The Board

Meet the Executive Committee and Other Volunteers


The Bureau        

Debbie West President & Île de France Workshop Coordinator
Yvonne Chappell Vice President, TESOL France Strasbourg Coordinator  
Alexandra Donnez Secretary 
Dianne Chen Treasurer & TESOL France Bordeaux Coordinator

The Executive Committee

Vicki Plant Regions and Events, Outreach, Newsletter, Teaching Times Magazine, 
Sonyth Huber Events

Other Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters

Shannon Griffin Events

The TESOL France Bureau


Debbie West

President & Workshop Coordinator: Ile de France

Debbie West, UC Berkeley grad, brought up in a military family, has done almost everything from teaching French to being International Student Advisor in the United States to now teaching English to all levels and ages here in France. An educator at heart, she sees education as broader than in a classroom and is definitely not very traditional in her methods. With a love for developing programs and an ever-present bank of ideas, there never seems to be enough time, energy and money to do everything. Being single helps and sometimes doesn't. Here in France she is an independent (after all the accountants were just "trying to help") and teach English and do a bit of translation. Debbie is a Representative for the International Business Program at UC Berkeley Extension, and is trying to develop a Total Summer Immersion English Program (in August). She tries to do her part in developing people's English skills. She can be reached using her website:


Yvonne Chappell

Vice President & TESOL France Strasbourg Coordinator

Yvonne works for several teaching establishments and also
for herself as an auto entrepreneur. She teaches general
English and English for lawyers. She has a CELTA qualification and as part of her MBA looked at employment practises in the UK and France. She believes that bringing teachers together for support and training is crucial for both teachers and learners and leads to a win win situation for everyone




Alexandra Donnez

General Secretary

Alexandra Donnez's journey into teaching stemmed from a desire for a more fulfilling career after a decade of commuting to a job that had lost its appeal. 
Transitioning into teaching presented its own set of challenges as she encountered the rigidity of the "one size fits all" approach prevalent in many schools. Adapting a rigid curriculum to accommodate radically different skill levels was initially daunting until she replaced the top down method requested by a fully learner-focused approach.
As her expertise expanded, Alex ventured into teaching adults, where she could finally offer tailor-made learning experiences that incorporated storytelling and collaborative games—strategies that have since become her hallmark.
A few years ago, she co-founded a training center with two friends. The business offers comprehensive programs in language training, management, IT literacy, and HR/payroll training, among others.

Dianne Chen 

Treasurer & TESOL France Bordeaux Coordinator

I left California in 1999, living in a handful of places including Barcelona and London, where I obtained an MA in Library and Information Studies. I eventually found myself living in Taipei, Taiwan, which had been a tiny little dream of mine (fulfilled). It was in Taiwan where I first started teaching English, primarily to children and teen learners. The experience was phenomenal, yet incredibly challenging. Four years later, my life took a somewhat unexpected turn that brought me to Bordeaux, where I continue to teach English at the university and professional/ continuing education levels. Even though I am a teacher, I feel that I am also simultaneously a student as I am constantly learning from my students and discovering things about myself. This is one of the reasons why I have volunteered at TESOL France because I truly believe that, as teachers, we need to continue learning, pushing ourselves and updating our skills. 

Executive Committee


Regions & Events, Outreach




Events, Outreach

Sonyth Goodsell Huber graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2000 with a BA in British and American Literature. 

She moved to France the following year, and she and her husband live with their 3 teenage daughters in the western suburbs of Paris. 

Sonyth started teaching English in France just because it was the easiest job to get at the time, and a few years later she realized that it was her life’s calling. Everything she knows about teaching she has learned through trial and error by observing her students, always with the goal of helping them to make tangible progress. Over the 20+ years of her career she has taught students ranging in age from 2 to 82 in schools, homes, and businesses. Her business clients have included Airbus, Hermès, SNCF and many others. She is currently an auto-entrepreneur working with a cooperative of entrepreneurs. .

Other Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters


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