Staff / Personnel

The staff at LFS is one of our most important assets. Our Lead Teachers have degrees and experience in early childhood education, and many of our staff stay with us in the long-term. Lead teachers develop and implement daily lesson plans to engage and support the children, and often work collaboratively with an assistant teacher. Assistant Teachers have ongoing education in early child development and work closely with lead teachers to maintain a positive classroom environment.

The school is administered by a Director, with oversight from the Board of Directors, the governing body of the school. Parents are encouraged to become involved by joining the board or attending the monthly meetings.

Assitan Sylla Traore


LFS is pleased to welcome a new Director as of April 2016! Assa is a native French speaker and brings experience in nonprofit management as well as a love of children and early childhood education to our school. Bienvenue Assa!

I was born and raised in Mali in an extended family. I have always loved children. Growing up my favorite thing to do was to role play teacher/students interaction in the classroom.

I have a Masters degree in Linguistics / language teaching from Moscow Linguistic University, a Masters in International Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon.

Before joining LFS, I worked for 17 years in Mali in diplomacy and government, first, as the Special Assistant to 8 Ambassadors of Nigeria to Mali and as a Special Assistant in Mali Prime Minister office.

I also worked as the Africa Program Director at Instove, a nonprofit located in Cottage Grove manufacturing big cooking stoves for school feeding programs and hospitals in countries where people still rely on woods for cooking and heating.

I have 4 children all raised bilingual. I love cooking and watching movies in my free time. I am honored to be part of the Little French School community.

Barbara Walraet

Teacher, La Moyenne Section

I am a Native French Speaker, raised in a bilingual home speaking French and Dutch. My upbringing gave me a strong sense for and interest in foreign languages. In High School, I chose to apply myself to a literature and language degree, studying German, English, and Russian. I married a German citizen and I now have two wonderful children who attend the French immersion program at South Eugene High School. They are both trilingual. They speak German with their father, English to their friends and pets, and French with me! It is such a wonderful experience to see how much my children benefit from the exposure of different languages and cultures. The learning of a foreign language is a life-long skill that leads to a better understanding and acceptance of the diversity in our world. I am very excited to teach my students a little bit of that magic and to take them on a wonderful journey…

I have a Master’s Degree in Foreign Affairs and Languages and the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. I taught French at Lane Community College in Eugene for 2 years, while working as an Assistant in the Preschool at The Little French School. I then taught 2 years in a French-German Immersion school in Germany. After our stay in Germany, we returned to Eugene and I spent five amazing years at The Little French School as a Preschool Teacher. I later returned to teach the Pre-K, where I have been since 2011. I enjoy every minute I spend with the children in the classroom. Their smiles are priceless, their curiosity and imagination is inspiring, and their love is unconditional.

I am an avid patissière, and have learned that teaching is like a good dessert. First, you learn the basic techniques. The more often you make it, the more fun you have, and the more proficient you get. You start to be creative and you try many new things out until it becomes a daily craving and you realize that you cannot go too long without it. I found the perfect dessert: Teaching! It boosts my energy and elevates my spirit. I can have it everyday and it helps me stay happy, healthy, and fulfilled.

Christiane Hougardy

Teacher, La Petite Section

I am a native of Austria (fluent in German) and studied French in middle school, high school and college. During my last summer in high school, I spent three months in France as a nanny caring for four children between the ages of one and eight.

In 1992, I came to the US to follow my sense of adventure. Since then, I have worked as an au -pair, a program manager in the tech industry, and as a classroom assistant in various preschools and elementary schools. While working full-time I also earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. I have been working as an Assistant Teacher at The Little French School since 2014 and love to see the kids thrive and grow.

When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, our dog, two cats, and four chickens, as well as hiking, camping, backpacking, traveling, and reading.

Jessica Lohmuller

Teacher, Moyenne Section / Grande Section

I am a native of Eugene with a Belgian/French family background and completed the French Immersion program from Fox Hollow Charlemagne Elementary to South Eugene High School. I continued my French studies at the University of Oregon, completing a Bachelor's of Arts in Linguistics with a sub-specialty in Language Teaching and French language.

I have been with the Little French School as an Assistant Teacher since September 2017 and enjoy watching the children thrive and learn, both academically and socially. I am fascinated by language acquisition which makes teaching French an absolute joy. This September 2019, I am the lead teacher in the Second Pre-K classroom.

In my free time I enjoy reading, swimming, and spending time with my little family; a cat, a rat, and a dog.

Sandra Wells

Teacher, Extended Care

I am a native Oregonian and have been a part of The Little French School for over 25 years. I have worked as Director, Kindergarten Teacher, and Assistant Preschool Teacher in the past, and have been the Extended Care Teacher for over a decade. I have a B.S. in Sociology and a B.S. in Education, both from the University of Oregon. I have a 30-year old son who is the light of my life. I have been involved in the big brother/big sister program, volunteered as a tutor for children’s reading programs, and I coached my son’s baseball team for eight years.

