Meet the Director


Maria Kurt is the founder and director of the French Institute of the North Shore and the French School. She earned a Master’s degree in French Language, Literature and Civilization from Middlebury College where she specialized in the teaching of French as a foreign language and evaluated a teaching method for her thesis. She was determined to understand how one acquires a second language and develop the most effective way to teach French. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in French from Miami University and a Master’s degree in Education from National Louis University.

She spent two years in Paris studying at the Université de Paris and the Institut Catholique. Maria was certified in education at San Francisco State University and continued studying education at Stanford University. She taught high school in Paris, San Francisco and Chicago for more than ten years.

Scott Foreman and Teacher’s Discovery have both published her works. Maria was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Foreign Language Fellowship and was awarded the Prix d’Excellence from the Northern Illinois chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French.

Maria shares her enthusiasm and expertise as a speaker at National and State conferences for the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages.

With a flare for dramatics, Maria has entertained students by dressing up as: Marie-Antoinette, Marcel Marceau and a French waiter.

Frequent trips to France and continual studies keep Maria up to date with Paris and contemporary French culture.

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