Our Board Members

Judith “Tessie” Wilson

Tessie WilsonMrs. Wilson is the primary motivator of College Access Fairfax. A former member of the Fairfax County School Board, she has an extensive accounting practice specializing in non-profit entities. In that capacity, she has served as accountant to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria for more than a decade, and is familiar with the operations of a College Access program through her membership in the Virginia College Access

Network. Prior to her service on the School Board, where she served as Budget Chair, Mrs. Wilson served on various School Board committees and civic organizations. She is currently the Chairman of the Board of College Access Fairfax and the Treasurer of the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools.

Christian N. Braunlich

Chris BraunlichChristian is Immediate Past President of the Virginia State Board of Education, where he served four years. He is a former eight-year member of the Fairfax County School Board, and a former official with the National Association of Manufacturers. He is currently Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy and has written extensively on education issues for numerous national and local newspapers.

Emily A. Snyder

Emily is the founder and Managing Director of Know Your Options, LLC an educational consulting firm located in Fairfax County, Virginia. With extensive experience in education, child development, and business management, Emily uses her breadth and depth of knowledge and skills to successfully manage a practice focused on meeting the college planning and higher education needs of students seeking undergraduate,

graduate, and professional school degrees. A well known and highly regarded independent educational consultant (IEC) in her own right, the value to Emily’s work speaks for itself through the success of the hundreds of students she has worked with. Emily is a strong believer in giving back. She is a public education advocate, a former member of Fairfax County, Virginia’s Board of Education and has held Board positions with both the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the Fairfax Chapter of Project Discovery. In addition to being a founding and current Board member of College ACCESS Fairfax, Emily is also a current member of IECA’s Finance Committee. She is an established member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), Washington Independent Services for Educational Resources (WISER) and IECA’s Regional Affiliate, Metropolitan Information Exchange (MIX),which she founded in 2006. Emily has a Master’s degree in School Counseling Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts in English and participates in professional development activities and events for higher educational professionals on an on-going basis.

Hon. James H. Dillard, III

Mr. Dillard is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served as chairman of the House Education Committee. A 32-year veteran of the General Assembly, he was an active Fairfax County teacher and principal for 30 years. A graduate of The College of William and Mary (B.A.) and The American University (M.A., Political Science), Mr. Dillard is now a member of the William and Mary Board of Visitors. He is known to Fairfax County leaders as an active advocate and supporter of education, and as a member of the General Assembly led the fight for additional education

funding. A member and past board member of the Fairfax Education Association, he has received community recognition for his support of youth and education causes, including Legislator of the Year from the Virginia State PTA, Child Advocate of the Year from the State School Board Association and Legislative Award of Excellence from the greater Washington Reading Council. Mr. Dillard currently serves on the Virginia State Board of Education.

Steve Sengstack

Steve SengstackMr. Sengstack is the executive director of the Apple Federal Credit Union Education Foundation. For 37 years, he was a teacher, counselor and administrator. During his career he worked at Lake Braddock Secondary School, Robert E. Lee High School and Annandale High School. He served as an English teacher, a head football coach, a school counselor and a director of student services. Mr. Sengstack now works at George Mason University as a supervisor to English teacher interns. He holds a B.A. from Emory & Henry College and a M.Ed. from George Mason University.

James W. Dyke

Mr. Dyke is a founding incorporator of the Fund. An attorney with the firm of McGuire Woods, he is a former Virginia Secretary of Education, was a Domestic Policy Advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale. Mr. Dyke is an active leader in the Northern Virginia business community having served as chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable, chairman of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation, and chairman of the Emerging Business Forum. He has served or is serving on a number of

commissions, including the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia. His Board responsibilities emphasize fundraising development and legal advice.