Lausanne is happy to welcome 12 new faculty members across divisions this year!
Comelia Franceschi – Junior Kindergarten
Comelia holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership. Before her move to Memphis, she spent the last 16 years teaching Kindergarten and one year as a First-grade teacher in the Hamilton County school district in Chattanooga, Tn.
She and Comelia's husband were both born and raised right here in Memphis and said it has been the utmost pleasure being back home with their extended family. Though teaching is her passion, Comelia also enjoys spending time with her husband Gabe, their two boys, Gabe II and Brooks and adorable fur baby Luna. Most of their days are spent on the soccer field, which Comelia loves, along with teaching Zumba, taking trips to the beach, gardening and watching sappy Hallmark movies.
After having the opportunity to experience Lausanne as a parent, Comelia is so ecstatic to join the Lausanne teaching staff!
Kate Hall – Librarian
Kate looks forward to joining the Lausanne community as the new librarian, bringing with her 16 years of experience in school libraries. Kate has been a proud Memphian for nearly her entire life and holds her undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Memphis.
Kate's husband, Luke, is a senior geologist and owner at Tioga Environmental Consultants. Kate and her children, Ramona (rising 4th grader) and August (rising 2nd grader) are looking forward to being able to ride their bikes to school often. Kate's other hobbies include swimming, sewing, gardening, and, of course, reading.
Faye Dong – 1st-4th Grade Mandarin
I hold a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction degree with a specialization in World Language Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I’m also doing doctoral studies in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in curriculum theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have rich experiences working with Chinese language learners from various age groups and cultural-linguistic backgrounds in different places around the world. Language education is the passion of my life, and I love learning with my students about the cultural heritage embodied in different languages and helping them cultivate a truly globalist mindset and sentiment. My husband Kuan and I have a daughter Elin, who is 8 years old and loves playing soccer and drawing. We also have another cat kid, Momo, who is about 1-year-old and loves sleeping. In our spare time, my family and I love traveling, hiking, visiting museums, and cooking together.
Kelcsi Williams – Early Childhood Fellow
Kelcsi a Memphis native with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Memphis. During her time at the U of M, Kelcsi was a part of the National championship-winning cheerleading squad, earning the title in 2017 and 2019. Kelcsi eventually went on to represent her country as a member of the US National team, where she earned a silver medal. While In college, Kelcsi traveled the country as a cheer camp instructor, having the pleasure of teaching and instructing over 2,000 young cheerleaders. During that time, Kelsci realized her passion for making a difference in the lives of young people. Kelcsi worked in PK2 through PK4 classrooms in her most recent role, teaching and assisting. Kelcsi enjoys Memphis Tiger gamedays in her spare time, spending time with her dog Kota, and finding new places to explore in her hometown with friends and family.
John Donecker – Head of Middle School
John joins us from Moravian Academy, where he served as the Director of Middle School and most recently as the Director of Admission. John holds a Master's of Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University and a Bachelor's Degree from Bucknell University.
Amber Davenport – Middle School Administrative Assistant
Amber officially began her position in May 2022. She joined us from AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science), where she served as the membership coordinator and professional services specialist. Amber holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Mississippi and will be supporting the MS Admin Team, faculty, students and parents in her role.
Mara Jobbins – Middle Learning Learning Specialist
Mara Jobbins is joining our team as the Middle School learning specialist. Mara joins us from Leadership Preparatory Charter School, where she most recently served as Academic Coach and the RTI, Gifted Coordinator. Previously, she also was a classroom teacher, literary coach and adjunct professor. She holds a Master's and Bachelor's from the University of Saint Francis and will be working alongside students in grades 5-8.
Kevin Olofson – Computer Science and Design
Kevin joins us from New York, where he has worked as a Frontend Web Developer, an iOS App Developer, and most recently as a teacher at the Coder School. Kevin holds a degree in Information Technology from the New York Institute of Technology.
Jessica Green – Biology and Chemistry
Jessica is rejoining Lausanne after having previously taught science in our Middle School until 2017. Since then, she has worked at St. Agnes Academy and Collierville High School. She brings a wealth of experience in both chemistry and biology. Jessica holds a Master's in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis.
Claire DuFresne – English
Claire comes to us from Memphis Rise Academy, where she started teaching 9th grade English before moving to English IV and AP Literature. Claire holds a Master's in Literary Linguistics from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and a Master's in Secondary Education in English from the University of Memphis.
Andrea Weaver – Math and Physics
Andrea is joining us from the University of Delaware, where she has just completed her second Masters in Applied Mathematics. She has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant for several years and has tutored high school and college students in courses from Algebra 1 to Calculus 3. Andrea's last high school teaching experience was in Conway, Arkansas, where she taught Algebra 1, 2 Pre-AP and AP Calculus.
Maayan Castro – Spanish (part-time)
Maayan is the wife of Upper School Social Studies teacher Randall Siefker. She is a Columbian native and has been a teacher for many years with experiences in China and Egypt. Maayan has experience teaching Spanish at the IB diploma level and was most recently substituting and teaching Spanish in our Lower School.