Meet the ES Team
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.
MAURICE “COACH MO” PLAINES
Director of Scholars Academy & Advancement
A former 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. Coach 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!
Office Manager & Parent Liaison
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!
Marketing & Operations Director
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.