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Meet the Team

Our dedicated staff members are the driving force behind the incredible work we do for the Loudoun County community.

With diverse backgrounds, skills, and passions, they unite under a shared commitment to make a difference in the lives of students and educators. 

LEF team_jpg

Danielle Nadler

Executive Director

Danielle is the daughter of a school teacher and the product of public schools, from elementary through college. She grew up in South Dakota, where a patient writing teacher fostered in her a love for relevant storytelling. That passion drew her to a 15-year career in journalism, where she covered politics and education for newspapers in Minnesota, California, Nevada, and Virginia. Now working in the nonprofit realm, she continues to spur people to dedicate their talents and resources to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers, often leveraging storytelling to do so. Follow her monthly education blog at

Kari Murphy

Director of Development

Kari comes to Loudoun Education Foundation after serving the Loudoun community for ten years, both volunteering and on staff, with Loudoun Habitat for Humanity. Both of her parents, as well as her paternal grandmother, were career teachers in public schools. She witnessed the time, energy and extra personal funds they dedicated to their respective students and schools. In her role, she oversees fundraising for the Foundation, rallying support for critical and innovative programs for students and teachers. She and her husband live in Leesburg and have two children in Loudoun County Public Schools.

Kari Murphy, Meet the Loudoun Education Foundation Team
Kirslyn Schell-Smith, Meet the Loudoun Education Foundation Team

Kirslyn comes from a family of social workers and although she has a Master of Fine Arts degree, has frequently found herself in jobs where she is helping others. She has held many positions from case manager to teaching art to incarcerated teenagers to leading mentorship programs for at-risk teens. She is a firm believer that every student can succeed when provided with the proper support systems, outlets, and encouragement. She is the Foundation’s Backpack Coalition Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator

Kirslyn Schell-Smith

Courtney Soria

Backpack Coalition Assistant

Courtney’s dad was a public school teacher and she is a graduate of Virginia public schools. She went on to achieve a B.A. in Anthropology and English from George Mason University. She moved to Leesburg (ancestral Manohaoc land) in 2016, with her husband and small kiddo. Since then that ‘small kiddo’ has grown into a proud LCPS student and they somehow added two crazy cats, a backyard beehive, and wild dreams of filling their small yard with edible and native plants. When all that isn’t keeping her busy you’ll find her traveling, hiking and camping, or inside with a cup of tea and a good book. She believes that addressing issues of food insecurity and creating systems to support food sovereignty are crucial components of empowering the future’s fullest potential and ensuring everyone has equitable access to the resources needed to thrive.

Courtney Soria, Meet the Loudoun Education Foundation Team
Letty Kayser, Meet the Loudoun Education Foundation Team

Letty Kayser

Operations Manager

Letty is a parent of a Loudoun County student and is driven by the belief that supporting educators will build the foundation for every student’s success. As a member of the LEF staff, Letty supports the operations and procedures of the organization as well as manages the scholarships and grant programs. Before joining LEF, she was a teaching assistant and ran a small in-home daycare for many years. Letty is originally from San Diego, California where she studied early childhood education and business. When she isn’t working to further the educational opportunities for Loudoun County students, Letty enjoys baking and reading.

Brian Tinsman

Marketing Specialist

Brian is the son of a teacher and has more than a decade of experience coaching swimming and mentoring young writers. He previously served as managing editor for the Washington Commanders, and recently oversaw marketing and communications for Loudoun Economic Development. In 2022, Brian co-founded POUNCE, a modern marketing firm dedicated to delivering impact for nonprofit and private sector clients. He specializes in storytelling and enjoys helping people and brands find their voice.

Brian Tinsman, Meet the Loudoun Education Foundation Team

Contact Us

For more than 30 years, the Loudoun Education Foundation has demonstrated how community support can make meaningful educational impacts in the classroom and beyond. As an independent nonprofit, we engage our community to invest in critical and innovative programs that foster academic success and the well-being of students and educators. We fund programs that stimulate students’ curiosity, create exceptional learning opportunities, and provide needed resources to educators, students and families.

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