Meet Our Staff

Julie Averill

Founder & Owner of Kids at Work

Julie Averill, a mom herself, has been working with babies and young children through age 5 for the last fourteen years.

Working with young children and their families is Julie’s passion – from witnessing a baby’s first steps to seeing a toddler’s eyes light up at the sight of a new discovery, to helping a young child conquer separation anxiety.

You will see Julie in the classroom on the floor with children in our Toddle Around, Mess it Up, and Gentle Separation classes. All new clients are sure to receive a personal email from her welcoming them to Kids at Work!

Julie’s formal education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Hartford. In addition to her hands-on experience with babies and young children, she has also completed The RIE I: Theory and Observation course in infant and toddler development and care.

Julie works to curate an amazingly compassionate and mature team of early childhood professionals to work with the children at Kids at Work. She is involved in training them in the Kids at Work philosophy for an entire semester before allowing them to teach classes of their own. Julie also holds a masters in orchestral flute from Manhattan School of Music.

Julie and her husband Dmitry have two sons born in 2011 and 2014, and live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.


Jake Friedman

Administrative Manager

Jake Friedman has worked with children under 5 years old in New York City for the past 4 years.

Jake holds a Bachelors of Music from NYU and has worked as teaching artist in person and online, specializing in music and movement.

Jake has a passion for working in education! In the music industry Jake has performed in New York State and beyond has a vocalist, pianist, and violinist.

Jake loves language learning and is always continuing to learn, Jake speaks basic Hebrew and Mandarin. Jake is so excited to be part of the Kids at Work Team.


Raquel Salazar

Lead Teacher, Gentle Separation and Summer Camp

Raquel Salazar holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, and is ABA Certified. Raquel also holds Teacher Assistant Certification Level I and is fluent in Spanish.

Raquel’s experience in the classroom extends from typical early childhood into special education, where she has also worked with adults with severe developmental delays. Raquel also holds a degree in Speech Therapy and plans to pursue a masters in Speech Pathology in the coming years.

Raquel brings her warm, fun-loving personality to all of our programs. Children feel safe, loved, and welcome whenever Raquel is around! Raquel is Certified by the American Red Cross in CPR for the Professional Rescuer as well as Advanced First Aid. She has been with KAW since September 2015!


Debora Abreu

Lead Teacher, Gentle Separation, Summer Camp and Cooking

Debora Abreu is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education at Queens College.

Prior to coming to Kids at Work in January 2018, Teacher Debora worked as an assistant for 2 years at Growing Together in Queens.

Debora also works as a baseball coach for children aged 3-12 years and has an Associates Degree in Physical Education from Kingsborough Community College.

A native New Yorker, Teacher Debora’s family is originally from Indonesia, and Debora is fluent in Indonesian.

Debora is Certified by the American Red Cross in CPR for the Professional Rescuer as well as Advanced First Aid.

Debora’s calm and quiet demeanor is a wonderful complement to our teaching team at Kids at Work!

Debora and her husband live in queens with their toddler, Leonardo & their cat, Bleu Cheese. They love going on family adventures like traveling, hiking, going to farms, museums, galleries, sight-seeing.

Debora has been with Kids at Work since January of 2017.


Melody Stolpp

Lead Teacher, Music

Melody Stolpp holds a BFA in musical theater from Boston Conservatory and is currently working on her Masters degree in general psychology.

In her free time, she writes songs and performs in her band, Sweetbreads.

She has several years of early childhood education under her belt.

She has several years of early childhood education under her belt. Helping to foster a love of music in little ones is one of Melody's greatest joys.

She's thrilled to be a new addition to the Kids at Work team and can't wait to jam out with your kids!


Tamar Eckstein

Lead Teacher, Visual Art

Tamar Eckstein holds a Bachelors Degree in American Studies and Education from Oberlin College.

During college, she spent a semester studying Scandinavian Early Childcare in Denmark and working in a Danish Preschool.

This experience, along with several summers teaching art at Shire Village Camp in Western Massachusetts, cemented her love of working with children and teaching art.

Tamar is deeply passionate about child development and play based learning.

She is an artist herself, working mostly with clay as a potter.

Tamar is so excited to be part of the Kids at Work team!


Leah Greene

Lead Teacher, Music

Leah is a singer, actress, musician, songwriter and teacher originally from Detroit, Michigan.

She fell in love with singing when she performed the role of a flower in her 1st grade production of How Does Your Garden Grow?

Since then, Leah has been lucky enough to travel the world performing and has developed a passion for sharing this love of music through teaching!

Leah has over a decade of experience working with children as a birthday party leader, sing-a-long jammer, babysitter, classroom helper, and private lesson instructor.

She holds a BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University. Leah is so excited to be joining the Kids at Work Team!


Ian Miller

Lead Teacher, Music

Ian Miller is a is a multi-faceted musician originally from St. Louis, MO, and he loves collaborating with musicians of all ages!

As a pianist and music director, Ian has worked in theaters on and off Broadway, and in a variety of educational settings.

An accomplished pianist, Ian has played for the Story Pirates, the Young People’s Chorus of NYC, the Yale School of Drama, Vocal Ease, The Nightingale-Bamford School, and, most recently, for rehearsals of the Broadway revival of West Side Story.

He performs regularly as a singer-songwriter, and released his debut EP, In Between, in 2020.

Ian is also the music director of “Our Broadway” at AHRC NYC – a musical theater program for adults with intellectual and development disabilities.

Ian studied music at Yale University, where he sang with the Whiffenpoofs and the Shades of Yale. He also speaks Spanish, French, and Japanese.


Lukas Pappenfusscline

Lead Teacher, Jam Sessions

Lukas has been with Kids at Work since January 2018.

Lukas holds Bachelors Degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University in Drama and Contemporary Music.

Lukas came to Kids at Work with experience teaching school-aged children in classrooms at an outreach program in Boston.

Lukas is a gifted teacher of babies and toddlers!

Lukas also speaks German and French!

Lukas has been with KAW since January of 2017.


Carmen Borla

Lead Teacher, Music and Spanish

Teacher Carmen has worked with babies and toddlers in the Mi Manzana Spanish music and movement program for that last year and a half.

Carmen also has experience as an assistant teacher at the Explore & Discover daycare in Gramercy.

Carmen has a BFA in Acting from The New School as well as a certificate from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

Teacher Carmen has played guitar and sung all her adult life, and has a warm, inviting presence that babies and toddlers love!

Originally from Argentina, Carmen is fluent in Spanish and English. Carmen has been with Kids at Work since 2017.


Quintin Joyner

Assistant Teacher and Facilities Manager

Quintin grew up in a big family with a strong sense of the community.

His diverse work experience and open-heartedness make him an essential part of Kids At Work’s day-to-day operations.

Quintin’s work experience includes but is not limited to a counselor at a sports camp, an after-school assistant teacher for a non-profit and an assistant coach at a children’s gymnastics program.

In his free time, Quintin enjoys going to art galleries, babysitting and dog sitting, and spending time with his nephews.

Quintin has been with KAW since August 2017!


Kevin Hardy

Assistant Teacher and Facilities Manager

Kevin is a NYC native and has been with KAW since June 2019.

Kevin holds an Associate degree in Digital Arts and came to KAW with creativity in arts.

His passion of working with children evolved from his mother who’s now a retired middle school teacher.

Kevin’s interests are arts, sports, music, traveling, and cooking.

Kevin is also knowledgeable about the Kids At Work facility.

His friendly, talkative, calm and confident demeanor are an astonishing addition to the workplace.

Kevin has been with KAW since Summer, 2019.