Meet the ES Team


RUTH HAZEL, Executive Director

Formerly the Director of Development and Marketing for Emerging Scholars, Ruth became the executive director upon the retirement of founding executive director, Alvarez LeCesne. A native of northern Virginia, Ruth was a member of the development staff at Flint Hill School (FHS), an ES founding school. She then served as the director of admission, marketing, and financial aid for seven years at FHS and was co-chair of ES's first admission committee. She is a graduate and member of Leadership Fairfax. She has a BA degree from Duke University and a Masters in Business Administration from George Mason University.


TYSUS D. JACKSON, Development Manager

Our newest member, Tysus D. Jackson brings over 15 years of development experience to the ES team! Most recently, Tysus served as the VP for Institutional Advancement for Talladega College where she closed the largest gift in school history. An advocate for underserved children and youth, Tysus began her development career at the Indiana University Foundation. She was a CASE Clarence Jupiter Fellow at Wabash College and spent six years at Virginia Tech. As the Director of Development for the Child Health Advocacy Institute, Tysus led regional, national, and global development activities for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is a passionate practitioner and researcher of inclusive and conscious impact philanthropy and her work been published in the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. Tysus holds a BA from Saint Mary’s College and a MPA from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington.


MO PLAINES, Director of Scholars Advancement

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Originally a student of A Better Chance (ABC), Maurice "Coach Mo" Plaines has been involved with independent schools for more than 30 years.  After completing his BA in Secondary Education at Brooklyn College, he interned at Friends Seminary and Fieldston Ethical Culture Schools while pursuing his masters. He spent 12 years as the universally loved and respected Athletic Director for St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School, and also volunteered for fundraising events and other programming at local schools including Landon, Holton-Arms, Georgetown Day, Washington Episcopal and Green Acres. His extensive work with the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference has provided him with an extraordinary network of like-minded educators. Mo's ability to work with students of all ages and backgrounds, in addition to educational professionals and families, makes him an ideal member of the ES faculty. Proficient in Spanish and lax!


 
 

ERICA YANCOR, Office Manager

Erica was born and raised in the DMV area. She brings with her over 10 years of experience in supporting senior-level managers. Previously, she worked with the LAYC's (Latin American Youth Center) youth opportunity program, where she was selected by staff to participate in the Transformational Education conference in Los Angeles, California. As the mother of a Cohort 12 scholar, Erica was already an ardent proponent of the ES mission. Furthermore, Erica's passion is to help others accomplish far more than what they ever thought was possible.  "As a mother of two, I understand the importance of helping children reach their highest potential academically at a young age, preparing them to become strong confident leaders. When she's not in the office answering your calls and responding to your emails, you can find her playing defense on the soccer field! 

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BETTY TOMLINSON, Parent Liaison

 
 
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Betty has been a fixture of the Emerging Scholars team from our earliest days. She is beloved by scholars, parents, schools and ES staff alike. Betty is always willing to lend a hand to whomever is in need. Her commitment to ES is evident by her positive attitude, constant flexibility and inspirational work ethic to fulfill the demands of this position. She served as administrative assistant to CEO's at several large corporations in New York City before coming to the area. Betty holds an Associate Degree in Secretarial Sciences from The Wood School in New York and a Certificate in Business Management from Brooklyn College. 

 
 

JESSICA LAGER, Marketing & Operations Director

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Jessica is a native of the DC Metropolitan area and is a proud alumna of two ES Partner Schools, Westminster School (grades 1-8) and ES founding consortium school, Flint Hill School (grades 9-12). She attributes her love of learning to the remarkable teachers with whom she was privileged to study throughout her academic career, and this motivates her to help ensure that all students have access to inspirational educational professionals. Before coming to ES, Jessica was Managing Director of the James and Paula Coburn Foundation (JPCF) where she became awed and energized by the world-changing power of the non-profit community. She is a dedicated advocate of education, a philomath and a bibliophile. Jessica is grateful to be a member of the Emerging Scholars organization, whose mission is so dear to her heart.

 
 
 

Since 2002, Emerging Scholars has helped more than 200 Scholars Academy graduates earn admission to our dedicated partner schools - over 50 of the best local independent schools!

 

Kayla Charway (pictured above) is a Cohort 12 Scholars Academy Graduate who currently attends Browne Academy.

 
 
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ES Partner Schools


Since being founded in 2002 by a consortium of 7 independent schools, ES has continued to develop committed partnerships with the best schools in the DC Metropolitan area. These  schools work closely with ES, students and their families to provide the support and guidance needed to ensure scholar success. Over 220 of our remarkable Scholars Academy graduates have been accepted to the following independent schools:


EMERGING SCHOLARS FOUNDING SCHOOLS


EMERGING SCHOLARS PLACEMENT SCHOOLS

 
 

ES Governing Board


Emerging Scholars is operated by the Virginia-based 501(c)3 independent non-profit corporation, Emerging Scholars Program, Inc. The governing board is composed of the Head of School, or a designee from the administration, of each founding consortium school; trustees from the governing boards of the consortium schools; as well as local leaders and professionals who are committed advocates of the ES mission. Most board members have dedicated their careers to education and all of the following individuals consistently devote extensive time and resources to ensuring the success of ES:


EMERGING SCHOLARS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 
 

EDWARD R. CARR

Chairman and President

Founder, Emerging Scholars

 

JOHN M. THOMAS

Treasurer

Headmaster, Flint Hill School

JEFFREY SINDLER

Vice President

Head of School, Burgundy Farm Country Day School

 

RUTH HAZEL LITTLE

Secretary

Executive Director, Emerging Scholar

 
 

RICHARD HOUSTOUN

President, Houstoun Capital Management, Inc.

 

ALVAREZ L. LECESNE, JR.

Retired Executive Director, Emerging Scholars

 

SANDRA LOWE

Founder, Medical Care for Children Partnerships (MCCP)

 

PEGGY OTEY

Head of School, Browne Academy

 

JANET MARSH

Executive Director, The Congressional Schools of Virginia

 

SCOTT BAYTOSH

Head of School, Alexandria Country Day School

 

SCOTT CAMPBELL

Retired Principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers

 

STEFANIE ERKILETIAN

President, Erkiletian Development Company

 

ROBERT E. GREGG III

Head of School, Green Hedges School

 

PATRICIA M. HARDEN, MSW

 Counselor, Burgundy Farm Country Day School


MORT DUKEHARTDirector Emeritus

Former Head of School, Browne Academy

TOM WHITWORTHDirector Emeritus

Retired Head of School, Darlington School

 
 
 
 
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