Dedicated to Meeting the Demands of an Interconnected World
Austin International School’s educators, paraeducators, and staff members are committed to developing students who have the academic foundations, lifelong social skills, and international perspective needed to succeed in our global community.
Meet the Administrative Team
Ariane Baer-Harper, Head of School
Ariane joins AIS with over 20 years of experience in international education. Ariane has overseen school acquisitions, transitions, and campus expansions in Francophone West Africa, has designed global programming and curriculum for schools K-12, and is a lead educator with the International Baccalaureate Organization. She started her career as a World Language teacher and has teacher certification in French and Spanish. In addition to conducting IB evaluations, she has worked with schools on how to develop their programs, design scope and sequence and assessments, and is passionate about inclusive school culture and values-driven leadership. Ariane speaks three languages and has worked in schools on almost every continent. Ariane has been Superintendent, Head of School, Associate Head of School, Director of Global Engagement, and IB Coordinator. She has taught and worked with every grade from PreK through university.
Lara Schupack, Upper School Principal
Lara joins AIS from The American School Foundation in Mexico City where she was the Dean of Academics and IB Coordinator for the past seven years. After fifteen years in Mexico, she is excited to move her family to Austin and join the AIS team. Originally from Philadelphia, Lara began her career as an educator more than twenty years ago as a high school English teacher in public schools in and around Philly. Since then, she has been an English teacher, Italian teacher, and a department head before becoming a school administrator. Lara is passionate about language learning, exploring new cultures, and traveling. She believes wholeheartedly in the benefits of a multilingual education, exposing students to diverse perspectives, and fostering inclusivity and empathy in young people. \When she is not busy being a principal, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, hiking, biking, jogging, and getting to know her new home.
Cédric Hervé, Lower School Principal
Cédric was born in Pau, Southwest France, in front of the Pyrenees mountains. He graduated in Mathematics and Statistics from Pau University and then got his teacher certification degree from Bordeaux university in 2004. He worked in an International Summer camp program during the summer and he has even worked in a chocolate factory.
Cédric worked for four years at the École de Saint-Avit in France in Gironde where he was involved with Science and PE projects for the district.
He began at AIS in 2009 at our previous location in Oak knoll drive. At AIS, he has taught in many different grade levels, he has been a Math and Science teacher specialist for a few years and recently he has enjoyed being a cycle coordinator and a Middle School teacher for Service Learning. Cédric has been leading the CM1 Fort Davis trip and the CM2 French trips since 2010. Outside work, he enjoys sports, mainly basketball, canoeing and hiking, biking with his family. Cédric's teaching philosophy is “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.” He is the proud father of three AIS students who have grown up as trilingual AIS learners since PS.
Nikl Burke, Director of Advancement and Communication
Nikl was born and raised in Austin. After graduating high school, she moved to New York City to fulfill her dream of living in the Big Apple. Soon after, she received an opportunity to work for the Mayor of New York as an aide in the fundraising office; this is where she found her calling in philanthropy, event marketing, and communications. A local start-up approached Nikl while she was a student at NYU's marketing program to assist in creating its marketing and branding strategies. She spent several years there, helping turn the company into a global brand. She then joined Samsung, supporting the company's flagship showroom through co-branding, sponsorship, and partnerships with Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, allowing her to work with legends such as the Jonas Brothers, Tony Bennett, and Magic Johnson. After the birth of her daughter, Nikl and her husband—a French New Yorker and wine importer—moved to Lyon, France, for work and to be closer to family. Eventually, they returned to New York, where Nikl was hired as Director of Development at the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP), raising funds to send Haitian students to university. A few years later, she and her family moved to her hometown of Austin to experience suburban life and participate in the city’s growing food and wine scene. Nikl has sat on the boards of several non-profits and volunteered countless hours of her time to assist with their communications and fundraising efforts. Some of you may already know her from her time in leadership roles at AIS, where she has sat on several committees and most recently presided as president of the PTO. She is excited to join AIS and help guide it through the years ahead.
Mathilde Sonnier, Admissions Officer
Mathilde has been with Austin International School almost since day one. As a teacher of Pre-K for more than a decade, she now welcomes potential families and new inquiries, as the admissions officer. With years of travel in Ireland, France, Switzerland and Spain, Mathilde’s own international experiences helped her to open the minds of her students to the world’s cultures from their earliest formative years. She appreciates watching children grow and as a teacher enjoyed being able to provide them with the foundation of knowledge they will have for years into their future. Mathilde has worked as a French tutor at Austin’s Kirby Hall School and as a private tutor. She also enjoys reading, walking, hiking, and, of course, traveling. Mathilde holds an Associates Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix and has completed training in childcare at Austin Community College.
Briana Johnson, Extracurricular Coordinator
Briana joined AIS in 2022 from a role working as a Youth Development Director in Columbia, South Carolina. She has a passion for students' personal growth and success beyond the classroom. A talented and dedicated athlete, Briana played semi-professional basketball in China, Australia, and South Carolina. She coached basketball and built up sports communities in Shenzhen, China from 2017-2019; she also supporting a local bilingual school by teaching classes in art, English, and PE. She earned Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Sports Management. She also completed a double minor in Business Administration and Coaching.
Tiffany Beaufreton, Executive Assistant
Tiffany, originally from France, is a proud mother of two AIS students and joined the administrative team early 2023. In her native country, Tiffany worked primarily with the authorities of the French government as administrative assistant for thirteen years; on her own time, she also worked as a real estate investor, becoming property manager at the age of 18. In 2015, she relocated to North Carolina and obtained a real estate broker license, specializing in luxury properties and international families relocating in the United States. She is also the administrator group for the Raleigh French community, founder and administrator of the Francophone real estate referral group, and for the french group Thermomix Foodies in USA. After relocating from North Carolina to Austin, Tiffany was a board member of the French association Austin Accueil where she helped as a Communications/Social Media Manager and is now the North Austin Ambassador. She is also board chair of the Alliance Solidaire des Français de l'Etranger and member of both French Tech of Austin and Raleigh. Tiffany loves bringing people together, and she fell in love with the AIS community as it aligned with her personality. She then decided to become part of the growing AIS adventure, pursuing her previous career in administration.