College Counseling Bethesda College Admission Counseling Bethesda

Heather Martin joined Marks Education in 2019 after spending nearly twenty years teaching in private schools in the Washington, D.C. area. Since joining the team at Marks Education, she has worked closely with 9th-12th graders, establishing strong study habits, advising on curriculum and extracurriculars, building college lists, and providing application strategy and essay support.

With a background in special education, Heather has had several years of experience working with students with learning differences. Goal setting and curriculum adaptation have played an important role in her work and give her the understanding of how best to manage these challenges. Heather has vast experience working with students with special interests in athletics, the arts, STEM, and a number of other fields. It is important to Heather that all of the students she works with feel comfortable when they are making decisions about standardized testing (and accommodations, if needed), developing a thoughtful college list, formulating an application strategy, writing an authentic personal statement, and ultimately choosing the best-fit college.

Heather’s kind and friendly demeanor make her both easy to work with and approachable. Having grown up in the Washington, D.C. area and as a parent of twin recent high school graduates and a current high schooler at Walt Whitman High School, she is a good resource in understanding the everyday stresses that students and families experience. Her personal and professional work enable her to strategize and problem solve in a purposeful and organized manner. Heather enjoys running, spending time with family, and cheering for her children at their sporting events.

Heather is an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). She is available to work with students virtually and in-person at the Bethesda, MD, Washington, D.C., and McLean, VA offices of Marks Education.


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The fall of senior year always brings comments from fellow high school parents about the nightmare of college applications. The stress, the confusion, the panic about how to manage the whole process – both from the parents’ point of view and the students’ – is what I have heard every September for the past few years, since my three sons have been in high school. I always feel a little guilty — because we did not have any of those experiences! And this is directly because of Nina Marks, Heather Martin, and their entire team at Marks Education. They have done extraordinary work with our kids, and the result has been that the college application process has been not only stress-free, but (I am not joking) fun – not only for our kids, but for us parents too.

Nina and her team helped our boys develop a logical, manageable, and realistic approach to college applications. This included her advice through high school about their classes, extracurriculars, and what on earth were their genuine interests – conversations that were illuminating and fun and led to positive results for all of our kids. Nina kept the boys on track with her own smart deadlines, enforced with her velvet-gloved iron fist, and as a result there was never even a remote possibility of any kind of last-minute panic attack. She gave the boys great testing advice based on her seemingly insiders’ knowledge of the ever-frustrating College Board’s perpetually changing rules and practices. She made them feel in charge of their own decisions and helped them learn more about themselves through her seemingly innocent banter. She helped them aim high – and they all hit their targets! When it came to the college essay, Heather and Nina helped the boys identify topics that they genuinely wanted to write about, and encouraged them to bring their personal, inimitable voices to the product. Heather is a wonderful listener and an expert writing coach. I was just astonished by one of my boys’ essays (I won’t say who!), and I know it was inspired by Nina and Heather’s conversations with him.

I can’t recommend Nina and her team highly enough. I do recommend them often, and any parent who takes me up on the recommendation is absolutely guaranteed to feel a little guilty in the fall when he or she hears other parents stressing about their kids’ college application process!


We really appreciated how Nina and Heather helped our senior make strategic decisions that made the process less stressful, especially during an unsettled time with more unknowns than usual. And Nina and Heather asked the right questions that helped our daughter figure out what was really important to her in a college.