The Ecole des Trois Ponts was founded in 1991 by René Dorel, who served as director until 2015. His objective was to create a place in the Loire district to learn French, but also to experience the French way of life in an authentic, supportive atmosphere. Residing, living and studying in a 100% French speaking environment was always his philosophy and remains so to this day.
Cooking, pastry and chocolate classes were added to the French language classes in order to offer a diverse range of subjects.
For 17 years, the Ecole was based at the Château de Matel in Roanne, then moved to the Villa Beaulieu in nearby Riorges in 2008.
Valérie Perez joined the team in 1996 as a French professor, then took on extra responsibilities throughout the years as an office manager to Rene’ Dorel. She continued to teach classes and assumed the additional role of course coordinator.
Valérie has earned the title of Master LEA (Langues Etrangères Appliquées) in English and Spanish from the Faculté de Lettres de Besançon. She has lived in Spain and Ireland while pursuing her studies. She is passionate about foreign cultures, ancient civilizations and adores traveling.
In March, 2015 Valérie became the new director/owner of the Ecole. She decided to keep the same philosophy of conviviality and family atmosphere, but added some new activities to the school’s programs, such as countryside walks and gourmet excursions.
Teaching remains a passion that she shares each week while managing the day to day operations at the Ecole. Like all the professors at the Ecole, Valérie has the skillset to teach all proficiency levels from true beginner to highly advanced. The ability to adapt classes quickly to the needs of the students is the driving principle for all the teaching faculty and is the guarantee to our methods’ success.
Valérie is surrounded and supported by a dynamic 100% native French-speaking team: an administrative assistant and excursion guide, French instructors, in-house teaching chef, and housekeeper. Outside specialists complete the group, each focusing on their own area of expertise for workshops in pâtisserie, chocolate, wine studies and cheese.
The entire team welcomes you to participate in a fantastic language experience and to become part of a family of clients who study with us, returning regularly since the Ecole’s founding.