top of page

Gil Barel  

Art, Film teacher

With over two decades of rich experience in the realm of art and design, Gil blends a unique fusion of academic mastery and practical know-how. Graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in both Graphic Design from ArtCenter College of Design and Art and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts, Gil brings a multi-dimensional approach to the canvas of teaching. Gil possesses a deep appreciation for the interplay between traditional and digital art forms. This insight is complemented by an extensive background in arts education, from leading classes in foundational design at ArtCenter to introducing middle-schoolers to the magic of stop-motion animation. Through her roles as an instructor, Gil has continually displayed an unwavering dedication to fostering creativity and nurturing talent in students of all ages. Whether guiding students through the basics of layout design or diving deep into the histories and politics of art, Gil's teaching philosophy is rooted in the belief that art is an expressive tool, a transformative
experience, and a lifelong journey. Join Gil for an immersive exploration of the arts in a setting that celebrates creativity,
encourages individual expression, and inspires a lifelong passion for the world of art.

California Institute of the ArtsMFA in Graphic Design

Marie Laurin

French, Theatre, Film teacher

Originally from Quebec, Marie Laurin majored at USC in sociology and drama. Upon graduation, she settled down in Los Angeles, honing her acting skills under the guidance of the highly regarded acting coach Peggy Feury. Marie quickly found herself cast opposite such luminaries as John Ritter, Steve Railsback, Klaus Kinski, Burt Reynolds and Harry Dean Stanton. After a flurry of roles, she took a break from acting to work in residential treatment facilities as a mental health counselor for abused children. She soon realized the importance of drama within a therapeutic milieu and implemented theatre workshops for her young clientele. In 2016, embracing a life filled with inspiring moments, Marie returned to acting, now blessed with the opportunity of portraying more complex characters. In 2018, Marie and her daughter Clara Gabrielle teamed up to create The Uncanny, a psychological thriller which is now winning awards on the festival circuit. 

Marie’s experience as an actor, screenwriter, and youth counselor gave her the perfect foundation to introduce students to the world of theater, a universe conducive to self exploration and fantasy. Through the use of journaling, theatre games, improvisations and scene studies culminating in a performance, Marie’s goal is to offer students an educational and recreational environment within a nurturing environment, thus creating opportunities to develop creativity, verbal skills, positive self-concept, conflict resolution, social awareness and respect for diversity.

Que le spectacle commence!

University of Southern California Los Angeles, BA

California Basic Education Skill Test Training 

Isabel J. Garcia

Lead French, Spanish, Science teacher

Isabel is a medical doctor who is currently a stay-at-home mom of 10-year-old twins. She has a strong dedication to teaching several languages and cultures and an enthusiasm for student development. She was born in Mexico City but was able to live in Paris, France during her teen years, where she became fluent in French and developed a deep love and knowledge of French culture. While in France, she attended Le College de Sainte Marie La Croix and finished High School at the Lycee Franco-Mexicain in Mexico City. Since then, she has provided both individual and group tutoring at different levels (beginners to advanced) and age groups. She has experience helping with homework assignments, conversational French and Spanish, and encouraging learning through art, music, and games. 

University of California, Los Angeles, Environmental Health Sciences PhD


French, Music, Theatre teacher

Mme Compton is a California native who loves working with children in education. She has taught French and music in various settings such as junior/high school courses in person and online, elementary school summer school, and private tutoring. She received her B.A. in Music, emphasis in Vocal Performance, and minor in French from UC Berkeley, and was fortunate to live in France as both a student and as a religious volunteer missionary. Part of her heart is in France :) Upon returning to the states, she received her credential in teaching secondary education French and English as a Second Language. She taught in Utah and Pennsylvania before resigning from full-time teaching in order to care for her children at home. She has loved teaching children, teenagers, and adults. She is a mother of three boys who are her joy and most of all loves spending time with them. She is currently pursuing certification to be a music therapist, inspired by visits to the rest home where she and her sister would sing to their Grandma Iris, who had dementia.


French teacher

Law School University of Algiers, BS, MS


French, English, Theatre, Film teacher

Catherine De Pauw

French, Art teacher

Sumin Hwang


Born and raised in Incheon, South Korea, she completed a Physical Therapy program in 1997. She immigrated to California in 2001 and graduated with a BS in Technology Operation Management from Cal Poly Pomona in 2003.

She worked as an accountant and financial analyst for over 15 years in various industries, including roles at Evite & Gifts, CitySearch & Inside Page, and Paramount Studios. She retired in 2018.

She has a deep appreciation for books as physical objects, including their aesthetics, bindings, paper quality, illustrations, and other aspects beyond their content.  In the midst of the pandemic in July 2011, she had the desire to open a private library. However, instead, she created "Petite Library" to provide support for the French programs at Altadena Art Magnet, where her two sons are currently enrolled. As time went on, the reach of the Petite Library's French programs expanded to include both private and public schools in the Altadena, La Crescenta, La Cañada, and Pasadena areas.

She holds a profound passion for advocating for children in their native languages and cultures, as well as in second language acquisition during early childhood.

Gil Barel
Marie Laurin
Anchor 1
Marie Laurin
Maie Laurin
Isabel Garcia
bottom of page