6th Grade Team

Erika Ciprian, Projects Based Learning Teacher

Erika was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States with her mother in 2004 to join the rest of her family. She finished the last two years of high school in the US while struggling to learn the language. She attended college and obtained her Bachelor's degree in biology and her Master's Degree in Science Education. She loves science. She wants to share her knowledge and awaken students’ curiosity about the world. She also enjoys playing sports and played soccer at her college. She is AWESOME!!

Nataliya Melnyk
, Project Based Learning Teacher
Nataliya was born and raised for the first 17 years of her life in Ukraine. She says that the best part about living there was growing up within close proximity of her extended family that played a key role in her childhood and upbringing. In 2006 I graduated from high school, and it seemed that the whole world was in her hands, for the first time she realized that she alone was responsible for her own future. At this point she was faced with one of the greatest decisions of her life, choosing a university. Her life changed after her parents informed her that they were moving to the United States. America was the country of opportunities for me and she was excited to see the world and taste the “American dream.”

Cristhian Ponce, Mathematics Teacher

Señior Ponce is excited to join the ADS family as a 6th Grade Mathematics Teacher!

Vigo1819Alex Vigo, Mathematics Teacher
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Alex came to NYC for university, where he studied theoretical linguistics. After a stint in the military and then working as a translator, he realized he had a strong interest in teaching, particularly in bilingual settings. Alex is currently working on a masters degree in bilingual childhood education at Hunter College. He found his way into teaching math as a subject through his original interest in linguistics; methods used in foundations of mathematics are also used in formal linguistics. Alex sees mathematics as a way, like language, of describing the world. He likes to teach math by building bridges between the material and the world around us.

Rosario1819Yanette Rosario, Intervention Teacher Yanette was born and raised in the South Bronx, New York. Her family is originally from the Dominican Republic, so she admits that growing up she spoke a lot of Spanish, ate a lot of platano con salami, and danced a lot of merengue. Her favorite past-times include reading, watching quality movies, and dancing. In addition to being an Intervention Teacher, she is also a zumba instructor (every Friday night) and a score keeper for the New York City Debate League (she loves debate!). She earned my B.A. in Psychology and Ethnic & Racial studies at Columbia University. She is very passionate about early childhood development, education, and mental health. She strives to provide ADS students with unconditional academic support to help them achieve their full potential. She believes in the ADS mission and I want to help make it a reality for all students. 

Niki DeGiorgio,
 Humanities Teacher
Niki was born in the Bronx and raised in southwestern Connecticut. Growing up, Niki’s Italian American family taught her the importance of family, communication and compassion. They also taught her to fight for what she believes, to laugh and to always bring herself genuinely into situations. This first education has served her well over the years.  After receiving her bachelor's degree, she began work at a charter school as a Family Advocate, a role that allowed her to support the students in school and the families in their homes.  Working with the high and complex needs of these inner-city families, inspired her to go back to school for her masters in education, special education and social work.  Since completing her grad school work, she’s worked in various middle school settings tirelessly supporting the academic and social growth of her students.  Niki is beyond excited to be a part of the team at the American Dream School and to share her love of books, writing, sports, cupcakes and movies with her new community!!

Dan Zauderer, Humanities Teacher
Dan has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Political Philosophy from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before working at ADS, Dan lived and worked in Costa Rica for a year and a half, where he taught English as a Foreign Language to adults of all ages and levels.  In addition to teaching, Dan has a background in business development and sales in the NYC startup community.  When Dan isn't in the classroom, you might find him traveling the globe, singing in the Teachers College Community Choir, listening to live jazz, or tickling the ivories.

Davila1819Susan Davila, Spanish Language Arts Teacher

Susan Davila is a graduate of Bank Street College of Education and holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and is a leader dedicated to improving early education, childcare, and the development of dedicated early childhood professionals.  She served as Executive Director at one of the largest CUNY Campus –Base Centers for over 15 years. Also, she has served as past Chair of the Childcare Council and has presented at multiple conferences.  Her career highlights include the development of the first formal Spanish language program in the Bank Street lower school and middle school for children, serving as a Children's Defense Fund fellow and keynote speaker at the International Pre-School Education Conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 2004.  Susan served as a respected Instructor at Boricua College for seven years in their Bachelors Childhood Education program. Susan has come full circle in her career and has returned to the classroom. She really feels passionate about ADS and its mission of "academic excellence in both Spanish and English" and "preparing students to excel in college." Susan has been committed to teaching in the South Bronx for over twenty years and continues to feel the joy of teaching and is a lifelong learner.


Picture coming soon! Maria Portorreal, Spanish Language Arts Teacher

Seño Portorreal is excited to join the ADS family as a Spanish Language Arts Teacher!


American Dream School

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