Meet The Admit NY Team

Whitney Shashou

Founder & President

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Whitney graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in Urban Studies with a concentration in Urban Education. She received her Master’s in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education and is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) as well as the Small Boarding School Association (SBSA). She also has past experience as a formal classroom teacher, curriculum developer, middle school program director and high school placement director at a non-profit in New York.

As the founder and president of Admit NY, Whitney uses her expertise to facilitate the school admissions process, ensuring that each child gains admission to their best fit private or public schools. Whitney offers her clients deep insight into the school landscape and the admissions cycle itself, and with this competitive advantage, her students have experienced success with acceptances.

Whitney started her career in education by working as a part-time public school teacher in West Philadelphia while also overseeing an academic program that provided small group and individualized reading and literacy instruction for low-performing elementary school students. In 2011, she developed and taught the curriculum for the 8th-grade summer writing course at Breakthrough New York, a college-access non-profit based in New York City. She subsequently taught English at an under-served high school in Cape Town, South Africa and volunteered as an elementary school teacher at an orphanage in Khayelitsha, considered one of the largest and fastest growing townships in South Africa. In 2012, Whitney joined Teach for America as a 4th grade classroom teacher and a 4th grade writing curriculum developer at Achievement First in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Following these experiences, Whitney returned to Breakthrough New York, where she first became the Middle School Program Director and then, the High School Placement Director. She managed program curriculum development, teacher training development and execution, student data analysis, student recruitment and admissions, seasonal staff recruitment and hiring, and high school placement. In this capacity, she was responsible for planning, leading and overseeing high school placement for 65 + students and she increased independent school acceptances by 54%, ensuring that 100% of 8th grade students matriculated to college-prep high schools across the country. Whitney served as the primary contact for over 100 independent day and boarding schools, deepening those relationships while learning the ins-and-outs of each school’s community, academic program, and unique admissions policies.

Taryn Siegelberg

Education & Admissions Expert

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Taryn grew up in New York City, where she attended elite public schools—The Lab School and LaGuardia High School of Music & Arts and Performing Arts. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from Tulane University and went on to receive an M.P.P from Georgetown University, concentrating on Maternal and Child Healthcare, and the effects of education on health outcomes.

Taryn spent 13 years at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at City College of New York. She was responsible for advancing the twofold mission of the school– to expand access to medical careers among underrepresented minorities, and to encourage the pursuit of primary care specialties among graduates. She was also responsible for interviewing prospective students. After having two children of her own, Taryn became an active lead tour guide for the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. She also became an expert on the process of evaluating a schools methodology, academic rigor and ethos, after going thru the process with her own children.

Having realized her passion and vocation were in schools and admissions, Taryn joined the Avenues school as the Admissions Data Manager. She was responsible for processing over 1,200 applications and establishing relationships with feeder schools. She ensured each family had an enjoyable and positive experience as they navigated the stressful journey of identifying a school that is the right match for their child. Taryn joins Admit NY with a keen eye and perspective of someone who has been through this process and survived! She believes families benefit from the small team approach we offer and the valuable knowledge we have accumulated over the past 15 years.

Emily Byne

Nursery and Elementary Admissions and School Expert

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Emily grew up in Philadelphia where she attended a local private Friends school before matriculating to Choate Rosemary Hall. She received a B.A. in psychology from Boston University and then moved to London where she taught nursery and pre-kindergarten in a prestigious independent school. During her 11 years in London, Emily continued to pursue her passion for education and received her M.S. in Child Development and PhD in Psychology from University College London.

Emily moved to New York in 2012 upon finishing her postdoctoral research at Imperial College London. Shortly after moving to NYC she co-founded MyOptions (formerly Admittedly), an online college admissions tool which has since been acquired by test-prep giant ACT. One of the main tenets of the company is that students should prioritize cultural and emotional fit when looking at colleges as much as academic fit. During her time at Admittedly, Emily developed an algorithm to match students with colleges that are the right fit for them based on their personality traits and interests. Hundreds of thousands of students worldwide have used this tool in their college admissions journey.

When it was time for Emily to move onto her next endeavour, she was eager to combine her interest in admissions with her love forearly childhood education. She joined admissions team at The Browning School and conducted kindergarten evaluations and interviews. In addition to working with applicants on-site, Emily also visited with preschool directors and spent time in preschool classrooms across Manhattan.

After her children were born in 2016, Emily began consulting for JCC Brooklyn as their Child Development Specialist. She works with teachers and families to ensure children are on track to reach their developmental milestones. As a Brooklyn resident and a parent, Emily also counsels local families through the exmissions process from preschool to pre-kindergarten to kindergarten.

Emily is thrilled to join the Admit NY team and shares the same mission of using a holistic approach when helping families identify their child’s best fit schools. She enjoys working with families at any stage of the admissions process and tailoring her services to each family’s specific needs.