As the Maison Royale's headmistress, Madame Levene kept track of her students' behavior. One particular student, the motherless Templar Élise de la Serre, caught her attention due to the young lady's rebellious acts. She attempted to help Élise with a battle of wills, which brought the girl's hatred for her. On 8 September 1787, she requested an audience with her father, François de la Serre, in her office to discuss Élise's behavior, which never did improve, much to Madame Levene's dismay. By 8 January 1788, she again called for an audience, which Frederick Weatherall attended, to discuss Élise's risk of getting expelled from Maison Royale.
Gossip spread across Maison Royale that Madame Levene had been visiting a "lover" at night in the woods, an idea that Élise used to blackmail her to send a letter of request to her father. Her "lover" was in fact her son, Jacques, the groundskeeper, which she kept a secret to the rest of the school and met him in his lodge every midnight. She noticed the young girl spying on her, and the next day, she managed to get a hold of Élise's journal. Through the journal, Madame Levene learned her thoughts and planned to blackmail her.
Infuriated, Madame Levene called Élise to her office and showed her the journal, explaining to the young lady that her strictness was for her sake and only wanted the best for the broken Élise. She made a deal with the girl: Élise would stay quiet about what she saw and Madame Levene would send the letter of request to her father. She also revealed that Jacques was her son, not lover, which made Élise ashamed of herself.
On 9 April 1788, an exhausted Élise, her handmaiden Hélène, and her wounded mentor Weatherall arrived at the steps of the Maison Royale, where they were welcomed and helped by Madame Levene. She fetched a doctor from Chateaufort to deal with Weatherall's gun wound. The headmistress and Jacques let the trio live in the groundskeeper's lodge.
Before returning to Versailles, Élise thanked her headmistress for everything she had done for her, and Madame Levene replied that she had changed for the better, and she would always be proud of her student.
Personality and characteristics
Known for her strictness, Madame Levene was referred to by Élise as a "witch", unaware of the headmistress' concerns for her and the other students. The young lady was naive to Madame Levene's attempts to do what was best for her students and often wrongfully thought that the headmistress was listening to other peoples' conversations. Madame Levene frequently regretted her punishments to disobedient students.
Although she was a loving mother, she hid the fact that Jacques was her son to the students.