Owner, Executive Director, and French Instructor
Isabelle Minville is a native French speaker with more than 15 years of experience in French instruction. While pursuing a Liberal Arts degree in Montréal, she was asked by the French department to tutor foreign students in French proficiency. Isabelle greatly enjoyed helping them, and she has worked in FSL education ever since.
After moving to the Chicago area, Isabelle became the French instructor at a small private school in Wheaton where she worked for twelve years, and where she also provided instruction and tutoring in English (American and British Literature; remedial reading and writing with the Wilson Reading System), Latin, and the Humanities, as well as in a wide variety of subjects including executive function, test-taking, and learning skills. She also scored the language portion of the school’s psychoeducational evaluations, wrote quarterly student progress reports, developed curriculum, and held a leadership position on the NCA and CITA accreditation renewal team.
In the fall of 2011, Isabelle opened Wheaton French to help students of all levels and ages expand their French skills. In September 2015, she joined forces with Stéphanie Lauraux-Mackey to found Strategic Academic Services and provide comprehensive academic support services. With her students, Isabelle likes to explore the intersections between French and English and is interested in the way the study of French can improve native English skills. In addition, her deep personal and familial connections to France and Québec provide her with an authentic, well-rounded understanding of French language and culture, which informs the way she teaches. Isabelle’s interests include architecture history, modern classic furniture, Russian and French literature, chocolate, traveling, and most animals, especially cats.
Stéphanie Lauraux Mackey
Owner, Business Director, and French Instructor
Stéphanie Lauraux Mackey is a native French speaker from Switzerland. During her career in finance and international trading, Stéphanie met her Australian husband and is now the mother of four beautiful children.
Stéphanie inherited the love of traveling at a young age and has always enjoyed challenges. Throughout her life, she has studied and learned many languages (German, Italian, Russian, Spanish) not only because of the fascination and interest a new language brings, but also because of all the windows languages open into the diverse and colorful world we live in.
Over the years Stéphanie has taught French to different age groups, using different techniques with different sets of people. From game playing and fairy tales that keep young children’s attention, to more structured and grammatically-oriented lessons, her goal was always to transmit her love for French culture. In addition to her role at SAS, Stéphanie currently teaches French at a local high school.
Stéphanie enjoys physical challenges and is a martial artist. Her main passions in life are her children, literature, Paris, international food, her garden, good tea and chocolate.
Academic Director and Student Advisor
Science and Mathematics Instructor - Elementary and Middle Grades
Test Preparation Coach (ACT, SAT, COOP/HSPT, etc.)
Nadeen Rust is a licensed Illinois educator with teaching experience at the elementary, middle grades, and collegiate levels. She particularly enjoys helping students improve and further their understanding in math, reading, and science. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois and began her career as a fifth grade teacher in a suburban north shore school district. She went on to become a lecturer in education at a small, private college, completing twenty years in that capacity teaching primarily elementary and middle school math methods courses. Of particular interest to her is the correlation of math anxiety, math perception and performance.
She co-founded and co-directed the “Chemistry Connections” program which teaches chemistry concepts through a hands-on lab experience to middle grade students, most of whom are home-schooled. She has presented at the ACCA Pedagogy Teaching Symposium, the Midwestern Symposium on Excellence in Teaching Math and Science, and at PITTCON’s Science Week in both Chicago and Orlando. She believes all students have the right and capacity to learn. Nadeen loves to read, sew, and spend time with her family, which includes Brant and Isabelle, her son and daughter-in-law.
ISEE, HSPT, Explore, ACT, SAT, LSAT, and General Test Preparation
Paula Willuweit began teaching test prep courses while pursuing her Public Policy degree at Michigan State University, and she has been leading test prep classes and individualized tutoring for over seven years. After college, Paula pursued her interest in guiding young people as an elementary school teacher through the Teach For America program. After teaching, Paula returned to Michigan State where she earned a dual degree in Social Work and Law and continued to assist others in their learning by working as a Teaching Assistant for incoming law students. Paula is a firm believer that each student learns in their own unique way, and enjoys working with small groups and individual students in order to adapt lessons to meet each child’s needs.
Paula is a licensed attorney with a Certificate in Child Advocacy and enjoys watching college football, reading, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her two cats.
Licensed Architect + LEED AP
Mathematics and Physics Instructor
CAD, SketchUp, and Intro to Architecture Instructor
Brant is an award-winning architect with over 15 years of experience in his field. He uses high level math and physics in his architectural designs, and he enjoys helping students make connections between abstract math and physics concepts and their real world applications. Not only do their grades go up in the process, but their confidence and enjoyment of these two challenging subjects increase as their anxiety decreases. Brant is married to Isabelle. His interests include playing guitar, modern classic furniture, traveling, and their three cats.
Jeff Anderson began his Spanish speaking career in a class at the age of 13, never expecting to someday use the language professionally both nationally and internationally. After six years of teaching ESL, Jeff transitioned into a new career currently working as a bilingual social worker within the Hispanic community of Chicago. He also provides translation/interpretation for various NGO’s. Jeff’s passion for languages is not only seen in his teaching of the language, but also in his coaching of students. Each student’s learning style is unique, and therefore each student must learn how s/he can succeed. After having made the journey to learn another language, Jeff is excited to guide his students as they begin to blaze the trail, knowing that they can certainly arrive at their destination.
Jeff enjoys traveling, sports, dancing, playing the guitar and piano, and Mexican food.