About the AFLCR
The Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region (AFLCR) is based in Burlington, Vermont where French history goes back 400 years. The AFLCR is dedicated to engendering awareness of French culture through a variety of activities, including those that take advantage of our proximity to francophone Canada.
AFLCR programs include French language and culture classes, bi-monthly French conversational gatherings, as well as picnics, potluck parties, and member outings throughout Vermont and Québec. Members and subscribers receive regular notices about cultural events throughout the region in the Newsletter, and periodic email updates.
The AFLCR is affiliated with the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, the largest network of centers for French language and culture in the world, and is a chapter of Fondation Alliance Francaise.
L’Alliance Française de la Région du Lac Champlain sert les francophones et les francophiles de la zone métropolitaine de Burlington, Vermont, et toute la région. Nous promouvons la culture et la langue françaises en offrant des classes de langues, un ciné-club ainsi qu’une grande variété d’activités, en profitant bien sûr de notre proximité avec la nation francophone canadienne voisine. Chez nous, nous fêtons la terre et les eaux où ont eu lieu quatre siécles d’histoire française.
Downtown Burlington: 43 King Street, Burlington, VT 05401
Meet our Teachers
Micheline Tremblay – Directrice
Micheline is originally from Quebec, and it is there she began her long career as a French teacher. After relocating to Vermont, she taught at Colchester Middle and High Schools for thirty years. She inherited the direction of the French Language Center at the AFLCR in the early 2000s. Since then, she has become the AFLCR’s “point person” for all inquiries both school related and general. During her tenure as Directrice, course offerings have expanded from two to five sessions per year, and from its original classroom in Fort Ethan Allen to multiple classes in Burlington, Montpelier, and Stowe. Additionally, the number of private tutoring sessions has greatly increased under her directorship. Micheline is actively involved in many AF projects including the Annual Gala Dinner fund-raiser, the Deuxième Samedi conversational gathering, and our monthly Happy Hour, not to mention her year-round efforts to coordinate a number of different classes and ensure students are properly placed. It is her hope in the coming years to increase enrollment of younger students, and also to improve awareness of the depth and richness of Québécois and the culture it reflects.
Alysse was born in the French-speaking region of Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a Spanish father. After college, she left Switzerland and began teaching French in Bogota, Colombia. Later, she taught at the Washington International School in DC, followed by teaching in middle and high schools in Vermont. Her passion for French led her to work in private, public, and continuing education classrooms, with language learners from ages 8-88. For several summers, Alysse was the Assistant Director at the Middlebury Monterey Language Academy (MMLA), where her role spanned both managerial and teaching responsibilities in a residential language immersion program for high school students. In the summer 2019, she started working at Middlebury College in their acclaimed French immersion program for adults.
In addition to teaching different level classes at the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region (2011-present), she also runs her own business: Your French Connection (https://www.yourfrenchconnection.net), a language immersion program providing French learning experiences in the “cultural classrooms” of Québec Province and France. Alysse lives in Burlington with her husband and dog.
After retirement from thirty-five years on the French faculty of the University of Vermont’s Department of Romance Languages, Grant taught courses in French, humanities, and French cinema at Burlington College. Having majored in French at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in French at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). His studies were interrupted by a year at France’s Université de Dijon as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow. Later, he spent a year as Director of UVM’s Vermont Overseas Study Program to the Université de Nice, and, back in Burlington, he was deeply involved in it for almost twenty years. At UVM, he taught French language, literature, culture courses as well as General Literature; his research and publication interests generally focussed on nineteenth century literature. Beyond teaching and travels, Grant is a cinema enthusiast; he is as well a Vice-President of The Caroline Baird Crichfield Fund for Women in Need, and pursues his interest in cultural encounter and exchange as Board member of the Cuban American Friendship Society and occasional translating and interpreting. Grant very much enjoys exploring books on various topics with the committed, interesting, and fun students in the Alliance Française literature courses.
Marc taught high school French for twenty years in both private and public settings before settling to teach exclusively at the Alliance. He was literally born into it, the son of two career-long French professors who raised him first speaking French in Burlington. After growing up in Vermont and in France, he earned his B.A. at U.V.M. in French and English, and went on to obtain his M.A. from Middlebury College in French Language. Highlights from his education included years abroad spent in Nice and Paris, first with U.V.M.’s Vermont Overseas Studies Program, and then later with Middlebury at the Université de Paris IX (Nanterre). His coursework in history, literature and art was especially inspiring and is what eventually pushed him toward teaching – that he might share with others the depth and diversity of France’s cultural heritage, including contributions from lesser-known French-speaking regions of the world. Today, while he still enjoys teaching the expressions and structures that are unique to the French language, he equally appreciates being able to offer new classes at the AFCLR that allow him to explore other areas: regional history, contemporary literature and popular culture. Marc currently heads the AFLCR and is delighted to live in a part of the world that places so much emphasis on French and French cultural heritage.
