The Avenues admissions team is comprised of admissions professionals and former teachers whose goal is to ensure you have as easy a time navigating our admissions process as is possible. We will work closely with you to make sure you have all of the information you need to make the best possible decision for your child and your family. The admissions team includes:
Director of Admissions
Andrew Weller brings a wealth of relevant experience to his role as director of admissions at Avenues, having worked in admissions roles for more than 25 years. Andrew came to Avenues from Ridley College (St. Catharines, ON), where he began as dean of admissions before becoming the school’s executive director of advancement. Before his time at Ridley College, Andrew served as the dean of admission at Cheshire Academy (Cheshire, CT), the director of admissions at Chestnut Hill Academy (Philadelphia, PA) and the director of freshman admissions at Marymount University (Arlington, VA).
Director of Early Learning Center (N–K) and Lower Division Admissions
Melissa grew up in New York City and attended the Trinity School. She received a B.A. in French and English at Tufts University (Medford, MA) and an M.A. in elementary education at Columbia University’s Teachers College (New York City). Melissa has taught in the New York City public school system, as well as at the American School in London. She has lived in London, Hong Kong and Singapore.
JANIE RUIZ YANG
Early Learning Center and Grades 1–4
Janie Ruiz Yang first joined Avenues in fall 2013 as head teacher for a Chinese section of kindergarten. She returned to Avenues in fall 2015 as the assistant director of admissions. Prior to coming to Avenues, Janie taught second and fourth grade at the Atlantic International School in Moscow, Russia, focusing on mixed proficiency English Language Learners (ELLs). She also taught Mandarin after school and founded a Chinese club, as well as writing, producing and directing a class play.
Kate grew up in Boston and attended the Noble and Greenough School before moving to New York City for college. She received a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University (New York, NY), where she studied history and French, spending a semester at Columbia’s Paris campus, Reid Hall. She also earned an M.A. in international education development, with a focus on curriculum and teaching, from Teachers College, Columbia University. Since 2005, Kate has been involved with the Kings World Trust for Children, a non-profit located in Tamil Nadu, India. She has been a trustee of Kings World USA since 2009 and makes annual trips to South India. In 2012, Kate joined Avenues as a fourth grade teacher after working at the Little Red School House for five years. She has also taught at The School at Columbia and The Brearley School.
Kristen was born and raised in New York City and attended Village Community School and The Dalton School. She attended Amherst College (Amherst, MA) and earned her B.A. in history and French with a focus on North African immigrants living in France. After graduating in 2011, Kristen was awarded a Fulbright teaching fellowship. She moved to Morocco, where she taught at the public university in Oujda, near Morocco’s border with Algeria. Kristen is an avid traveler. In addition to her time working in Morocco, she has lived and studied in France, England and South Africa. She speaks French and Moroccan Arabic.
Manager of Enrollment Systems
Christopher DeFilippi first joined Avenues in summer 2014 as the assistant director of admissions and data manager and transitioned into the role of assistant director of enrollment management a few months later. In fall 2015, he became the manager of enrollment systems. Before joining Avenues, Christopher worked as a development consultant and social media manager for Take The Lead Women, a non-profit organization committed to empowering women to leadership positions. Christopher received a B.A. in government and politics from Wagner College. During his college years, he studied abroad in Milan, Italy, at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and is proficient in Italian.
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