Meet our wonderful team!
Soraya Rouchdi, Founder and Director
Soraya Rouchdi is a passionate professional, a certified preschool director and entrepreneur. She experienced the importance of languages, travels and multicultural awareness in her early age. The valuable exposure to bilingual environment and various cultures and countries allowed her to speak four languages fluently. Soraya enjoyed living and studying in France, Italy, North Africa, and the United States. Soraya pursued her college education in Paris and Lille (France), where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Lille III University.
Soraya was an active PTA member in the schools where her children attended; she was also an elected board member of Ridgeview Charter School, and a Parent Chair of the science and math text book committee. In addition to her volunteering and home schooling activities, Soraya enjoys spending quality time with her family. She likes cooking international meals, reading, listening to world music, meeting friends and Jazzercise.
Anays Pupo, Business Manager
Anays Pupo is a native of Havana, Cuba. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Communication from the University of Havana and after finishing her studies, she moved to the United States in September 2011. Anays is very passionate about writing children’s stories and some of her previous work includes working as a journalist in a magazine for young adults. She has also worked as a volunteer at various schools to increase literary awareness among children by using her own nursery rhyme books. She also loves working with children, and making arts and crafts.
Onur Topal-Sümer, Communications & Admissions
Onur is a choreographer, performer, educator, producer, curator and a dreamer…born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She has a B.F.A. in dance from Istanbul Yildiz Technical University and a M.F.A. in dance & digital technology from University of California, Irvine. She has professionally performed and staged her original dance works at many acclaimed festivals and events across Europe, USA & Asia. As a teaching artist, Onur taught dance, performance and dance & media all around Turkey, Germany, Holland, Italy, University of California, Irvine, Tucson, Az and in many Atlanta area dance studios. Along with Onur’s international curatorial projects; in Atlanta, she has curated dance film screenings and taught as a visiting artist at Emory University, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia State University, Cinematic Lounge Series at Pera Dance, VideoDanza Uruguay, Argentina and Int. Video Dance Fest of Burgundy, France and Fiver International Screendance-Spain. Onur has extensive experience and passion in organizing and creating events, festivals, activities and administrative work. She served as a board member and Performing Arts Committee co-chair of Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery Non-Profit Organization. Onur has been the director & curator of Dance Camera Istanbul, International Dance Film & Media Festival. In March 2015 she started to curate and organize Dance Camera Atlanta Dance Film Screening Series.
This is Onur’s second year at DVIS and she loves being part of such a diverse, multicultural and supportive community. As well as her position at Communications and Admissions Office at DVIS, she coordinates the special events and collaborations. Onur is also teaching dance forms and performing arts at DVIS. In 2015 she became a mother to a very smart, energetic and beautiful girl. Since then she is loving and learning each day to be a good mother with all the ups and downs of motherhood.
Jolynn Sockwell, Administrative Assistant
Jolynn Sockwell is a mother of two daughters who've been in Spanish Immersion since they were babies because their family has always valued the benefits of raising bilingual multi-cultural children. Upon discovering DVIS she enthusiastically enrolled their youngest child and began to dedicate herself to supporting the teachers and staff in providing the best education experience possible. After working at the school for 7 months she naturally moved into the available Administrative role and became even more involved. Jolynn graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2013 with a BA in Business and then spent 3 years as a Consultant for Deloitte. From there she worked at Northside Hospital in their Financial Systems Integration department as an Analyst for 7 years before dedicating herself to Motherhood full-time upon the birth of their second daughter. While caring for her children Jolynn was also an active volunteer and served on the board of a local community improvement organization (MIC) as well as a social moving arts organization (gloatl). Jolynn has always had a passion for children and finds great joy in being surrounded by the amazing learners, families, teachers, and staff at DVIS.
Lower School Teachers (18 months through Pre-K)
French Teachers (Lower School)
Christine Blanchet, French Teacher
Christine was born and raised in the North of France. She worked during 18 years in an environmental company as a chemist engineer. She moved to the United States in 2000. As a parent she volunteered for 2 years at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City (helping ESOL students in chemistry and French. Then she worked as a caregiver at Royal Lerner Center in Peachtree City during 5 years. She is very excited to be part of Little Da Vinci’s team. Christine is motivated to teach in a fun way her passion for sciences to the children.
Marie De Salins, French Teacher
Marie was born and raised in Paris. She has always wanted to be a teacher since childhood, but first obtained a bachelor of Law degree at Paris X University as well as a Master’s degree in education specialized in preschool and elementary school at the Center of Pedagogy Education Sainte Geneviève in Paris. After graduation, she began working as a preschool teacher in Paris and later in 2nd and 3rd grades in Sartrouville, France. She moved to the United States in 2012, following her husband here in Atlanta.
