North Seattle French School was founded by a group of motivated parents who became the Board of Trustees. Today, our board includes alumni parents and community members as well as current parents.


Role of the Board of Trustees

The primary responsibility of the board is to be the guardian of the school’s mission. As such, the board establishes policies and plans that reinforce the school’s core values, vision, and strategic goals. The board is also the steward of the school’s resources and is accountable for its financial stability.

Our board members are all volunteers who are not compensated in any way. We are grateful for the time, energy, and dedication they have given over the years and continue to give to allow our school to grow and thrive!

Board Structure

The Board comprises a General Board, an Executive Committee, and an Advisory Board, including the head of school (ex-officio). All board members have voting rights, save advisory members and the head of school. Members are elected to one-year terms, and nominations for new members are open to the entire school population and general community in the spring. General Board meetings are held once a month and are open to the school community.

Executive Committee

  • Jennifer Thiebaud, Chair
    Jennifer Thiebaud, Chair

    Jennifer is native to the Seattle area and fell in love with France when she was an exchange student at 16 years old. Her husband is a French national, and their two children are at NSFS. Jennifer has a degree in international relations, and her career has included school admissions, teaching, academic advising, and event planning. For over 10 years, she has worked in the field of corporate social responsibility, first at a Fortune 500 company and currently as a director for a consultant company, working to protect human rights globally in manufacturing.

  • Celia Beasley, Founder & Vice Chair
    Celia Beasley, Founder & Vice Chair

    Born to an American father and French mother, Celia is a native of Oakland, CA, where she attended Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley for nine years, including as a student in the school’s pioneering middle school class. The global perspective Celia acquired and the lifelong friendships she fostered there made her passionate about giving a similar experience to her own children, as well as others. Now, her two children attend Ecole Bilingue de Seattle; her daughter was part of the school’s first class. Celia works as a multimedia professional, producing and editing film, television and video.

  • Virginie Volpe, Founder & Treasurer
    Virginie Volpe, Founder & Treasurer

    Born and raised in France, Virginie first came to Seattle to attend Shoreline Community College. She then attended Seattle University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international business and also met her husband, a Seattle native. After several years working in the semiconductor industry, Virginie acquired a Six Sigma Certification, and in 2008, became president of Volpaia Consulting LLC. Virginie is the mother of two NSFS students.

  • Ufuk Ince, Treasurer
    Ufuk Ince, Treasurer

    A dual citizen of Turkey and the U.S., Ufuk divides his time three ways: in the academic world at Pacific Lutheran University, as a portfolio manager/partner at a wealth management firm, and as a volunteer in community organizations. His background–including an MBA, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in financial economics–allows him to teach, do research, practice investments and finance, and delve into all things capital markets-related. Ufuk has two children at NSFS and feels lucky to be part of the Ecole Bilingue de Seattle community.

  • Abby Hook, Staff Development Chair
    Abby Hook, Staff Development Chair

    Abby grew up across the U.S. and moved to Seattle in 1994 for college. After earning her undergraduate degree in forest engineering from the University of Washington, she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa. She returned to the states in 2001 and earned a dual master’s degree in public administration and hydrology from UW. Abby now runs her own consulting practice and works with local tribes and other watershed partners to improve conservation planning. She and her husband live in Ballard with their two children, one of whom attends NSFS. Their family enjoys hiking, reading, clamming and skiing.

General Board

  • Susanne Dubuisson, Communication Chair
    Susanne Dubuisson, Communication Chair

    Susanne grew up in Berlin, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business and started working in tech. She met her husband in San Jose in 2008, and they moved to London and then some years later to Paris, his native home. In 2014 they moved to Seattle and their daughter joined the NSFS preschool. While out on parental leave with her son, she got excited about playing a larger role for NSFS and joined the team.

  • Erin Papworth, Community Co-chair
    Erin Papworth, Community Co-chair

    Erin grew up in Portland, Oregon. She has run safari lodges in Botswana and worked for Doctors without Borders in Sudan, Malawi and Central African Republic. She earned a master of public health degree from Tulane University and went on to manage large development teams, run multi-million dollar development programs, work with populations affected by HIV and other diseases, and consult for groups including the United Nations and the U.S. government. Erin moved back to the U.S. in 2015 and recently co-founded a company dedicated to utilizing cognitive psychology to increase financial literacy within a population. Her son is a student at NSFS.

