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The College Blueprint Team

Jan Kerchner, President and Founder of The College Blueprint, LLC 

Jan Kerchner has been an independent educational consultant in southern California for over 20 years.

In founding The College Blueprint Jan had a vision and mission to assist students and their parents with preparing for college and finding the right fit for each student along that student’s personalized college path. Transforming her mission into a vibrant comprehensive counseling practice with resources including many specialized areas of counseling, Jan and her staff of credentialed counselors, all with advanced education degrees, support students across southern California, the entire United States and internationally. In addition to her private practice, Jan consults with private schools, and with public school districts including Long Beach Unified, one of the largest districts in California.

As a former board member and Chairman of the Irvine Public School Foundation, her influence has benefitted the city of Irvine’s public schools for many years. Having toured extensively, Jan continues to evaluate hundreds of university campuses across the country and is frequently sought after to present her insights on the State of College Admissions. With an MBA from Cornell University, B.S. from Penn State, and a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA, Jan is also a Professional Member of the prestigious Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). While Jan and her husband are both originally from the East Coast, they have resided in southern California for over 30 years. The Kerchners raised three children in southern California; all have graduated college and are successfully launched in professional careers. 

JAN KERCHNER
JAN KERCHNER 

President And Founder

Jan had a vision and mission to assist students and their parents with preparing for college and finding the right fit for each student along that student’s personalized college path

Leslie Bettino
LESLIE BETTINO

Director Of College Counseling

College Counselor

Leslie Bettino, as a College Counselor for The College Blueprint, LLC, believes students and parents need the one-on-one support, guidance and encouragement we provide to ensure the students’ successful and meaningful high school and, eventually, collegiate experience. When she works with a student, she witnesses their growth as an individual as they accomplish goals, discover their strengths and abilities, identify the right collegiate options for themselves and, most importantly, successfully transition from high school to college. Leslie finds her job very rewarding and it is a privilege for her to work with our students and families.

Leslie received her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University and received her Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Azusa Pacific University. Leslie has been married for over eleven years to her husband, Matt, and has three children, Jack, McKenna and Paige.

Lauren Brown
Lauren Brown

College Counselor

Educational Consulting Certificate from University of California, Irvine

Lauren Brown has been an Educational Consultant with The College Blueprint since 2013. However, she has been involved with the College Blueprint since the business began back in 2003. A California native, she attended the University of Arizona, then transferred to the University of Mary Washington where she received her B.A. in Business and Leadership.

​After working in Corporate Operations for 6 years, she realized her true passion was working with students and their families. She then went on to earn her Certificate in Educational Consulting from the University of California, Irvine. Lauren now resides with her husband and son in Northern Virginia where she works with families in the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Regions.

Lauren has a true passion for working with students to find their best fit school and to help streamline the college application process to make the experience as enjoyable and exciting as possible. She has worked with students at all academic levels, from Community College to Ivy League bound. One of her favorite areas to work with students are college application essays, where she has a very hands-on approach and helps the student put forth their best work.

​Lauren is an Associate Member of the prestigious Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)

Jenna Clement, M.A., P.P.S.
Jenna Clement, M.A., P.P.S.

Educational Consultant

​The College Blueprint

Jenna Clement received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and a Masters of Arts in Educational Counseling along with her Pupil Personnel Services Credential from the University of Redlands. She also holds a California Administrative Credential. She has worked in Education since 2009 at both the high school and college level and spent many of those years as a High School Counselor serving families as their 504 coordinator, college entrance advisor, and helping students with any challenges they face regarding academics struggles and class choices, personal or social issues, vocational and college aspirations, mental and physical health barriers, and learning differences.

Jenna is also a Comprehensive Review Application Reader for the University of California, Irvine and has read thousands of college applications and essays. 

She is delighted to join The College Blueprint team as an Educational Consultant and provide families with an additional layer of support during middle school and high school. There is no life circumstance to difficult to overcome or student’s personal challenges too difficult to support throughout the college admission process.

Jenna is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they are raising two sons, Yukon and Holden.

Eric Klein
ERIC Klein

Eric Klein was born and raised in the Central Valley of California and has been a Southern California resident for a number of years. Eric has years of experience in higher education admission and brings the "other side of the desk" perspective. As a first-generation college student, Eric loves supporting students through the entire college search and selection process. Having worked at small, private institutions and highly selective universities, Eric has the in-depth knowledge needed to create comprehensive application plans. Eric completed his undergraduate work at California Lutheran University and received his Masters in Higher Education from California State University, Fullerton. He enjoys running and spending time at the beach with his wife and Corgi.

CINDY TOLLES
CINDY TOLLES

Standardized Testing &

Tutoring Coordinator

Cindy Tolles graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in English/Writing and has worked extensively as a writer, editor and tutor. Cindy thoroughly enjoys coordinating The College Blueprint’s growing standardized testing preparation program and working with our families to develop customized tutoring programs.

It is very gratifying to help students improve their skills and discover what they are capable of achieving. Cindy is well aware of the challenges families face as they navigate college applications and standardized tests, as she has three children: all college students. In her spare time, she likes to hike, ski, travel, and text with her family.

Karen Lerner
Karen Lerner

Educational Therapist

Karen Lerner is a New Jersey native who is embarking on her third career. Her first was as a modern dancer, with a BA in dance from Rutgers University and an MA in dance from New York University. Besides working with Toronto Dance Theatre, she was also a member of the dance departments at both Chapman University and the University of California, Irvine. Her second career was as a teacher at The Prentice School in Santa Ana for nine years. She then became the principal of the junior/senior high school for the next twelve. Karen holds a multiple subject and administration credential from UCI, a special education credential from Chapman, and a Slingerland Training certificate from USD.

