Putting It Together

I didn't think any grown woman could be so cute and perky, but Renée is like a ray of sunshine, bursting with enthusiasm about her family, her work and the world around her. And I guess that's part of why she brings out the best in each and every one of her theater students at the American School. Punctuating her conversation with laughter and youthful expressions, it's easy to see how she relates so well to young people. "I love working with teenagers because I can say it like it is, theater teaching them lessons that will serve them well in their lives, like discipline and how to work as a team."

"I learned a lot from the late Mr. Bill Jaime, the school's music director for many years. Now, I often fly by the seat of my pants, because I trust that it will come to me. A lot of the choreography I do in my car, visualizing it before putting it into my body.

"But in the end, the kids always blow me away. And every year there's a miracle – one you never thought would shine absolutely blossoms! It's all about giving young people an opportunity."

Married 22 years to the "cool guy" she still dates every Friday night, restaurateur Alberto, the couple shares a love of music, travel and fine food, checking out the best restaurants everywhere they go and dancing at every opportunity. Their son, Richie, 19, is at the University of Miami. Nicolas, 16, and Sofia, 13, attend the American School, where their mom has been head librarian since 1993 and in charge of the thespian program. And while she will continue directing a play every year, this is her last as librarian. "I'm moving on to another stage, exploring the business side of myself, Alberto and I open to wherever things take us."