Leigh Ann Cahill, Director, Educational Consultant
Leigh Ann Cahill holds an undergraduate degree from The
College of William and Mary and a Masters in Education from George Mason
University. Leigh Ann began her teaching career in Fairfax County Public
Schools; first as a teacher of English as a Second Language, then as a Middle
School Social Studies and Drama teacher.
In 1994, Leigh Ann moved to The Potomac School in McLean,
Virginia where she was a Technology teacher, Social Studies teacher and student
advisor. She was also the Director of the Counselor Intern Program for
high school students for many years. Since October of 2000, Leigh Ann has been
working with families and schools as an educational consultant.
Leigh Ann is the current President of WISER (Washington Independent
Services for Educational Resources). She is also a Professional Member of IECA (Independent Educational Consultants
Association) and the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia. Leigh Ann, Dan, and their dog Popeye, live in Alexandria; her son, Alex, is currently in college at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland.
Cathy (Biern) Byerly, Educational Consultant
joined ISO in September of 2010 as the boarding school and special needs
specialist. For over 20 years, she has helped
families with school placement while working in admissions at the elementary,
secondary and post-secondary level. Cathy has worked at both boarding and day
schools, including McLean School (MD), Lawrence Academy(MA), The Rectory School(CT)
and The Berkshire Center for Independent Living (MA). She also spent three years as the Principal of
Town and Country School, a preschool and elementary school in Vienna, VA. Much
of Cathy's experience has been working with students with different learning
styles so she will be advising about boarding and day options for students
across the learning spectrum.
a student, Cathy attended The Key School in Annapolis, MD and Lawrence Academy,
Groton, MA. She holds a AB in Classics and Religion from Kenyon College. She is
a member of WISER and an Associate Member of IECA. Cathy, her husband Bill, and their black lab, Boomer, live in Annapolis.
Mary Killay Lavayen, Educational Consultant
Mary brings over 20 years of experience in the field of
education to Independent School Options. She has worked both overseas (Latin America,
Europe, Asia and the Caribbean) and in the US, including Arlington County
Public Schools. Mary is knowledgeable about independent, public, language
immersion, and religious schools in the DC metropolitan area. She
is fluent in Spanish, and has a special interest in both diversity
issues and the learning needs of the gifted.
Mary holds an undergraduate
degree from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in International
Administration from the School for International training in Brattleboro,
Vermont. Mary is an Associate Member of IECA and WISER. She and her husband
live in Falls Church and are raising three children, each with their own unique
Servicios educativos provéidos en Español.
Lena Feldman, Educational Consultant and Special Education Advisor
Lena is a certified educator in both Washington DC and Virginia
and has been teaching in public and charter schools since 2005. Lena received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health
with a minor in Psychology and Exercise Science and her Masters in Early
Childhood Special Education from George Washington University.
Lena has taught in both a DC charter school, as well as
Fairfax County Public Schools, providing services to students with a wide range
of abilities. One of her strengths is the ability to help parents understand
and work through the Special Education and IEP process with their child’s
school to develop a plan that best meets the students' needs.
experience with boarding schools started in her 10th grade year when she chose
to leave public school for Tabor Academy in Massachusetts. She has
a sister who graduated from Kimball Union Academy and another sister who
currently teaches at Brooks School. Lena continues to visit boarding schools on the East Coast and
Mid-Atlantic region, including Mercersburg Academy, Blue Ridge School, The
Hill School and many others. She is excited to help
students find a great boarding program that will give them the self-confidence,
independence, and chance to blossom into young adults.
lives in Alexandria with her husband and dog, Zoey. She is a member of
WISER and The Council for Exceptional Children.