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From Our Admissions Team

Choosing a school for your child is an incredibly important decision — and an exciting one for your family. We’re glad you are interested in learning more about LREI.

As a progressive school, we are dedicated to experiential, engaged learning. How does that translate to the classroom? The best way to find out is to experience LREI in action. When you visit, you might see a Kindergarten class taking a “discovery walk” down Bleecker, clipboards and colored pencils in hand. You might hear eleventh graders debating a policy brief — during lunch. You might just wish you could rewind and enroll at LREI yourself.*

As students move through our program, they gain a strong sense of self-identity as well as a deep respect for others and a commitment to social justice. By the time they leave for college, LREI graduates are ready to be leaders on campus because they’re already active, thoughtful participants in their school, city and global communities.

We look forward to meeting you and sharing more about our school when you visit. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email or call with questions.


The LREI Admissions Team

* We do educate learners of all ages. Check out our Adult r(ED) evening courses for adults.

Meet Our Team
Mary Young
Director of Admissions
212-477-5316, ext.237
Lesley University - B.S.
Bank Street - M.S.
After eight years of teaching in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mary has devoted her entire professional career to LREI. She has served in numerous capacities here, from Fours/Kindergarden Teacher to Early Childhood Learning Specialist to Director of Lower School Admissions. Currently, she is Director of Admissions. In her free time, Mary enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, traveling and gardening.

Jessica Acee
Director of High School Admissions
212-477-5316 ext.305
Portland State University - B.A.
Jessica Acee oversees high school admissions at LREI and brings many years of experience as an admissions director at schools in both Illinois and New York. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of families during the admissions process and is committed to strengthening the opportunities create in a diverse school environment. She also sits on the NYSAIS Admissions Conference Planning Committee. In her spare time, Jessica is learning how to play the guitar. 

Michele Blackwell
Director of Financial Aid & Associate Director High School Admissions
212-477-5316, ext.307
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School - B.S.
Michele contributes to the marketing, outreach, financial aid evaluation and enrollment of new students. As an alumna of Germantown Friends School and A Better Chance, Michele brings a passion and commitment to her work in secondary education. Prior to LREI, she honed her analytical expertise while working in a varied media career including 12 years at CBS, Inc. Michele has been an active contributor to LREI and her penchant for analysis is an asset to the work of Admissions and Financial Aid. She is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time Michele is an avid baker and culinary enthusiast.

Carly Hirsch
Associate Director of Lower School Admissions
212-477-5316, ext.211
Syracuse University - B.A.
New York University - M.A.
New York University - C.S.W.
Carly joined our Admissions team in 2008. She interviews both parents and children, gives school tours and helps with special events. Before coming to LREI, she worked as a social worker at West End Day School on the Upper West Side. In her free time, she enjoys surfing, spinning and stand up paddle boarding.

Cassie Stafford
Director of Middle School Admissions
212-477-5316, ext.598
Oberlin College - B.A.
Baruch College - M.B.A.
Cassie enjoys her role of managing the Middle School Admissions process, from tours to interviews, and has become quite fond of the Middle School age group. In addition to this work, she assists in the day-to-day management of Admissions for the Fours program through Fourth Grade, keeps track of statistical information for the Office, and oversees all Admissions related advertising. Before joining our Admissions Office in January of 2003, Cassie worked as the Human Resources Director at the direct marketing internet company, Bigfoot International, and in Human Resources at Carnegie Hall. While at Carnegie Hall, Cassie also created and grew the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series, which provides free concerts at local venues by local artists. This highly successful program continues on today. Outside of her roles at LREI, Cassie's interests include music, photography and family vacations with her husband and two children.