Life In The FASTB Lane – A Groundbreaking Blog

Bonjour!  It has been a while since we’ve brought you into the FASTB lane so we have some catching up to do!

Ground Broken, Renovations to Begin

The Groundbreakers In Action from left: Chris Steinocher, Jean-Charles Faust, Elizabeth LeBihan, Alex Rios, Scott Ferris & Mike Hargett


With commemorative shovels in hand and hard hats on head, we officially broke ground May 23rd, to kick off the renovations that will take us to our opening this fall.  It was a beautiful evening at 2100 62nd Avenue North in St. Pete and with nice crowd on hand as Founder Elizabeth LeBihan and 5 special guests plunged their shovels into the carefully manicured dirt pile near our picturesque pond.

On hand for the occasion were featured speakers, St. Petersburg Chamber CEO & President Chris Steinocher, Honorary Consul of France Jean-Charles Faust, as well as Alex Rios of Rios Architecture, Scott Ferris of Axis Construction and Mike Hargett of Barnett Bolt law firm in Tampa.

“I’m so appreciative and thankful for Beth and Willy,” said Steinocher, “and I’m so excited for getting quickly up to where we’re cutting the ribbon and actually starting to see these students learn and they’re going to change the way St. Pete is.”

“The promotion of French education is something that is very important for the French government,” added Honorary Consul Faust, “and adding a French school here certainly will add a lot to St. Pete.”

Many families also came out for the event, which, while symbolic, serves to underscore the commitment to do what is necessary to make FASTB flourish from day 1 this Fall.  As Founder Elizabeth LeBihan pointed out, “It’s becoming real now, we’re doing it, it’s happening and we’re one step closer to opening the school.”

Check out our video recap of Wednesday’s festivities:

Fall Planning

With everything “becoming real” with each day, it is important that we begin hiring the staff that will be in place on opening day.  To properly plan for that, we need to better understand the intentions of those of you who have expressed interest in The French American School of Tampa Bay.  We know that this is not an easy decision and that you have many factors to weigh, so we are available to answer questions, share our plans and provide any guidance you may need to help.  Please feel free to reach out to Elizabeth LeBihan at or 727-800-2159, or our Director of Marketing & Communications, Dan Hannigan at or 207-337-1135, to get together in person or over the phone.

Additionally, we do not have contact information for all who have expressed interest so if you or someone you know have not been receiving our weekly email newsletter, please fill out the Admission Inquiry Form on our site and we’ll get you in the loop!

Media Circles

Both the local and national media have been very good to us over the last couple of months and so we have created a page on our website with links to all of the great coverage.  In particular, Tina Stewart Brakebill wrote a terrific article in the May edition of Green Bench Monthly which you can check out here.  Kelly Nash’s photo of Beth & Willy came out great as well.

Prior to that, we received some nice national coverage from the French online news site, French Morning.  Grégory Durieu wrote the piece and it was posted in late April when French President Macron was visiting the White House.  As you can see in the screenshot – we bumped two presidents to take the Top Story position!

Speaking of the state visit, Willy LeBihan was there as well and met up with French Education Attaché, Bruno Eldin, from the French Embassy in Washington.

Watch for upcoming articles from 83 Degrees Media and St. Pete Life Magazine in the weeks ahead.

That’s all for now – we will keep you posted on all upcoming events and news.  In the meantime, especially if you are curious about what to expect from our school this fall, please visit the blog of our school in Maine!