Northgate says “bienvenue” to French student


Karen Jenkins

Clemence Poter-Coirre, German teacher Frau Nancy Grabow, and senior Claire Mizutani dress up to celebrate Oktoberfest on Nov. 4.

Moving to a new school isn’t easy, especially when the old school is over 5,000 miles away. Only a short while ago, freshman Clemence Poret-Coirre, from Paris, France moved to Walnut Creek.

With a confident smile and limited English, Poret-Coirre was determined to be successful in her new environment.

Fortunately, her transition into Northgate has been smooth. Quickly after starting school, Poret-Coirre made many friends and fit right into the bustling flow of Northgate. After only a few short weeks, her English improved and she is currently taking German I with Frau Nancy Grabow.

“I take it because I like the accent and the culture. It kind of has the same mysteries as French,” said Poret-Coirre.

American schools provide many different experiences than those seen in a French school. In America, events such as Friday night football games or annual homecoming dances are commonplace.

“I like that we have a football team. I think it is fun for the students,” stated Poret-Coirre. Along with showing her school spirit at Bronco football games, she is involved in the Science Club, Amnesty International and her favorite, the Photography Club.

“I really like photography and I think it is fun to take pictures,” said Poret-Coirre.

In addition to a different social scene, Northgate has an entirely different schedule. Some differences in a French school day include a one-and-a-half hour lunch, eight classes, and school that spans from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Even though there is a significantly longer lunch break in France, she prefers Northgate’s scheduling better.

“I like how the schedule is organized. I think it is better than the way it is in France,” said Poret-Coirre.

Once again Northgate has become home for another new face.