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Meet the Team

Jonathan White P '09, '11, '15

Jonathan White P '09, '11, '15

Director of Admissions

Jon is Thayer’s Director of Admissions and a Financial Aid Officer, positions he has held for 23 years. After attending an independent day school, and then Harvard University, Middlebury College (Bread Loaf School of English), and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Jon’s academic career has included teaching English, coaching soccer, basketball, and rowing, and living in a dormitory at three New England boarding schools.

As a freshman advisor, he works closely with a group of eight freshmen each year, assisting them in their transition, including their freshman orientation at Camp Bournedale; checking in with them daily to support their endeavors; and communicating with their parents about their progress. Jon has also taught seminars for juniors in college essay writing and has coached Middle School tennis in the spring.

Jon enjoys talking with young people interested in Thayer and hearing about their experiences, interests, and aspirations. Jon's wife Deb teaches and coaches at an independent elementary school. Their two sons Ben ’09 and Jonathan Traylor ("T") ’11 and their daughter Mollie ’15 are all Thayer Academy graduates.

Elizabeth Bruno

Elizabeth Bruno

Admissions Associate

Liz began working at Thayer in 2013 as a part-time admission associate and an assistant coach for the girls' varsity ice hockey and lacrosse teams.

Liz grew up just north of Boston, attended Brooks School in North Andover, Mass., and earned a BA in psychology at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. She was a four-year member and captain of Trinity’s varsity lacrosse team and loves sharing her lacrosse expertise as a coach for Thayer’s girls' varsity team. Liz is delighted to be a part of Thayer’s close-knit community.

Barbara Kenslea

Barbara Kenslea

Office Manager

Barb has been part of the Thayer community for 15 years, most recently serving as the admissions office manager. She brings a varied background to admissions, having been a teacher, coach, and co-director of athletics at Thayer, and some of her favorite experiences at Thayer have involved coaching, particularly as the coach of Thayer’s first girls’ soccer team. She enjoys introducing prospective students and their families to the Thayer community. Barb has a B.S. in physical education from Springfield College.

Jess Leaver '00

Jess Leaver '00

Associate Director of Admissions

Jess joined the admissions team in 2008 as an associate director. Before working in the admissions office she worked for two years in Thayer’s alumni & development office. Jess is a class of 2000 alum, having attended both the Middle and Upper Schools. She continued her education at Fairfield University, where she received a B.A. in communications with a minor in English and journalism. Jess played varsity lacrosse for the Fairfield Stags and was the captain in her senior year. She has coached a number of sports during her time at Thayer at both the Middle and Upper School levels, including soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, and has also been a freshman advisor and has served on the Disciplinary Committee. Jess currently lives in Milton with her husband and two young boys, Thomas and James. As an alum, and now a staff member in the Thayer community, Jess is passionate about Thayer. She takes great pleasure in meeting future Thayer students and likes to share her experiences with them.

Napoleon Lherisson

Napoleon Lherisson

Assistant Director of Admissions

A 2006 graduate of Thayer Academy, Napoleon joined the admissions office as an assistant director of admission in 2014. In 2011, he was Thayer Academy’s first teaching fellow, serving as a faculty member in the history department. In addition to his roles in admissions, he is one of three Middle School diversity coordinators and an assistant basketball coach. Napoleon has a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies from Brandeis University and has a M.Ed. from Boston College.

Jennifer Welch

Jennifer Welch

Associate Director of Admission

Jenn joined Thayer’s admissions staff in 2010. Her responsibilities include overseeing the international student program and serving as a faculty advisor for the OMEGA diversity club. Jenn has also coached the girls’ varsity ice hockey team.

Prior to arriving at Thayer, Jenn was an admissions associate at The Steppingstone Foundation, working with students and families in the greater Boston area. She has also worked as a national trainer at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and has experience as a teacher in the Boston Public Schools and as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Over the last 15 years, she has been committed to helping young people from diverse backgrounds in their quest for educational success.

A South Shore native, Jenn attended the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., and the University of Vermont. She holds a B.A. in psychology with a minor in sociology, and she played for the UVM women’s ice hockey team. Jenn looks forward to each new school year, and she says, “Meeting potential students and their families is the best part of working in admissions.”

Anni Zukauskas '94

Anni Zukauskas '94

Associate Director of Admissions

A 1994 Thayer alum, Anni first returned to Thayer in 2000. She taught painting and drawing in Thayer’s Upper School visual arts department from 2000 to 2007, worked as an admissions committee member, and also coached field hockey and lacrosse. After earning her master’s degree in administration from Boston College Anni served as associate director of admissions at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York, where she also taught visual arts and coached varsity lacrosse.

In 2014 Anni returned to Thayer as associate director of admissions at Thayer Academy, and head varsity girls lacrosse coach.

While a student at Thayer, Anni captained the Tigers’ field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse teams. She attended the University of Rochester, where she double majored in studio art and art history with a minor in education. She captained both the field hockey and lacrosse teams at the University of Rochester and still holds a number of school records. Anni is a member of both the Thayer Academy and University of Rochester athletic halls of fame. She lives in the Boston area with her husband Tom and their two young children, Anne Marie and T.J.

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