Board of Directors

President / Présidente
Anne-Marie Bilton

French Immersion Early Reading Coordinator, Delta School District
UBC Faculty Advisor

Anne-Marie Bilton spent her adolescence in Europe, and while acquiring a third language (German), developed a fascination for language learning.  She pursued this fascination through the study of Language and Linguistics at Queen’s University, and later while pursuing her Masters in Second Language Acquisition in the context of diversity at the University of Simon Fraser.  Her passion for language and inclusion led her to occupy various roles including French Immersion teacher, Learning Support Teacher, Head Teacher, Second Language Consultant, and University Adjunct professor.

As a member of a variety of professional associations, she has been grateful for the opportunities to lead a variety of workshops, facilitate book clubs, and lead discussions  at both the provincial and national levels. Anne Marie is also honored to be invited as a guest lecturer at various universities. She has taught in the PDP program at UBC and in Graduate level courses at Simon Fraser.She loves fostering collaborative, interdisciplinary communities of inquiry where language learners and teachers are valued and have a sense of belonging. She loves being able to be responsive to the shifting needs of teachers, principals, parents and students. Currently, Anne-Marie Bilton is the French Second Language Liaison with the Burnaby school District.

Vice-President / Vice-Presidente
Trish Kolber
Vancouver School District

Trish was born in the beautiful Okanagan Valley where she lived in several communities. She moved to Quebec in 1986 where she completed a Cert. French (UQTR), a B.A. and a B.Ed (U de Mtl). She also holds a Masters of Educational leadership (Concordia). Since returning to BC, Trish has taught French, Spanish, and ELL in public and private schools from Kindergarten to Adults. She is currently the District Consultant for Modern Languages at the Vancouver School board (VSB). As well as serving as Vice-President for the BCLCA, she is Trish is also serving as Vice-President for the BC Association of Teachers of Modern Languages (BCATML) and as Secretary of the Canadian Association of Second Language teachers (CASLT). Trish is also honored to have served as a PAC President and School Board Trustee for the BC Francophone school board (CSFCB) where her two daughters completed all their K-12 schooling.

Treasurer / Trésorière
Cindy Lister
Saanich School District

Cindy was born in Québec and, at the age of 12, moved to Edmonton with her family. She completed her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and, soon after, began her teaching career in Saanich. After 32 years of teaching at many different levels, she is now at Bayside Middle School and holds the responsibilities of the French Immersion Program Language Coordinator in Saanich. In 2011, Cindy completed her master’s degree of Instructional Practice at SFU and has recently joined the UVIC team as a Sessional Instructor. 

Cindy enjoys teaching in French, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Director of Communications / Directrice des communications
Isabelle Côté
School District

Isabelle Côté works with student-teachers and teacher-learners in French language education (Core French, French Immersion and Programme francophone) at Simon Fraser University. Her doctoral research focused on French Immersion teachers understanding of the integration of Indigenous perspectives in their practice.

Secretary / Secrétaire
Nathalie Walsh
Surrey School District

Nathalie Walsh has been teaching for the last 26 years, most of them in the Surrey School District where she taught in the French Immersion and Core French programs, but also in England and France.

Being passionate about languages and cultures, Nathalie first completed a bachelor’s degree in teaching French at secondary level at Université Laval, then a post-bac diploma in Second Language Teaching, and a Master of Arts, Curriculum and Instruction, at SFU’s Faculty of Education.  Her research focused on collaborative learning in the context of plurilingual approaches. 

Nathalie has always strongly believed in pursuing professional development while exercising leadership and contributing to the teaching community in various ways: she accompanied teachers as a mentor in her district and for SFU’s graduate studies program;  she was a BCTF facilitator, leading workshops for French immersion teachers; she developed and taught week-long programs for Core French teachers as part of SFU’s Bootcamp Francofun; she presented at various provincial, national and international conferences; she worked as a Faculty Associate at SFU where she was able to share her experience and passions with cohorts of future French teachers; finally, she had the privilege to collaborate with coordinators and support teachers across the province in her coordinator role with SFU’s Office of the Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA).  Now back in the classroom, Nathalie is happy to continue this collaboration through her engagement with BCLCA.

Member at Large / Conseillère
Fränzi Karlen
Kamloops-Thompson School District

Fränzi was born and raised in Switzerland where she completed her teacher education. She moved to British Columbia in 1991 where she started teaching French in a small rural elementary school. During her career as an educator, she has had the privilege to work with students from Kindergarten to Graduate school, as a classroom teacher, online facilitator, Teacher Teaching on Call, school administrator and District Coordinator.

Fränzi holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Gonzaga University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University. Fränzi is fluent in four languages: Swiss, German, French and English. Fränzi feels privileged to be able to live and work on the unceeded traditional territory of the Secwépemc people in Kamloops, BC.

Member at Large / Conseillère
Joanne Brunel

Joanne Brunel is the Southern Interior French Network Facilitator. She collaborates with the French coordinators, representatives and the pre-service and in-service educators from the fifteen school districts of the region. This collaboration and networking was created with the goal of further providing accessible, engaging and language rich environments where all students can be successful. 

She has taught in Francophone and French immersion programs for more than twenty years and has worked in the school system for over thirty. Her experiences as a teacher assistant, a classroom teacher in Manitoba and B.C., a classroom support teacher, a member of the Instructional Leadership Team and the Early Learning Team at SD23 in addition to her role as SD 23’s District French Language Coordinator have provided her a wide rage of learning opportunities that have helped her to grow as an educator and as a member of the larger French language learning community. She is proud of her francophone heritage and is passionate about inspiring others to experience the richness of the French language and culture.

Past President / Présidente sortante
Madeleine Challies
Greater Victoria School District

Madeleine Challies has been teaching French Immersion with the Greater Victoria School District for 14 years. She loves integrating language and thinking skills through inquiry and design thinking. She is also passionate about helping students to continue to develop their interest in reading in a second language. Madeleine is currently the District French Language Programs Coordinator for the Greater Victoria School District. 

Madeleine also works as a Sessional Instructor at UVic in the PDP as well as B.Ed programs. Her course focuses on foundational theories and approaches to second language learning for French Immersion teachers. Madeleine works with SFU as a mentor in a graduate diploma program for French Immersion teachers in British Columbia. In this role she supports students in their inquiry projects related to second language teaching.  

Madeleine recently completed her diploma in Teacher Librarianship at Queen’s University. She is increasingly interested in integrating digital resources and tools to support language learning.

As a member of the BCLCA (British Columbia Language Coordination Association) executive committee, Madeleine has organized professional development series, workshops, webinars, professional book clubs and conferences to support language teachers. Passionate about professional development, resource support and teacher collaboration in French Immersion and Core French, Madeleine enjoys working with language coordinators and teacher leaders to support French Language Programs.