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. 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. Jake holds certificates in first aid for the professional rescuer as well as advanced CPR/AED. He also maintains a mandated reporter certificate.

Jatayia Major

Lead Teacher, Gentle Separation and Curriculum Specialist
Jatayia has been working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers as a lead teacher for 5 plus years. Jatayia is currently pursuing a combination masters and bachelors degree in early childhood education at City College/CUNY. At her previous position at KinderPrep Montessori, in addition to lead teaching a toddler classroom, Jatayia also handled administrative duties at the school. Jatayia comes to KAW with rich, interesting, creative ideas and a progressive mindset. She thrives at finding fun and creative ways to teach children. A mom herself, Jatayia has a 13 year old son as well as a 1 year old girl at home! Jatayia is CPR/First Aid certified and maintains Mandated Reporter and Child Abuse Prevention certificates.

Nicole Brandao

Gentle Separation and Summer Camp, Assistant Teacher
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an art minor. She is currently pursing a Masters for Fall 22 at NYU in public health policy. Nicole loves to explore art, museums, the city and doing fun activities with her 10 year old daughter. She also loves traveling, hiking and reading in her free time. She is so excited to join the team this summer and to work with the kids!

Jordan Brown

Assistant Teacher, Gentle Separation and Summer Camp/Facilities Assistant
Jordan recently received his BA from Berklee College of Music focusing on Music Education and Music Therapy. Due to COVID he was able to study online and get hands on experience working with children at Kids at Work! Jordan also spent time studying abroad at the University of Nottingham in the UK. Jordan hopes one day to be a music teacher working with young children and he is so excited for the experience of being part of the Kids at Work team. He has been with KAW since August, 2021 as a facilities manager and assistant teacher. Jordan holds certificates in first aid for the professional rescuer as well as advanced CPR/AED

Erin Browning

Assistant Teacher, Gentle Separation and Facilities Assistant
Erin Browning is a performer, teaching artist, and early childhood educator. She holds a BFA in Theatre from New York University. With over 5 years of professional experience working with children in NYC and New Jersey, she is so excited to be a part of the Kids at Work team! She is passionate about sharing her love of the arts with children, and emphasizes creativity, imagination, and play in her work.

Melody Stolpp

Lead Teacher, Music and Cooking

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!

Greta Keating

Lead Teacher, Music
Greta Keating is a singer-songwriter born and raised in NYC. She studied Playwriting and Screenwriting at SUNY Purchase and has been a teaching artist at various schools across New York.


Lead Teacher, Music
Marlena Ospina is a performance artist, musician, and clown who lives in Brooklyn. She studied vocal performance and theatre at New York University and spent high school teaching dance and music lessons to children as well as working as a summer camp counselor. Marlena speaks English and Spanish and also writes music in both languages! She loves to cook, read, and learn about Bigfoot.

Sophie DeLeo

Lead Teacher, Music and Ballet
Sophie DeLeo is an actor, singer, and songwriter with a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School. Since 2015, she has been teaching music, drama, and songwriting to kids of all ages and she’s so excited to join the team at Kids at Work! Visit to learn more about her and see where you might be able to catch her performing next. Sophia has worked extensively with infants and toddlers at Musibambino on Manhattan's Upper West Side

Kaya Rosenthal

Lead Teacher, Ballet
A dance and theater lover from day one, Kaya performed with community arts organizations throughout her childhood, including the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Kaya started her dance training with The Madison City Ballet Company, studying classical ballet technique. She continued her ballet training at The Petaluma Ballet. After moving to Los Angeles, Millenium and The Edge became Kaya's stomping grounds where she studied multiple dance styles including: ballet, hip hop, jazz, and tap. She has been teaching dance, starting with children as young as 16 months, for the past 7 years and loves working with young dancers to help them develop and find their own love for movement.

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.

Carmen Borla

Substitute Teacher

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.

Sarah Bardin

Summer Camp Lead Teacher
Sarah has been a full-time preschool teacher for the past 10 years in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She has a masters degree in early childhood education from Hunter College, and an MFA in creative writing from The New School. In her work, she focuses on developing trusting and joyful relationships between children and teachers. During the year Sarah currently teaches pre-k at Grace Church School in Brooklyn Heights. She is excited to spend time with 2- and 3-year olds this summer! Before discovering her love for teaching, Sarah worked as a children's book editor, among other things, and enjoys reading both children's and adult fiction.