• Elizabeth LeBihan
    Founder and Director of Admissions

    Elizabeth grew up in Maine and earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Farmington, with a concentration in Visual and Performing Arts. In college, Beth studied modern dance and choreography and was a member of the modern dance company, The UMF Dancers, for four years. She also attended University College Galway, Ireland as an exchange student, where she reconnected with her family there and met her husband, Willy, a graduate student at the time. She began her career teaching grades 5,6, and 7 in Maine public schools, where she volunteered to teach French after school, as there was no foreign language opportunity offered for the students. After five years, Beth and her husband, Willy, decided to start a family of their own. She left the self-contained classroom to teach privately in order to meet both her professional goals and childcare needs. In their bilingual household, the ability for their own children to speak both French and English came naturally, and this sparked the beginning of a French-immersion program for Maine children. Inspired by the world-renowned Early Childhood program of Les ecoles maternelles in France, the wheels were set in motion for an adventure that would go on to become L’Ecole Française du Maine. With two small children and one on the way, Beth taught by day and studied evenings and weekends to earn her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development through the University of Phoenix. This experience increased her love of early education and fueled her desire to offer Maine children a valuable foundation for learning, beginning at an early age. She has worked in education for 25 years filling many different positions. During her first year as a classroom teacher, Elizabeth received a national teaching award, being named as “One of the Nation’s 100 Best First-Year Teachers.” She was Maine’s only recipient. In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, a Knighthood Order of Chivalry of France presented to academics and educators. The order was originally created by Napoleon. Beth is fluent in French and has raised her children to be bilingual. When not at school, she enjoys reading (with a cat on her lap and dog at her feet), gardening, knitting, boating, taking walks in the woods and on the beach and spending time with her family.

  • Willy LeBihan
    Founder and Head of School

    Willy LeBihan is a bilingual, French-American educator, business entrepreneur, non-for-profit leader, amateur geologist, and classical guitar aficionado. Willy is the co-Founder and Head of School of the French School of Maine and the French American School of Tampa Bay. Willy was born near Paris, France but spent most of his childhood near Quimper, a medieval city that fosters much of the Celtic culture of Brittany. Willy’s interest in geology took him to French, Irish and American Universities where he studied structural geology and mountain building processes through fieldwork in the French-Italian Alps, Connemara in Western Ireland and the Northeastern Appalachian Mountains. Willy is also a Maine certified teacher with 25 years experience in education who has shared his enthusiasm with students in many settings: early childhood, elementary school, middle, public and private high schools and even colleges and universities teaching French or Sciences. Willy served as President of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Maine Chapter and on the Board of the Foreign Language Association of Maine. Willy is a recipient of the National Defense Medal from the French Marines and, in 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, a Knighthood Order of Chivalry of France presented to academics and educators. The order was originally created by Napoleon. Willy co-founded L’Ecole Française du Maine in 2002 and The French American School of Tampa Bay in 2017 with Elizabeth LeBihan. When not at school, Willy can be found boating with his wife Beth and their three grown children on Maine Lakes, Casco Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.