Marie loves to develop interdisciplinary projects in class that foster critical thinking and engage the children to explore their surroundings. She believes in the importance of making mistakes in the learning process in order to develop each student’s confidence in his abilities. Marie is committed in the will to create a trusted relationship between the parents and the teacher with the common goal to help the child grow and develop. Overall, she is driven by the social and educational well-being of every student.
Philippine Grassin, French Teacher
Philippine was born in Britany (France) and grew up in many different countries (France, Africa, Caribbean...). She is the fourth of a twelve children family which has given her a enthusiasm for children and education since she was young.
Philippine began by studying physical activity and rehabilitation obtaining a Master 2 in Training, Biology, Nutrition, Health (5 years of study) at the University Paris V Descartes. In parallel with her studies Philippine was an au pair for 3 years for children aged 18 months to 5 years. Following her studies, Philippine worked as a physical therapist for mentally or motor handicapped children (blind, poly handicapped, dyslexic, cerebral palsy...) and also for adults. She has more than 4 years' experience in various hospitals and rehabilitation centers for children, adults and the elderly in Paris (Clinéa group).
Philippine is very sensitive to natural differences between students and even adults. She is patient and likes to listen. Thanks to her experience as a physical therapist, Philippine is ever creative and always looking for ways to adjust what she’s doing to the needs of each child. Philippine is passionate about psychomotricity for children and wishes to capitalize on her experience to develop this through education.
She and her husband moved to the United States in November 2018.
Benedicte Juston, French Teacher
Benedicte grew up in Lyon and studied there to be a German teacher. She and her French husband have 3 teenage sons. They lived 4 years in Hong Kong, 12 in London, UK and have been living in Atlanta for the past 4 years. They are truly loving their new American life! As a Modern Language lover and teacher, she appreciates raising children in a bilingual environment.
Benedicte has been teaching for a number of years, first music as a teenager and later on German, English and French in Hong Kong and London. Languages are the best way to communicate but also learn different cultures in depth. French is not easy but with fun and perseverance I am hoping to share with you our culture and make French more accessible.
She is an outgoing adventurer who loves reading historical fictions, meeting new people, and cooking and baking (to the delight of her family and friends). She even had a catering business in London and is currently partnering with Barrington Hall, in Roswell where she teaches French cooking classes.
Famina Laroui, French Teacher
Famina was born and raised in Metz, in the northeast of France. Her parents are from North Africa, so she also speaks an ethnic language, called Berbere. She is very proud of her rich culture, which has been a great help throughout her life. Famina earned a Bachelor’s degree to become an Optician Sales Specialist at Lycée Louis Bertrand, in France. She volunteered in an after-school program for 2 years in France, where she assisted children from elementary school with homework and different school projects. She moved to the United States in 2008 and has been raising her two sons since. She home-schooled her oldest son during the first 3 years of his life. In her free time, Famina loves to travel the world, take long walks in the woods, play soccer with her boys, visit museums, and cook Mediterranean food. She also enjoys reading and watching old French movies.
Ludmilla Saidi, French Teacher
Ludmilla is from Paris, France. She studied applied foreign languages in English and Spanish. She worked as a summer camp counselor in France. She moved to the United States in 2008 where she has been working as a childcare provider. She joined Da Vinci International School in 2017. Ludmilla is the proud mother of a little boy who is also a student at the school. She has a passion for health and fitness. In her free time, she loves to go on fun adventures with her son.
ENGLISH TEACHER (Lower School)
Mathilde Petitpre-Harris, French & English Teacher
Mathilde is a French and English speaker who was born in France and who grew up going to French schools in different countries (Central African Republic, Senegal, Morocco) before arriving in Atlanta in high school. She then graduated from an international school and went on to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Romance Languages from UGA and a CELTA from Cambridge University. Mathilde also have taught in Hungary, Spain and Vietnam. She started working at DVIS in 2015 and has loved being able to take part in different projects in both French and English.
Mathilde is also currently taking online classes for an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching Degree) in Foreigner Language Education.
SPANISH TEACHERS (Lower School)
Milena Munoz, Spanish Teacher
Ana Milena Munoz Quintana (prefers Milena) is a compassionate teacher devoted to building the attitudes and skills that strengthen moral, emotional, cognitive, and physical development in her students. Originally from Colombia, she graduated from a local University where she pursued her passion in teaching earning a degree in Early Childhood Education. After working in education and teaching for 4 years in her home country, she immigrating to the United States. Most recently she was the Lead teacher at a Spanish Language Immersion school, first in the 2-year-old classroom and then for several years in the 3-year-old classroom. After taking time off to be with her newborn son, Milena is extremely enthusiastic to be a part of the DVIS team. She is continuing her education with English classes and further Certifications. In her free time, she is a devoted mother to her sons, Santiago and Thomas, and also love to dance and travel!
