative Medicine and Acupuncture (NCCAOM 154326), an Oregon Acupuncture license (AC 164157), and a California Acupuncture license ( AC 15688).

He earned his Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, his Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California and his Bachelors of Arts in English Literature and Social Change with focus on prison education reforms from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

He is currently enrolled in the Oregon MBA program at Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon.

When not busy treating patients or helping the LFS Board, he loves spending time with his family practicing the French language, going rock climbing, and playing Lego’s with his wife, Christina, and five-year-old son, Noah.

Additionally, Nathan has a deep passion for international travel. He lived in Naples, Italy for two years working for the US Navy and NATO, and on weekends, he and the family can often be found sampling some of the fine Italian and Thai restaurants around Eugene and Portland.

Nathan is thrilled for the opportunity to help the Little French School as a member of the Board of Directors.

Marcus Mendelson, Treasurer

Marcus Mendelson is a Eugenian born and raised. After graduating from the UofO with a BS in Environmental Science he worked and studied his way across Asia and Europe, enjoying greatly their food and culture. In particular he spent 3 years earning his MS in Management and working in Paris as a financial analyst. Then in 2014 he moved back to the US with his wife, intending to start a family and to help his father retire and build a real estate business. Quickly as family and business grew, choosing a quality preschool was a clear priority. With a love of France and a recognition of the benefits and importance of learning a second language he enrolled both of his children for multiple years with the Little French School. Furthering his commitment to the school and his children’s education he joined the Board of the Little French School as their treasurer.

Zoltan Varga, Secretary

1967 - Present: I am. Ich bin. Vagyok. Je suis. (Ego) sum. Ik ben. わたし

Christine Sampley, Staff Representative

Being on the LFS Board is coming full circle for me. I first joined the LFS family as a parent with barely 3-year-old twins back in 2004. My children continued their French education in the 4J French Immersion program, which culminated with full International Baccalaureate diplomas from South IHS in 2020. Both continue their pursuit of French, minoring in French in college. I have seen firsthand the value of their early exposure of the language in the caring and engaging environment at LFS. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of the Little French School to provide an enriching French language education for young children, and this is why I volunteer my time and energy to this program. The staff here are beyond dedicated and put the kids first; this is something I can get behind 100%. I bring to the board my experience in editing, fundraising, and volunteering in the schools. I look forward to continuing to serve on the Board and working to see the school succeed.

John Allcott, Chair Fundraising Committee

John Allcott MD got interested in our Little French School by the wonderful happen stance of meeting Assa Sylla Traore coming out of a Tracktown Oregon Sunday morning workout session in 2015. Et voila! He has stepped up to help out with the LFS coming out of his rusty French Connection with …fading French from high school and college at Yale,’67. He studied medicine at UNC Chapel Hill as a foundation for his full time occupation as an internal medicine physician in Eugene since 1978 ….and counting. Tiens!

He is confident that wife Beth and his commitment to education with students from Indonesia, to Singapore and Hong Kong, and China, to Eswatini( Swaziland,) Mali, and Kenya , to Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica, and ranging from Kindergarten to Ph D, and so there must be several Francophiles scattered about. John particularly helps with raising both friends and funds for the LFS. Formidable!

He looks forward to meeting, and greeting… You! Merci!

Heather Housen, Member Fundraising Committee

Born and raised in Eugene, Heather's first introduction to the French language was in 8th grade when her class was teamed up for the day with a group of local preschoolers, who were learning French! Enchanted by the interaction between the toddlers and their teacher, Heather knew at that moment that if she ever had children, she would want them to have a bilingual education from an early age. Fast-forward nearly three decades, finding herself living back in Eugene after 16 years away and with a young child, Heather was delighted to discover The Little French School was still going strong and enrolled her son Michael as soon as he was old enough.

Heather graduated from the UO with a BA in Art History and French and has been lucky to study language abroad in both France and Italy. She has worked with various nonprofits as a volunteer, board member and employee for the past 20+ years, also co-founding two small nonprofits. Heather is pleased to unite her love of language, nonprofit experience, and strong belief in the importance of early childhood education by serving on the Board of Directors of The Little French School. Currently working as the Operations Director at the School Garden Project of Lane County, she has enjoyed getting to know Eugene again by exploring new and favorite old haunts in town with her son. Heather also has two crazy pugs, a lot of friendly feral cats, and is a beginner olive tree grower.

Nicholas Ciufo , Member

Katrina Sayre, Member Fundraising Committee

Katrina is a third-year law student at the University of Oregon School of Law. She grew up volunteering and later worked at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, WA. Katrina received two bachelor’s degrees from The Evergreen State College, one concentrated in chemistry and the other in math. She originally moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon as a post-baccalaureate student, intending to fulfill the pre-requisites for medical school. Passionate about nonprofits and advocating for survivors of violence, she changed course from medicine to law, and has been living with her partner in the Eugene area ever since. Although she does not speak French, Katrina thinks early-learning language immersion is incredibly valuable. Katrina does not have any human children, but has two dogs who would attend the Little French School if they could. She was lucky to connect with the Little French School in the Spring of 2020 and is delighted to be a member of the Board.

Paul Lord, Member Fundraising Committee

Paul is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, but has been exploring from an

early age. He spent his college years in Winston-Salem, North Carolina,

where he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Russian with a focus on

linguistics. He has worked in university Residence Life and Housing,

Campus Recreation, and administration, as well as a few stints in manual

labor jobs. After nearly 4 years as a Youth Development specialist with

Peace Corps Ukraine, Paul came to Eugene to pursue a Master’s degree in

Nonprofit Management. He is a passionate learner and teacher, in that

order, and has loved languages since he was in middle school. Learning

languages, as well as helping others to learn, has been a key part of

his life, and as such he was thrilled to be a part of the LFS team. A

proud speaker of Ukrainian and Russian, Paul is also currently learning

French in between all of his graduate school duties.

Belén Vega , Member

I come to Eugene from Quito, Ecuador where I received my B.A. in Economics and International Relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. I am a concurrent student in the Conflict and Dispute Resolution and Nonprofit Management masters programs at the University of Oregon. French culture played an important role in my past professional experiences in Ecuador, where I often worked closely with the French Embassy. Also, as a bilingual student, I have always appreciated the value of bilingual education, especially for young learners. These experiences are aligned with the Little French School's vision and mission, which is why I am honored to be a part of this board.