While at Prentice, Karen also was a founding board member of the New Vista School in Laguna Hills. Currently Karen is pursuing an educational therapy certificate from the University of California, Riverside. Concurrently she has begun a private practice that focuses on educational case management. In collaboration with a referring therapist, educational lawyer or school, Karen works with the student, the parent, the school counselor, the teacher, and/or the therapist. Her primary responsibility is to keep everyone in the loop as she supports the student to successfully navigate through the curriculum; thus allowing the student to remain at school. Consequently, if a student needs to transfer to another educational institution, Karen will also aid in this process. 

LAURIE POLLARD
LAURIE POLLARD

Office Manager

Laurie Pollard has been with The College Blueprint for 7 years and holds the position of Office Manager. She greets new families and is responsible for day to day operations. She is fondly referred to as the “glue” of our office. She began her relationship with The College Blueprint when her eldest daughter Rachel needed college counseling. Rachel graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012 and is now gainfully employed.

Laurie’s youngest daughter Sarah also went through our program and recently graduated from Boston College in Nursing and is employed at one of Boston’s great hospitals. Raised in a military family, Laurie spent her youth living around the country as well as in Argentina; she spent her high school years in Germany. Laurie is a sustaining member of the National Charity League and enjoys traveling. With a BBA in Business Management from Idaho State University, Laurie is happy to be with The College Blueprint on a full-time basis now that is she an “empty nester.”

ESSAY COACHES

Elizabeth Hecker
Elizabeth Hecker

Elizabeth Hecker has been with The College Blueprint for nine years and has worked extensively as an editor, tutor, and coordinator. Hailing from the Bay Area, she graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A. in Psychology. She maintained enrollment on the Dean’s list throughout her undergraduate career, was accepted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and studied abroad in England for a full academic year. After working in corporate operations for over ten years, she realized her passion was working with students. She thoroughly enjoys working with students -- especially on their essays. She has tutored and coached hundreds of students and loves to see their growth throughout the college application process. She is currently working on obtaining her certification in College Counseling from UCLA. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time with her two rescue dogs. 

Erika Gavitt

Erika Gavitt was born and raised in the South Bay. She earned her BA in English from UC Berkeley after transferring from her local community college. After she graduated, she spent a year teaching abroad at a high school in Tokyo through the JET Programme. She returned to Los Angeles to pursue her dream to become a community college professor. She graduated from CSULB in 2017 with a master's degree in English with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition. She now teaches part-time at two community colleges and works as an Essay Coach in the fall. She loves getting to know her students and using the coaching process to help them identify and claim their strengths.

Amy Hemphill

Mrs. Amy Hemphill is a current English instructor at JSerra Catholic High School and is just finishing her 29th year of teaching. She graduated with a BA in Education from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (her home state) and a MA Ed in Reading, Language & Literacy also from her alma mater. Mrs. Hemphill has taught middle school and high school in New Mexico, Virginia, and California. In 2014, Mrs. Hemphill had the honor of receiving Parenting OC Magazine's "Top Teachers of the OC" award.


Now living in Orange County for over 20 years, Mrs. Hemphill has two sons who both graduated from JSerra (Go Lions!). Off-campus, you can find Mrs. Hemphill running, paddle boarding, and hiking with her Labrador retriever, Ghost. She is looking forward to assisting students through the college application process.


Katie Patton

Katie Patton attended El Camino College before transferring to Cal State, Long Beach to earn BAs in English Literature and Creative Writing. She returned to Cal State, Long Beach again to earn an MA in English before starting work as an Adjunct English Instructor at Fullerton College. She is also currently a Writing tutor at El Camino College, both in their Writing Center and in classrooms, and she has previously tutored English and Writing at Long Beach City College’s Multidisciplinary Success Center as well. She enjoys helping students of all ages develop their writing and communication skills and hopes to help instill a love of writing in those she teaches and tutors, just as her teachers did for her. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and baking.

Evan Schwartz

Evan Schwartz graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as a stand-out Regents' and Chancellor's Scholar, the most prestigious recognition as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, and as the recipient of a two-year, $20,000 Lispon Essay Prize and $2,000 Leadership Award. At Berkeley, Evan earned two degrees: Economics (B.A.), with a minor in Data Science, and Environmental Studies (B.S.), with a concentration in U.S. Policy and Management. Evan has undertaken numerous programs that continually support prospective university students in the form of standardized test preparation, college counseling, extracurricular engagement, and Advanced Placement education. Evan believes in the holistic approach of well-roundedness for college admissions. It is such an approach that he himself took in getting admitted with a full merit scholarship to the top public school in the world. He scored a nearly per-fect 2290/2400 on his SAT, achieved scores in the top 96th percentile in the GRE, and passed 12 AP exams. It is now his goal to encourage current students to stretch their limits and challenge themselves while recognizing the desire for success should take the form of both academic strength and emotional well-being. Evan’s greatest reward is the student who dedicates a similar degree of passion to a given field in the vast world of academia.

Momo Suzuki

Momo studied Comparative Literature and Musical Studies at Oberlin College. There, she trained and worked as a Writing Associate and helped students in all stages of the writing process. She especially loved working on applications essays and focused on building confidence through empowering writers with decision-making tools. At The College Blueprint, she loves helping students past the overwhelming pressure of college admissions, towards final essays that compellingly portray their unique experiences and voices. In her free time, you can find her propagating succulents and looking for new hikes.