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 a past 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 Rooney, live in Alexandria; her son, Alex, graduated from Case Western Reserve Univeristy and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. 



Cathy Byerly, Educational Consultant



     Cathy 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.

     As 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 educational needs. 

Servicios educativos provéidos en Español.



Catherine Adams, Public School IEP/504 Consultant



Catherine is our IEP/504 public school specialist for Northern Virginia public school systems. She has an undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University and a Graduate certification in Nonprofit Management from George Mason University.  She has worked as a consultant and coach with parents of children diagnosed with ADHD/ADD, co-existing conditions and learning disabilities for over 10 years to find education and parent/family solutions in the Northern Virginia community.  In addition to her education consulting services, Catherine is the President and co-founder of the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia and past Coordinator and Parent to Parent Trainer of CHADD of NoVA-DC.

  Catherine is a member of WISER, CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) and the Council for Exceptional Children.  Catherine lives in Fairfax with her husband Wayne, her daughter Jeana, and two lab mix dogs Buddy and Belle.



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. 

Lena's 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. 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.

Lena lives in Alexandria with her husband, newborn son and dog, Zoey. She is a member of WISER and The Council for Exceptional Children. 














218 North Lee Street, Suite 323, Alexandria, VA 22314   Office: 703-671-8316  Fax: 703-997-8438