In order to better serve the French community in the South-eastern part of the United States, the Consulate General of France in Atlanta is proud to announce the nomination of two additional Honorary Consuls of France: Nicolas Brindel, from Greenville, SC and Marie-Claire Ribeill, from Raleigh, NC. Both will, in coordination with this consulate, relay its actions and messages in their respective States.
The Honorary Consuls, a voluntary position, are qualified to protect and represent French citizens while protecting their rights as well. Also, depending on the French government’s mandate, they may also be able to perform certain administrative services such as delivering identity cards, verifying signatures, birth certificates, etc.
On this occasion, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, Pascal Le Deunff, will present the newly appointed Honorary Consuls with the French insignia during an official ceremony to take place in Raleigh and Greenville, respectively on March 3rd and 17th, 2010.
Nicolas Brindel is the Director of the bilingual French School in South Carolina. He has been living and working in the U.S. for more than 20 years, and because of his long-time commitment to education he was bestowed Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in July 2006.
After studying in Paris and receiving an Associate’s degree in Law and Economic Sciences and a Master’s degree in English, he was hired as Director’s Assistant at the French-American School of New-York.
Returning to Paris in 1995 to fulfill his dream of having a family, he remained true to his multicultural identity acquired in the U.S.: he worked for the Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel where he was head of high school level and the International Baccalaureate. After a five-year stay in Paris, his calling to go back to the U.S. was too strong, and he and his family arrived in Massachusetts in 2000, at the International School of Boston. In 2008, he was hired as the director at the Bilingual French School of South Carolina, in Greenville.
According to the director, “with 70 students, the Michelin School is a place where children can blossom and where professors work in the best environment. Generally, students enrolled at the Michelin School stay there for two or three years, and an average classroom is usually only three or four students and a professor. This organization helps the students to feel enthusiastic about learning and allows a fruitful dialogue among students and professors.”
Regarding his school, he hopes to continue improving the quality French education offered in order to allow French children to go back to the French system without any difficulty.
Born in Millau in the South of France, Marie-Claire Ribeill spent her childhood in Aguessac, a tiny nearby village.
After obtaining a Master’s degree in English and completing the CAPES and Agrégation competitive exams at Montpellier University, she moved to Paris where she taught English in suburban high schools.
She then moved to England with her family, and from 1990 to 1993 she lived in the city of Langdon Hills in east London.
In 1993, she returned to France for four years where she taught French at the Savigny sur Orge High School, located in a XII century chateau that once belonged to Maréchal Davout, Marshal of France during the Napoleonic Era.
She came to Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1998, where she has since lived with her family.
In Raleigh, she got involved in many causes and activities. She is a docent at the NC Museum of Art and the NC Museum of History; two volunteer jobs that have allowed her to meet North Carolinians, and to understand the culture and heritage of the state. She has her own translation business, Le Bon Mot –Translations (translations from English into French). Finally, she is the founder of the Non Governmental Organization School Togo, whose goal is to give access to education for orphans from Togo, West Africa,.
However, it is for her involvement with the local French community that Marie-Claire Ribeill is most well-known. Since her arrival in North Carolina, she participated in organizating a voting bureau in the eastern part of the state for of the 2007 French presidential elections. In order to better serve the French community, she has also launched the Web site, created a French library for young people and regularly organizes social activities. Lately, she has started the creation of a bilingual school in Raleigh and has already started giving classes in French to French speaking children in the area who have integrated into the U.S. school system.
Married to Dr. Yves Ribeill, President and CEO of Scynexis, Inc., she has two sons: Guilhem 21 and Axel.