Three and a Half Acres Yoga (THAY) is pleased to announce the appointment of Francoise Deristel-Leger to our organization’s board of directors.

Francoise was born and raised in Hartford, CT. Her parents were born and raised in Haiti before coming to the United States. Francoise’s parents believed that education was the key to survival and success. This gave her the foundation for work in education and philanthropy. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and earned her master’s in Education at the University of Hartford. Further, Francoise earned her AMI Primary Montessori certificate at the Montessori Training Center Northeast.

Francoise is a Primary Guide at Brookside Montessori Program in Norwalk, CT. She is also an International Education Consultant. She travels to Montessori and traditional schools around the world providing educational support and professional learning opportunities for educators. Francoise also started a Montessori school in Uvita, Costa Rica called Casa Del Niño.

When she is not teaching, Francoise is spending time with her family. She is a proud mother of four children.

Francoise is an elected member of the Hartford Board of Education, an active member of the Greater Hartford Branch of the NAACP where she serves as Chair of the Education Committee, and serves as Secretary on Hartford’s Democratic Town Committee. Additionally, Francoise is an active member of the Greater Hartford African American Alliance and the Hartford Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

On an international level, Francoise does mission work in Haiti with women and children, collecting donations including toiletries, health and hygiene supplies, school supplies, and toys that are then shipped to Haiti and distributed to individuals in need.

In addition to her academic achievements and community involvement, Francoise also teaches yoga and mindfulness to children and adults. She believes that children and adults need a way to self-regulate by being active and engaged in yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness. In December 2022, she enrolled and successfully graduated from THAY’s Trauma-informed Yoga Teacher Training Program.

“I was interested in taking the training, because I wanted to be interior and impactful in my yoga practice and teaching. As an educator, I saw teachers and students struggle throughout the academic day. Trauma-informed yoga has been a blessing for those who have been hurting without even knowing it,” said Francoise.

“I’m honored to welcome Francoise to our board of directors,” said Lara Land, Founder and Executive Director of THAY. “As we implement our goals for the coming years, I’m elated to elect a graduate of one of our training who knows the ins and outs of that process and someone with such a prestigious board serving history. Francoise adds invaluable leadership experience to our board and organization.”

Three and a Half Acres Yoga is celebrating its all-woman slate of board officers, who will lead the organization, which includes the following members:

Board officers:

  • Executive Director: Lara Land
  • Interim Board President: Kristin Krantz
  • Secretary: Caitlin Condy
  • Treasurer: Maria Lupardo

Board Member:

Francoise Deristel-Leger

Are you interested in becoming a Three and a Half Acres Yoga board member? Email us at

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