OUR TEAM

COTS is an all volunteer organization led by committed individuals who remember what it was like to be a “COTS kid.” The three people below helped start COTS. But they are supported by so many others. Stay tuned for updates to this page, including information on other members of the COTS family!

The Honorable Tina Hone, Founder and Chair
Tina is a former at-large member of the Fairfax County School Board. A lawyer by training, she was elected in November 2007 after an energetic, countywide campaign that emphasized the importance of closing the achievement gap. As her four-year term came to an end, Tina realized she could serve economically disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students more effectively as an advocate than as a school board member. So, instead of seeking re-election, she launched the Coalition of The Silence©. Tina can be reached at tina4kids@gmail.com.

Dr. Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, Co-Founder and Vice Chair
Dr. Lolita Mancheno-Smoak is a Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of the Coalition of The Silence©. Lolita is an Engineer and has a particular interest in ensuring COTS kids excel in STEM related subjects. She also leads our outreach to the Latino Community. Lolita comes to COTS with a long history of advocacy for strengthening families, empowering youth, and preventing child abuse through culturally competent programs and advocacy with focus on the Latino community of Northern Virginia. In addition to work with COTS, she is Board President of Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect (H.A.C.A.N.), and serves on the Advisory Boards for CrisisLink and Childhelp. In 2011, she was an At-Large candidate for the Fairfax County School Board. Lolita can be reached at lolita.cots@gmail.com

Avis Catchings, Co-Founder and Vice Chair
Avis is also a Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of the Coalition of The Silence. She also leads our outreach to the African American Community. She joins the Coalition with over 10 active years of advocating for students in the Mount Vernon and West Potomac High School communities, including her Aaron. She is an active member of several community organizations including Together We’re The Answer and serves on the Board of the Opportunity Neighborhoods Initiative. She is also an active member of her church. Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Avis spent 11 years in the Fairfax County school system. Avis believes every child deserves fair access to the full bounty of services that Fairfax County has to offer regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. Avis can be reached avis.cots@gmail.com.

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