Erika Palacios, Spanish Teacher
Erika Palacios is a graduated Occupational therapist from the University Manuela Beltran, Bogota, Colombia. She is also an educational teacher with many years of experience working with children with and without disabilities in Bogota, and in the United States of America. Erika's specialties is building strength and endurance of specific body parts as well as the entire body and educating parents about their children’s development, and engage them in an active role with their kid’s life.
Jovita Pedraza, Spanish Teacher
Jovita Pedraza was born in Mexico and worked as a preschool teacher in Mexico there until she moved to Georgia when she was 18 years old where she obtained a degree in administration. She is the mother of four amazing children who not only make her day brighter but have also given her experience and knowledge on childcare and education. In her free time, Jovita likes to practice sports, create art, write children’s stories and spend time with her family. She is an all around outgoing, fun and joyful person and she is very excited to be a part of the DVIS team.
Leslie Rodriguez, Spanish Teacher & Administrator
Leslie Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba. She moved to the United States in 2006 with her family, when she was 16 years old. Mrs. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Certificate in Cultural Studies from the University of Phoenix. Leslie has worked for Delta Air Lines, Budget of Atlanta, and Florida National University as a Communications Liaison. Leslie is also a published Spanish author with vast experience in children and young adult’s literature. Encouraging other people to read and using their imagination to write their own stories is one of her passions. Leslie is currently working on her Master degree in Social Media Management as she believes that social media and the internet are the keys to the future. In her free time, she writes stories and poetry that will be published in 2019. Mrs. Rodriguez is very excited to share and use her experience in Spanish Literature as well as her more than ten years of experience in social media with the students, the teachers, and staff of Da Vinci International School.
Upper School Teachers (Kindergarten through 5th Grade)
FRENCH TEACHERS (Upper School)
Céline Bell, French Teacher
Céline Bell is a dynamic educator who has worked with children in both France and the United States. She earned her teaching certification in Music Education from the French Ministry of Education “CAPES”. In France, she taught Music Education to middle school students and held the position of choir director for 11 years. She also served as a teacher trainer and was asked to participate in numerous Kindergarten classes where she was able to develop her passion for project-based and interdisciplinary teaching approaches.
Céline moved to Atlanta from Paris, France in 2007 with her Franco-American family, joining the LDVIS team in 2010. Since then, she has been focusing on implementing fun and innovative teaching methods for bilingual learners (from Pre-K to second grade). She believes in creating meaningful connections between different languages and keeping her students engaged at all times. Celine aims to engage her students in a wide but interconnected diversity of activities ranging from music, arts, role play, new technologies, science projects, creation of books to using the “outdoor classroom”.
Tiphaine Chauvel, French Teacher
Tiphaine was born in west of France and grew up in the Alps. She has a BA in biology and geology from the University of Caen Basse-Normandie where she also earned her Elementary School Teacher Certification. She moved to the United States 15 years ago and has been teaching in various environments from Auburn University to Da Vinci International School. She taught in various International Schools (including International School of Indiana, Lyceum Kennedy in NYC and Atlanta International School) and at different levels. Tiphaine enjoys implementing activities that help her students developing critical thinking skills.
Emmanuelle Nadaud, French Teacher & French Program Coordinator
Emmanuelle Nadaud was raised in Avignon, France. She completed her higher education at the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Toulouse, France where she received a master degree in Chemical Processes Engineering in 1992. She also obtained an additional Master in Computer Sciences in 1993 at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Marseille (ESIM). Three years later, while pregnant with her second child she realized her passion for teaching. She went on to receive her teaching certification through the French Ministry of Education (IUFM, l’Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres). Although she has taught grades Pre K through 5th (l’Education Nationale) she has a special fondness for Kindergarten.
Emmanuelle has many hobbies; listening to music, creating art, walking and playing scrabble are just a few. In addition she loves to travel; discovering new ways of life, foods, and ways of thought are the treasures she brings home.
Marie-Marthe Fornerod, French Teacher
Marie-Marthe was born and lived in Drôme, France until she was 18 years old. She attended the Bioethics school, in Rome, Italy and received her degree in Education and Development in Madrid, Spain, where she also worked in an elementary school for 5 years. She then returned to France for her Master in Education, and passed the School Teachers certification in Lyon (concours des professeurs d’école). Marie-Marthe worked in several classes in Saint-Etienne.
