Monday, June 22, 2009

Discours de M. François Gauthier, Consul Général de France, lors de la cérémonie de remise des Palmes Académiques à Elizabeth et Willy LeBihan

My dear friends, chers amis,
Three and a half years ago I had the privilege to preside over the ceremony that marked the opening of the new building of L'Ecole Française du Maine.
Today, I am very excited to be here, one more time, to express on behalf of the French government my gratitude to the founders of your school, Elizabeth and Willy LeBihan.
If we look back, what they have done has been quite impressive. They have succeeded in setting up the first French-immersion program in Maine, in expanding what was initially a tiny group of adventurers to a remarkable institution where children find an incredible model of education, and in establishing the school as a beacon of excellence and culture.
You did that because you had a vision: building on the French heritage of Maine, on cultural diversity to provide an ambitious curriculum where children are given the best for their future: with the teaching of a foreign language at a very young age, with the teaching of arts and music, with an education that includes even art of cooking and bonne cuisine, l'Ecole Française du Maine has become part of the life of dozens of kids and a source of pride for the community.
You have also been able to convince parents and teachers to follow you and to implement a project that has been their project, their dream and their achievement. Your success is their success and I want to thank and salute the parents and the faculty for their involvement and their continuous support.