Board Members

Marcus Mendelson, Treasurer, Interim Board Chair

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.

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, Secretary, Interim Board Vice Chair, Social Media Volunteer

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.

Jessica Samples , Member

Jessica was born and raised in Newberg, OR, before moving to Eugene to pursue a degree in Linguistics from the University of Oregon. Through her classes, she discovered a love and appreciation for child language acquisition and learned more about the importance of teaching children a second language. She gained interest in the Little French School because of her love of the French language and culture, and wanted to participate in the school in any way that she could after learning more about it. After graduating in the Spring of 2022, she hopes to move to France to either pursue a master's degree or to just soak up more of the language and culture as best as she can.

Valinda Justice , Member

Bio coming soon.....

Rosie Zbaracki, Member

Rosie Zbaracki is a Eugene transplant with a bachelor's degree in Linguistics with a focus on childhood language acquisition. She is a believer in the value learning a second language can provide for children and the community. Rosie was lucky enough to enjoy two weeks of backpacking across France and a search to find the perfect Tart au Citron! She is currently earning her Master's in Nonprofit Management at the University of Oregon. She co-owns Visibly Sold, an eco-friendly thrift store in downtown Eugene, OR that specializes in secondhand clothing.