Our teachers

  • Marie-France Cousineau

Marie-France was born and grew up in a small community in Quebec, Canada, with French as her  primary language. She pursued her education in Human Science, obtaining a diploma in Psychology and in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching for the past 15 years, and had the opportunity to teach French in an Immersion School in St-Louis (Missouri) where she lived for more than 5 years. She now lives in Tucson with her husband since April 2017. She’d love to share her knowledge and her passion for this beautiful language that is French. In her free time, she loves to cook, read biographies, golfing as well as travelling.

  • Christine Deymier 

After attending the universities of Lille and Montpellier where she studied German and English, Christine followed her husband first to Boston and a few years later to Tucson where they have been living since 1985. They have two grown up children who are working and studying on the East Coast. As a French tutor at Pima community college for the last fifteen years, she kept up her interest in the French language, its spelling, its grammar, its litterature… She has been an active member of the Alliance Française de Tucson for quite some time. Christine also leads our Weekly Conversation Group.

  • Olivier Fahrni

Olivier studied (Latin and French literature) in Switzerland, where he was born, as well as his professional career in the world of event communication. From a family of professors, Olivier grew up in the field of education and has had numerous occasions to exercise his talents as communicator and teachers in fields as diverse as event marketing, Sport of endurance, communication with horses and palliative care, as many fields in which he still exercises. He will undoubtedly share his passion for literature and French writing.

  • Nicole Gilbert-Davidson

Nicole is originally from Metz in Lorraine, France. She moved in the USA in 1980 with her family and lived in Morristown, New-Jersey on and off for 37 years. She taught French for the last 30 years, to children and adults. She decided to retire in Tucson and is happy to have the opportunity to continue teaching and share her love of the French culture and language. Her passions in life are teaching and painting; travelling is also a big part of her life. She lived in Mexico for 7 years in the late 1990s and speaks Spanish fluently. She loves French literature, French movies, French food and meeting new people from all over the World.

  • Elisabeth Guillen

Elisabeth “Liz ” Guillen was trained in France as a Lawyer and an Interpreter in English and Spanish. Until she moved to the US, Liz worked as an Attorney in private practice before becoming an in-house counsel. She has taught Law at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. She obtained an L.L.M. from ASU and was a government lawyer for 17 years. Upon retiring in 2012, Liz obtained her TESL Certification and has taught at the Alliance Française de Tucson ever since.  When she is not leading our Book Club and teaching classes at AFT, she volunteers with the Tucson Refugee Community. Liz loves travelling and makes it a point to go back to France whenever she can.

  • Gaëlle Merialdo Torrenti 

Gaëlle was born in Paris but lived almost all her life in Valbonne, near Nice, in the south of France. After obtaining a bachelors degree in mathematics, she settled down as an Elementary school teacher in France. She taught for about 10 years, with a specialization in Education for children with special needs. She moved to Tucson in August 2016 with her husband and kids. Gaëlle loves travelling, food, sports and music, among many other things! She is also the new Executive Director of the Alliance Française de Tucson since July 2017.

  • Yuxia Peng

Yuxia speaks Chinese, French and English. After receiving her MA degree in French in 2004, she began teaching French at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. In January 2016, she moved to Tucson with her husband and their daughter. Yuxia holds a Ph.D. degree in French Literature. Her doctoral dissertation explores the nuanced relationship between “artist” and “bourgeois” in the works of Gustave Flaubert. She loves French Poetry and French Novels. “Keep learning” is her motto. Yuxia enjoys teaching, making new friends and improving the effectiveness of language learning.