Consul General Visits French International School of Philadelphia

May 18, 2016

The Consul General of France in Washington, D.C., Mr. Michel Charbonnier, paid a visit to the French International School of Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 18. Interim Co-Heads of School Catherine Kosman and Kathleen Kotchick greeted Mr. Charbonnier and led him on a tour of the school’s two campuses in Bala Cynwyd. Mr. Charbonnier was accompanied by Mr. Michael Scullin, Honorary Consul of France in Philadelphia and Wilmington and a member of the French International School’s Board of Directors. During his visit, the Consul General dropped in on classes, taking the time to interact with students and teachers. He also met with a group of 7th and 8th graders for a question and answer session. At 4:00 p.m., following dismissal, the school opened its doors to the broader French community, including members of the organization Philadelphie Accueil, for a reception and exchange with the Consul General. Students from the French International School’s fifth grade class opened the reception with a short concert of French songs. After introductory remarks by the school’s Co-Heads and Mr. Scullin, Mr. Charbonnier addressed the crowd, expressing his desire to have a dialogue with the community. He answered audience members’ questions and then mingled with those in attendance over coffee and croissants. 

The Consul General, whose office is attached to the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., is “…responsible for protecting the interests of French nationals abroad, be they permanent residents or temporary visitors” ( The states falling under his purview include Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, in addition to the District of Columbia. Mr. Charbonnier assumed his position last November, and his visit to the French International School is part of a three-day trip to the Philadelphia area, where he’ll meet with members of other Franco-American organizations, such as the French-American Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance Française.

The French International School of Philadelphia is an independent pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school serving a multicultural community and providing a comprehensive bilingual curriculum in French and in English. Accredited by both the French Ministry of Education and the Middle States Association of College and Schools, it welcomes students from an equal number of French, American, and international families.