La Petite Ecole
The Dual-Language Immersion School

Our Team


Our Team


Joelle Quoirin

Joelle Quoirin founded La Petite Ecole, Columbia’s first language immersion school, in 2005.  She is the School Principal and the Head Teacher of the Kindergarten / First Grade Class.  Joelle was born and grew up in Belgium and is a native speaker of French.  She also speaks Spanish, and has some knowledge of German and Italian. She obtained a Master of Arts in French and an Educational Specialist degree in Education, both with an emphasis on foreign language teaching.  In addition, Joelle has a K-12 Teaching Certificate in French and Spanish. 


Janet Russell

Janet Russell, our Assistant Principal, has been a part of La Petite Ecole for the past nine years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Design from the University of Missouri. She holds a K-12 Teaching Certificate in French and History and taught French in Mid-Missouri public schools for over thirty years.  Recently, she discovered that teaching the Adult Beginning Learners at LPE is equally as rewarding and fun!  Janet is heading our Adult Programs and loves to be around our school.


Hannah Cook

Summer Programs Director and Program Coordinator. Hannah is the Head Teacher of the Preschool Class. She has an undergraduate degree in French and English, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Franco-Arab Studies. Hannah volunteered at LPE three summers ago and fell in love with our “little” school.


Jessica Champagne

Head Teacher of the Toddler Class and also heads our Bonjour Bébé Program. Jessica is the mother of two of our students. She marvels at the development of our youngest students who flourish under her care. It is amazing how quickly children learn and adapt to school and how “big” they are.


Kofi Afeto

Head of the Prekindergarten Class. He was born and grew up in French-speaking Togo, West Africa. Kofi has worked at the school for three years. Everyone loves Kofi and enjoys his bright and sunny disposition. He is in charge of our P.E. program and loves to challenge the kids with new sports and physical activities.


Karyn Johnston

Head Teacher of our English Program.  Karyn teaches Language Arts and Math in our Kindergarten and First Grade programs.  Karyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and German, as well as a Masters of Education in Literacy Education. She introduces our Toddlers to letter recognition, songs and story time, and a variety of other fun "English" activities.  Karyn heads our Preschool/Prekindergarten afternoon English class where children enhance their language skills.


Diana Harmata

Assistant in the Prekindergarten Class, Diana is also the the Language Club Coordinator. Diana graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Diana enjoys both positions at LPE, but is extremely passionate about our after school program, the Language Club. Her ability to create engaging activities makes this time very enjoyable and fun for all the kids in attendance.