Born of a Scottish father and French-Canadian maman, Nikki grew up in the New York City area, got her BA in French from St. Lawrence University with a year spent at the Faculté de Rouen. She moved to Paris to tour with a group and stayed for almost 14 years! Before moving to Vermont from Paris, France in 2000, Nikki worked as a musician, backup vocalist, song adaptor, and translation editor. Her musical expeditions took her all over France, Europe and as far as Japan. Her bilingual life did not stop there though. She went on to get her Masters in Teaching French (MATSL) from Bennington College, and has taught in some of the elementary schools of the Mad River Valley, The Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy’s immersion program for high school students, and has taught at Norwich University where she now works. She has also added some ESL graduate work and teaching as well. Through a DoD grant, she also designed and taught French and Wolof to the Vermont Army National Guard who were being deployed to Senegal to participate in Vermont’s State Partnership Program. This led to her interpreting for President Sall of Senegal during his trip to Vermont in 2014. Nikki continues to do translation, interpretation work and consulting for TV and movie script adapters in France. She currently teaches for the Alliance Française in Montpelier and Burlington. If you are curious about her musical past, you can visit nikkimatheson.com.
Janet Whatley has had the pleasure of teaching the French language and French and Francophone literature for many years. She was on the Romance Languages faculty at UVM between 1973 and 2010, where she taught courses such as “Fables of Feminine Experience: Early French Women Writers;” “Power and Desire in French Classical Drama;” “Society Re-imagined: The Literature of the French Enlightenment; and “Joan of Arc in History, Image, and Legend.”
She undertook research in the early period of European contact with the Americas, which yielded a humanities course taught both at the first-year and at the graduate level: “The New World: Early Images and Encounters” (writings by Columbus, Cortez, Montaigne, Shakespeare, and others). This research also led to her translation of Jean de Léry’s classic work of early ethnography (1582), Histoire d’un Voyage en Terre de Brésil.
Her study of pre-Revolutionary women writers produced a translation, with Malcolm Whatley, of the correspondence of Isabelle de Charrière, a Dutch writer who wrote in French, and who is now recognized as a major voice in the European Enlightenment.
In recent years she has worked with a number of people from other countries needing help in developing their English skills in reading and writing. Under the auspices of the Alliance Française she has been leading a French literature reading group, exploring with her co-readers a wide range of subjects, such as Montaigne, Proust, Victor Hugo, the French experience of World War II. She is grateful to the Alliance for this opportunity.
Originally from the Southwest of France, Régine is a native French language speaker as well as near-native Spanish speaker. Régine earned her M.A. in English and Spanish with a concentration in International Business from the University of Toulouse-Mirail, France. For the past ten years Régine has lectured in French and Spanish at several universities on the East Coast of the United States. After completing a teacher licensure program at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, she became a licensed teacher in Virginia and now in Vermont. Her areas of academic interest include the fundamental components of language arts such as listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Since her family’s relocation to Vermont in Fall 2018, she has been an instructor for the Alliance Française Lake Champlain Region, in Burlington. She also serves as a French Instructor at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School, in Shelburne, and at CVU Access, in Hinesburg. Overall, Régine is grateful for the opportunity to share her language skills and strives to foster an appreciation for cultural differences with all her students.
Caroline Grace was born in Eastern France and lived in many different regions of France. She earned her French Baccalaureate in Normandy before heading to Vermont to pursue her education. She attended Saint Michael’s College and graduated with a BA in English. Upon graduation, she, her husband and newborn daughter moved back to France. They lived near Saint Quentin where she taught English and French in a local high school. Five years later, she, her husband and their two kids decided to move back to Vermont. She taught French evening classes for CCV in Burlington and began teaching middle and high school French in Central Vermont eighteen years ago. She is a National Board Certified French Teacher and has a Master Degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University. Her days are spent in French: she teaches it, her husband is a French teacher and French is the language they have always used at home with their children. She teaches Advance Conversations for the Alliance in Montpelier.
Marcus Grace is a native Vermonter who has had a passion for the French language since Middle School! He went on his high school French Club trip to France and voilà! Smitten! As a result, he went to France as an exchange student and his life took a completely different turn.
Professionally, he taught English in Northern France for 4 years and has been teaching French at Harwood Union HS for the last 20. He has led MANY trips to both France and Québec.
What is most important to him is his family and everything related to it, especially the amazing meals, long walks, exciting trips and unforgettable moments with his wife Caroline, and two bilingual children: Anne-Marie and Nicholas.
Meet the Board of Directors
Marc Juneau, President
Marc taught high school French for twenty years in both private and public settings before settling to teach exclusively at the Alliance. He was literally born into it, the son of two career-long French professors who raised him in Burlington. French was his first language. After growing up in Vermont and in France, Marc earned his B.A. at U.V.M. in French and English, and went on to obtain his M.A. from Middlebury College in French Language. Highlights from his education included years abroad spent in Nice and Paris, first with U.V.M.’s Vermont Overseas Studies Program, and then later with Middlebury at the Université de Paris IX (Nanterre). His coursework in history, literature and art was especially inspiring and is what eventually pushed him toward teaching. He was eager to share the depth and diversity of France’s cultural heritage, including contributions from lesser-known French-speaking regions of the world with his students. Today, while he still enjoys teaching the expressions and structures that are unique to the French language, he equally appreciates being able to offer new classes at the AFCLR that allow him to explore other areas: regional history, contemporary literature and popular culture. Marc currently heads the AFLCR and is delighted to live in a part of the world that places so much emphasis on French and French cultural heritage.