  • Vivian Sovran, Community Co-chair
    Vivian Sovran, Community Co-chair

    Vivian grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, and loved French in school, but it wasn’t until she attended McGill University and immersed herself in Montreal’s bilingual culture that she realized she was a true Francophile. In 2007, Vivian earned a doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University and has practiced primary care family medicine ever since. She is passionate about bilingual education and believes that a second language is one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow on a child. She and her husband live in Ballard with their daughter, who attends NSFS. When she gets the chance, Vivian loves making wearable art, singing and dancing, learning about different cultures, and relaxing in the great outdoors.

  • Amandine Noel-Crabtree, Marketing & Outreach Chair
    Amandine Noel-Crabtree, Marketing & Outreach Chair

    Amandine is from the city of La Rochelle, on France’s Atlantic coast. She first came to Seattle as an au pair in 1999. Charmed by a lovely boy from Montana, she returned to visit and work and finally married her cowboy in 2006. She and her husband have two daughters, who both attend NSFS. Amandine holds a master’s degree in international economic affairs from the University of Toulouse and is currently the project development director at BRPH, an architecture and engineering company. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, cooking (and especially eating the cooked meals), dancing, snowboarding and surfing on occasion.

  • Gregory Block, Strategic Chair
    Gregory Block, Strategic Chair

    Gregory’s goal on the board is to identify and implement strategies that improve board and staff productivity. In his day job, he is the vice president of corporate development of Universal Cells, Inc., a Seattle-based biotechnology company. He holds a doctorate in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University and a masters in biochemistry from the University of Toronto, as well as a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Washington. Previously, Gregory combined his science background with nonprofit work at Friends of FSH Research. His older son attends NSFS.

  • Claire Lundberg, Fundraising Chair
    Claire Lundberg, Fundraising Chair

    Claire grew up in Berkeley, CA but spent most of her adult life in and around New York City, where she worked extensively in theater, film and television, including on the film No Country for Old Men. In 2010, she and her husband moved to Paris, where their two daughters were born. Claire’s passion for bilingual education began as she watched her children absorb and integrate both French and English from birth, and when the family moved to Seattle in 2015, they joined North Seattle French School. Claire founded and runs CTL Scouting, a literary scouting firm, and she has written a popular series of articles for Slate magazine on being an American parent in France.

Advisory Board

  • Paul Olivier, Founder & Advisory Member
    Paul Olivier, Founder & Advisory Member

    Paul is a dual citizen, born and raised in Toronto, Canada to an American mother and French father. He spearheaded the committee to find a permanent home for NSFS, and his older daughter was part of the pioneering class in 2013. As a professional, Paul splits his time between working as a scientist and inventor and as an entrepreneur raising funding in a start-up biotech company. Paul enjoys family outdoor time, cooking, parenting, and making lattes for his wonderful wife every morning. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in molecular biology and genetics.

  • Dana Short, Founder & Advisory Member
    Dana Short, Founder & Advisory Member

    Prior to joining the NSFS team in the spring of 2013, Dana worked in the fashion industry for 28 years, most recently as a regional account coordinator and customer service trainer for a Fortune 500 company. If asked, Dana would tell you that the highlight of her career is when she began working at the Ecole Bilingue de Seattle, where she happily gets paid in hugs. Dana served on the Executive Board of Directors for three years, with a focus on communications, administration and the launch of the maternelle program (preschool). She currently serves on the Advisory Board. In her spare time, Dana likes to dream up crazy adventures for her husband and daughter.

  • Benjamin Orillon, Advisory Member
    Benjamin Orillon, Advisory Member

    Ben has extensive experience in international education and language acquisition. Since 2014, he has been the Lower School Head at the French American School of Puget Sound on Mercer Island. He has worked around the world, including as head of school or division, at French bilingual schools in Kyoto, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Calgary; he has also served as president of the Association of French Schools in North America. Ben holds a teaching degree and a bachelor’s degree from universities in his native France and is currently completing a master’s in education. He and his wife have two daughters, one a graduate of the University of Redlands and one a student at Mercer Island High School.