Meet The Admit NY Team

Whitney Shashou

Founder & President

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Whitney is Admit NY’s founder, and is also one of New York’s leading middle and high school admissions consultants. 

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 a Professional 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

Partner & Director of Nursery and Elementary School Admissions

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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 school’s methodology, academic rigor and ethos, after going through the process with her own children.

Having realized her passion and vocation were in schools and admissions, Taryn joined Avenues: The World 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 & Elementary School Admissions 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 journeys.

When it was time for Emily to move onto her next endeavor, she was eager to combine her interest in admissions with her love for early childhood education. She joined the 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.

Stacy Mohr Walder

Nursery & Elementary School Admissions Expert

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Stacy grew up in New York City, where she attended The Dalton School on the Upper East Side. She then attended Syracuse University, where she received a B.S. in Communications and Rhetorical Studies and graduated Summa Cum Laude. After spending time in advertising sales, Stacy realized her desire to work with children and went on to receive a dual Master’s in Early Childhood General and Special Education at Bank Street College of Education.

While completing her master’s, Stacy worked at the Montclare Children’s School on the Upper West Side, and she has since spent almost a decade teaching Pre-K at Temple Emanu-El Nursery School. As a teacher by training, Stacy has a thorough understanding of cognitive and social-emotional development at the early childhood level and a true appreciation for what best encourages children to learn and grow. Throughout her years of teaching, she honed her skills for supporting families while they navigate the often stressful kindergarten admissions process, and she is keenly aware of how this affects both parents and children. Stacy also participated in admissions playgroups at both of the nursery schools she taught at, thus giving her a unique understanding of the full early childhood matriculation cycle, from nursery admissions through kindergarten exmissions. 

Stacy believes that finding the right fit at the early childhood level leads to a love of learning in the future, and she is excited about helping Admit NY’s families build that important foundation. She is eager and excited to share her knowledge about New York City schools from her personal and professional experiences.

Carrie Bateman

Special Education Advisor

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Carrie is Admit NY’s Special Education Advisor and is an expert in navigating the New York City school system. She enjoys helping families navigate complex processes so that their children can thrive.

Carrie started her career as an early childhood teacher and went on to become a Cabinet member at the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). She received her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on policy and programs for children with disabilities, and she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon with a focus on special education and cross-cultural communication.

Having spent 7.5 years at the NYCDOE in a variety of titles from Chief of Staff to Acting Deputy Chancellor, Carrie developed a deep expertise about the New York City school system that she offers to families in an accessible way. Carrie led many offices and programs across the department including Special Education, Charter and Nonpublic Schools, and Universal PreK programs. Carrie launched multiple citywide initiatives to support families of students with disabilities transitioning from preschool to kindergarten as well as for those transitioning out of high school, she wrote the Special Education Standard Operating Procedures Manual, and she managed programs and services for charter, independent and nonpublic schools. Carrie has developed close relationships with educational leaders throughout the City and worked with the leaders of independent and nonpublic schools to provide services citywide. In each of her roles, she kept students and families at the core while working to improve the system.

Carrie started her career as an early childhood teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools in a program for Immigrant and Refugee families, and she also worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on programs with the Special Olympics and the Tourette Syndrome Association. She founded Windsor Bateman Solutions, LLC to bring clarity to families navigating the complex education system and partners closely with Admit NY to support families of children with disabilities.

Rachel Gerber

Middle & High School Admissions Expert

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Rachel grew up in Connecticut, where she attended Choate Rosemary Hall as a day student. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Hamilton College, and then moved west to San Francisco, where her career as an educator began. After two years of teaching Pre-K, she returned to the east coast, and earned an M.A. in Childhood Education from NYU Steinhardt School of Education, where she graduated with honors.

Rachel taught at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School on the Upper West Side for three years, followed by nine years at The Browning School, on the Upper East Side. While teaching at Browning, Rachel took on various additional roles, such as assisting the admissions department by observing and evaluating prospective students. She was also the Associate Teacher Advisor, who hired and then mentored new teachers. At both schools, Rachel enjoyed the relationships that she developed with her students, as well their parents, and the opportunity to advise the latter on the best path forward for their child.

After becoming a parent, Rachel left Browning, and started her own private tutoring company, where she created in-person and online individualized instruction for students. She also guided families through the independent school application process, editing essays, and preparing them for admissions interviews. Rachel is eager to integrate her skills with Admit NY, and optimize the educational opportunities for her Admit NY families.

Donate a book

We’re dedicated to helping all children get a proper education. That’s why we’ve partnered with WelcomeBaby to collect and distribute donated books to children in need. Not everyone has access to the tools they need for success, with your help, we can make a difference.

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