Bill Pence, Treasurer
Bill moved to Vermont in 1984, after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he obtained a Masters degree in Social Work. He has also earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore.
Bill worked as a community Social Worker before moving to Vermont. Once in Vermont, he was the Business Manager for Planned Parenthood for 4 years, and then the Business Manager for the Howard Center for 25 years.
Bill retired in 2018 and now spends time with his two granddaughters, learning the French language, and playing Pickleball. He works as a community volunteer with the Charlotte Recreation Department, the Flynn theatre, and is a community mentor to a local resident.
Bill’s love of the French language led him to take French courses with the Alliance Français for the last 6 years. He feels his learning is a lifetime voyage that he may never master. He values learning and being active with yoga, walks, and Tai Chi. He is married to a retired Social Worker and has a grown son living in the area. He is grateful to have his health and time to meet with friends, and wants to improve the lives of others. His current goals are to teach his granddaughters the French language, to start a Financial Literacy group for those in need, and to give back to others. He is honored to join the Board of Directors.
Cheryl McAlister, Secretary
Cheryl studied French in public school from third through twelfth grades. After earning her BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, she saved enough money to live in Bayeux (Normandy) for nine months where she was completely immersed in French language and culture. The experience cemented a love of everything French that has persisted since childhood.
Cheryl taught in private art schools starting in 1986. After receiving her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, she also taught at Franklin Pierce and Keene State colleges. She was Professor of Fine and Applied arts at The New England Institute of Art in Brookline, MA from 2001— 2011 when she left her job to care for her ailing father and to help her husband run their self-sufficient farm. While a member of the AFLCR during that time, farming left no time for extra pursuits.
Today, Cheryl devotes her time primarily to painting and writing, and is happy that she can make her love of French a priority. She enjoys attending Happy Hour and Le Deuxième Samedi, and especially the French Book Club that she started with several friends she met through the AFLCR. Cheryl is delighted to be secretary of the AFLCR as well as its unofficial graphic designer.
Mme le Chevalier, Lise Veronneau, Director of Community Relations and International Affairs
Lise is involved in many French initiatives in Burlington, Vermont and Internationally. Her main objective is to identify opportunities to promote French connections. She looks for people with like energy and enthusiasm and a modern sense of business with organizational and leadership skills that will help the AF and AFLCR’s planning for the future. Lise has been with AFLCR since 2009. When not working on her volunteer projects, such as AFLCR, Lise enjoys overseeing Information & Technology and the Financial affairs of the Fire and Police Departments for the City of Burlington.
In March 2012, Lise was asked by then-Mayor, Bob Kiss, to Chair the newly created Burlington-Honfleur Sister City Committee. Honfleur is the port that Samuel de Champlain sailed from in 1609 aboard the Don de Dieu to discover the lake that today bears his name. Lise is proud to hold a seat and position on the Board of Directors of the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region. She was recently named Mme le Chevalier and knighted by France’s Ordre national de la Légion du Mérite for her tremendous volunteer efforts over the course of her career.
Suzanne Stimik, Director
The seeds of international interest planted early in life for Suzanne, having been raised in a first generation Eastern European family. In high school, she experienced French language, as well as Malagasy, as an AFS exchange student to Madagascar.
Suzanne earned her Master’s in Education at the University of Vermont, and furthered studies at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. She taught art at South Burlington High School and Community College of Vermont. Previous to teaching, she worked as an art therapist in Jean Vanier Communité de L’Arche in Jarnac, France. Other professional organizational experiences include Program Director for the Vermont Humanities Council, and Site Coordinator for the literacy mentoring program EW! Vermont. Suzanne has her own interior decorating business; Suzanne Stimik Interiors.
Outdoor activities, the arts, culinary and cultural interests, travel and family fill her life.
Suzanne joined the AFLCR Board in 2017. She is honored to be part of this organization and is continually working to include and promote our increasingly diverse francophone communities.
Joerg Klauk, Director
After relocating to Vermont from Toronto in 1993 Joerg co-founded, and is the co-owner of, The Vermont Wine Merchants Company. Joerg works with restaurants and wine shops throughout the state on behalf of, among others, wines from France. This provides him with a daily exposure to a palate expression of French flavor, culture and history. Having grown up in a transplanted European culture when he left Germany as a youngster, and then growing up in Canada, Joerg appreciates the richness of different cultures and the bridge to them that is represented by language learning. Academically, Joerg also thoroughly enjoyed studying history and has both an undergraduate and graduate degree in history from the University of Guelph and University of Western Ontario respectively. These provided a springboard to a pre-wine career in college book publishing at Prentice-Hall Canada and McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Joerg recognizes and appreciates that there are numerous elements tying Vermont’s past, present and future to the French heritage of Quebec and adjacent Canadian provinces. He hopes that his enthusiasm as a student of the Alliance’s French courses and his participation in Vermont’s hospitality and business community will be assets to the board.
Bylaws, Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region: Click this link to view our organizational bylaws.