Founded in 2000, Petite Ecole Internationale is the only French immersion Montessori
pre-school in Austin. Serving children ages 2-5, our graduates continue on to other
language immersion schools in the community as well as public and private elementary
programs, always carrying with them a love of the French language.
PEI is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors largely made up of parents. The Board of Directors is responsible for policy-making and conducting the routine business of the school. The structure of the school allows parents to be very involved by volunteering as a Board Member, Committee Chair or in a wide variety of other capacities.
Our non-profit status allows us to keep our fees as low as possible and ensures that 100% of our earnings and donations are funneled back into the school. We also offer a scholarship program for families in need of financial assistance.
Our Staff | Our Board of Directors
Robin is originally from Ohio and didn’t leave the state border until she was 18. She then began traveling and doesn’t plan to stop. She studied sculpture at The Ohio State University and completed an MA in English and Linguistics from San Francisco State University. She currently works for Cambridge University Press in the World Languages Division. In San Francisco she met her husband, Stjepan, and they have two beautiful boys – Cash who just graduated from PEI and Tristan who will begin in 2018. Good thing she has two boys because she has always been a tomboy. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys motocross, fishing, camping and on Wednesday’s she can be found at the stables training with horses.
Board Member / PEI Administrative Director
Gail Chovan is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Division of Textiles & Apparel at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a BA in French from Gettsyburg College as well as Master’s in French Literature from NYU and the Université de Paris III and is currently pursuing an MLA in Museum Studies through Harvard University. She is a self-employed clothing designer & installation artist who was trained in Paris at ESMOD and the Ecole Duperre. Gail and her husband, Evan Voyles, have twin children, Creed and Zelda, who attended PEI for their pre-school years and are now in 7th grade. They spend each summer in Paris where Gail teaches Fashion and Design.
Ruby Cloutier was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She relocated to Houston to peruse her interest for fashion and design. While in Houston, she met her husband, Pierre Cloutier. She also spent time living in Montreal with her husband and daughter, Mila. Living abroad with a new baby, she discovered her love for international culture, travel and her passion for the French language. She is a small business owner of Vazzo Spaces and is highly motivated by all things design. She thrives on spending time with her family and being a strong role model for her spirited daughter, Mila. She is thrilled to be a part of the PEI board/community.
Chris was born and raised in the mountains of north Georgia, attended Northeastern University in Boston for a BS in Architecture and then came to Austin for his Master of Architecture at UT in 2007. When he's not doing residential design work in and around Austin, Chris takes care of 1 year old Cora. He enjoys hiking, reading and building/making things with his hands. Their son, five year old Wyatt, is a recent PEI alum who is flourishing as a big brother and in Kindergarten after the excellent preparation he received from his PEI teachers and friends.
Board Member / Past President
Carolina was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and moved to the US after graduating from high school. She completed her BE in Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. In 2005 Carolina moved to Austin for a job at Dell where she met her husband Josh. She currently works at Intel as an Engineering Manager and Josh works as a Systems Engineer at Facebook. Alena was born in 2012 and joined PEI in summer 2015. She talks about her friends every day after school and thinks the daily reports are her homework. Outside of work and family life, Carolina enjoys sewing, traveling, cocktails and the outdoors.
Board Member / PEI Director & Lead Teacher