I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in the third grade. While others played dolls, I played teacher. I love children. They are like sponges, waiting to soak up whatever we have to teach them. I am a very patient person. I am totally silly. The classroom and I are a good fit.

Ariel Kiyabu

Assistant Teacher, Moyenne Section

Bio coming soon.....

Miracle Fauli-Garibay

Assistant Teacher, Extended Care

My name is Miracle Fauli-Garibay, I am originally from Stockton, CA and an Alumni of California State University, Fresno; graduated in 2016 and received my B.A in Communications and minor in Mass Communications and Journalism. I also have two certificates in Social Work: Cultural Competency and Recreation Administration: Youth at Risk. I plan to Further my education in Social Work and in Art. After graduation I developed a love for traveling and decided to move to Oregon. I am now working here at LFS as an Assistant Teacher in the Extended Care Program with Teacher Sandi and enjoy getting to know each child and their personalities.

I have always loved working with children and reading to them since childhood. In elementary, teachers paid attention to my love for reading and sent me to read to Kindergarten and first graders. In High School I worked at an After-School Program assisting and mentoring elementary students. In college I worked at the campus Daycare Center for four years. I have worked as an Assistant Teacher in various education settings such as daycare, aftercare, preschool, and High School.

I have volunteered with many organizations and churches helping children and advocating through legislative and policy change at California State Capital for foster youth.

I volunteered in Saturday Sports helping Elementary students stay active and with Wesley Methodist Church and Boys and Girls Club.

I was in Foster Care and believe it is important to give back to children that come from similar backgrounds as me and to make sure to meet their needs and nurture them the best way you can.

In my spare time I enjoy diving into the arts: dancing, singing, painting, writing, blogging, drawing, going to the movies, traveling, reading, hiking, spending time with family and friends, and simply enjoying life.

Children are a blessing to me and sometimes I consider myself a big kid.

Susana Sharp

Administrative Assistant & Substitute Teacher

I was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the south of the US. Wanderlust took over me at a young age leading me into a career in Hotel Management, I also have a Master's degree in Contemporary Fine Dining.

My love for travel and good food have allowed me to work with different teams around the world as an Executive Chef, I have worked in restaurants from Mexico to Haiti & France. I learned my french in France while working in a Michelin Star kitchen. It was magnifique! I also had the opportunity to teach both children and adults throughout the years.

My new adventure has been moving to Eugene Oregon in 2018, where I am currently the Director of Kid's Ministry for North Eugene Faith Center, and also participate as a culinary Instructor for school districts.

I was eager to join LFS because I strongly believe in language immersion programs, having taught adults and children in the past (Spanish & English). It is a real treat to share my strong business acumen and multicultural background with the children and the LFS team!

Suzanne Griffin

Assistant Teacher, Moyenne Section / Music Teacher

My name is Suzanne Griffin-Otis and it has been my privilege to work at The Little French School for 12 years. I have also worked with the lead teacher in the afternoon, extended care program, Sandra Wells at Eugene International Preschool and Kindergarten { E.I.P.K.} many years ago. While at LFS I have held a variety of positions including substitute teacher, assistant to the lead teachers and music teacher. I have also repeatedly played for the school at various fundraisers including French Night Out and The Autumn Faire.

I ran a music/movement/singing class for three years at LFS in the afternoons under the direction of the previous director Sara Bowman. I am currently on staff at The Shedd Institute of music as a piano and vocal instructor and have taught private lessons for years.

My education includes many years of experience teaching, plus a certificate of completion from Mills College in Oakland for the Orff/Schulwerk music teaching method, I am a Waldorf certified teacher, having completed the 2 year course here in Eugene and I hold an English as a Second Language {ESL} certificate which I used to teach students at a bilingual school in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico.

Teaching young children whether in a busy classroom or on an instrument has been my passion ever since I was 16 years old and was inspired by the book "Summerhill" {an alternative school in England}. I know that by teaching I can always be learning at the same time.

Victoria Scott (Cintamani)

Assistant Teacher, Petite Section

Bio coming soon.....

Stephanie Schiffgens


I am a native French speaker from the South West of France where I grew up on our family farm. I was educated in the city of Bordeaux at the University of Bordeaux III. I have a degree in social work with an emphasis on education. I have 3 children, all of them were raised bilingual and with a strong sense of the French culture.

I have worked for the Little French school for the last 25 years (with a couple of years off after our youngest son Peter was born). I worked as an assistant, as a teacher and as an administrator. The range of positions I have filled at the school and the many years of service to the school have allowed me a wide and rounded understanding of the school itself and early childhood education.

My passion lays in working with children and teaching them the simple things in life: growing food, raising animals, caring for friends, family and the animals we live with, making art with nature and what the land provides, pairing good food with the perfect tea or smoothy, being together, working together, liking each other.

When I am not at school, you can find me on the farm working in the garden or with our animals. Our family raises a small flock of Gotland sheep, that I absolutely adore.

It has been a pleasure to be back at The LFS, working with Assa in the office.