Mary E. Kesler

former President and Co-Founder

Founding partner and long-term President of The Education Group, Mary retires this spring after 25 years with the firm.

Mary received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Randolph-Macon Woman's College (now Randolph College) and her masters from Northwestern University before becoming Director of Admissions/Assistant Dean at Foxcroft School. Her career path next took her to The Hockaday School in Dallas, TX where her roles included Assistant Head, Director of Residence, and Director of College Counseling, Following15 years at Hockaday, Mary moved to Rosemont, PA where she served as Headmistress of The Agnes Irwin School.

In 1988, Mary and several colleagues founded The Education Group, an independent school search, placement, and consulting firm. Under Mary’s leadership, The Education Group has developed a number of leading edge projects to address issues of concern within independent schools. A major portion of her activities have involved working with Trustees and Heads of Schools in leadership searches. In addition to the firm’s successful teacher and administrative placement services, The Education Group instituted a leadership initiative to identify and mentor prospective school heads. Another of the firm’s initiatives, the McMurry Fellowship, focused on diversity enrichment for faculties and has brought candidates of color to independent schools through a semester or year-long immersion as a teacher and/or administrative intern.

Mary is a past trustee of The College Board. During her Board tenure, she was involved in the publication of one of the Board’s major educational statements titled “What students Need to Know and Be Able to do,” a study which has shaped the College Board’s work in development of the Pre- AP programs in middle schools. She is a past member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors and served as the first President of the Texas Association of College Admissions Counselors. In addition to her work with these major educational associations, Mary has been a trustee of several independent schools and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of a large independent school in Dallas.

With Mary’s experience and commitment to education, The Education Group has become a highly recognized and respected school search and placement firm. She retires from a career rich in the opportunities and friendships she has experienced from her 47 years in independent schools as a teacher, as an administrator, and as President of The Education Group.