She met her husband in France and then they both moved to Atlanta. She worked at Da Vinci International School for the 2017/2018 school year as the G2, G3 and G4 French teacher. She took a year off to raise her newborn son and returned to us for the 2019/2020 school year. She loves to help the kids develop their best selves, and she is honored to have the responsibility giving her students the best possible foundations so they can build their futures.
Marie Marthe enjoys cooking, the beauty of nature, spending time with family, and plunging into a good novel.
ENGLISH TEACHERS (Upper School)
Sorina Fant, English Teacher
Sorina Fant was born in Los Angeles, CA and has recently relocated to Atlanta with her family. She received her BS in Elementary Education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL and her MFA in Creative Writing from OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA. Sorina loves teaching and enjoys reading amazing novels with her students and working on creative writing projects. As a teacher, Sorina believes in instilling confidence in her students and helping them cultivate their creative voice as both positively help student's overall academic performance. She is incredibly excited to be able to bring her enthusiasm to the DVIS Community.
In her free time, Sorina enjoys anything creative: writing, painting, making collages or any project that allows her to make a beautiful mess. She loves exploring Atlanta, her new home, with her husband and two young daughters
Nikia Waithe, English Teacher & English Program Coordinator
Nikia Waithe was born and raised in Long Island, New York. She is passionate about children, education, and the art and science of teaching. Nikia received her teaching certification through New York State, and has ten years of teaching experience, working with both a multicultural and inclusion setting. She holds a dual Master Degree of Science in Education and Special Education for Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2). She attended Adelphi University, where she earned her Bachelor’s in History. As the mother of two small boys, Nikia leads a life full of exploration and adventure. She has a special love for the performing arts. Fascinated by the use of alternative forms of percussion, she has 14 years experience in teaching tap to both children and young adults.
Marie Neel, Art Teacher and Coordinator
Marie Neel was born and raised in Lille, north of France. She earned her degree in art and an international trading degree from Saint Vincent de Paul in Roubaix (France). In 1992 after her graduation, she decided to explore other cultures and countries. In 1993, she traveled to the United States and remained in Atlanta since then. Marie worked as a preschool teacher at Cliff Valley School (Reggio Emilia approach) in Atlanta, GA for two years. She loves art, music, traveling, cooking and working on her jewelry line. She also cherishes her quality time with her family and friends. Marie lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters Josephine and Louise.
Ariadna Ruiz, Aftercare Teacher
Ariadna Suarez was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States when she was 10 years old. Ariadna has always been very passionate about children. In 2010, she started volunteering at her church with children newborn to 5 years of age. She now leads two different ministries at her church: the Preschool department and the dance ministry. She worked for a year as a Spanish assistant teacher in a private school in Decatur with children aged two to four. Mrs. Suarez is currently enrolled in college to pursue a career in Labor and Delivery Nursing. Ariadna is very happy to be part of this team because she can combine two of her passions, languages and children. Speaking several languages is one of her goals. She is achieving one of her dreams since she speaks Spanish, English, and Italian and currently learning French. Although she has experience with children, she is also a freelance makeup artist and a photographer since 2014. Her goals at DaVinci International School are to gain educational experience with multi-cultural children and to speak fluent French.
Matthieu Clavé, Piano Teacher
French flutist, Matthieu Clavé, is an active performer and music educator. He is a permanent member of Chamber Cartel, music ensemble based in Atlanta, GA and he is sought after for his performances of chamber music and new music. He has played extensively across the United States and in Europe, and premiered music by Kenji Sakkai, Yassen Vodenicharov, Alain Bancquart, Anthony Donofrio, Doina Rotaru, Griffith Rose, Yves Prin. A strong advocate of cultural exchanges, he organized Atlanta's very first Fête de la musique (Make Music Day 2017) at Ponce City Market.
He holds a Master’s in Music Performance from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, a Master’s in Music Performance, and Education from the École Normale de Musique de Paris, France and an Artist Diploma from the Music Conservatory of Ville d’Avray, France.
Resident of Atlanta since 2012, where he lives with his wife, Clavé currently teaches music at the Atlanta International School, Atlanta Music Project, and the Georgia Academy of Music.
More detail on: www.frenchflute.com
Sensei Adam Vann, Tae Kwon Do Teacher
Peace Martial Arts is honored to teach classes here at Davinci International School. Sensei Vann has been practicing Tae Kwon Do for 12 years and teaching for 6. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from college. He serves as security and Deacon at his church and is excited to have the opportunity to empower your children.
More details at: https://www.peacemartialartsllc.com/