Middle School Student Support


Raysa Rojas, Operations Manager

Raysa was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States at a very young age. She graduated from John Jay College with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. She also has an aspiration of pursuing a master’s degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling within the next year and becoming a counselor to help those children who are at risk of criminal behavior

Karina Payano, Administrative Assistant
Señorita Payano was born and raised in the Bronx. She enjoys playing with her daughter and watching all of the HGTV shows. Some of her hobbies include reading and learning new things. She earned her degree from Monroe college and her favorite quote is,
"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."

Picture coming soon!
Marleny Diaz, Administrative Assistant
Marleny is proud to be a part of the ADS family!

Ramirez1819Juan Ramirez, School Aide
Juan is proud to be a part of the ADS family!

Canales1819Víctor O. Canales, School Aide Victor was originally born in New York City but raised in Puerto Rico. There he attended school during his first years of life until the grade of 7th Grade in the city of Salinas, PR.  He Graduated from Stevenson Ali High School and proceeded his journey at Boricua College in the Bronx. There he obtained his Associate's degree in Liberal Arts and is looking forward to obtaining his BA Degree in Counseling. Victor loves every job he is given. Víctor loves to spend time with his family and friends. He loves to help others but especially the needy. He also loves to travel all around the world.

Hernandez1819Lucas Hernandez, Jr. Systems Analyst
Lucas was born in the South Bronx to two Dominican parents, and is the youngest of 3 brothers. In school, Lucas excelled in Math and Science, which eventually led to his love of technology and engineering. As our Jr. Systems Analyst and Robotics coach, Lucas strives to inspire students who share this love of technology and engineering by showing them how cool it is to be a "nerd."

Eddie Jimenez, Dean of Students

Eddie Graduated from Lehman college with a Bachelor of science in Economics. Over the past thirteen years Eddie has worked for the Children's Aid Society servicing kids of poverty all over the city. As our Dean of Students Eddie helps create a positive safe learning environment for our scholars. Eddie also works very closely with our parents connecting them with various different services in the neighborhood. 
He is also responsible for bringing awareness to our school in the community. 


Soriano1819Vanessa Soriano, Social Worker Vanessa is originally from Chino, CA. She received her B.A in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and continues to be a die-hard UCLA Bruin. After working for two years in the social work field, she decided to return to receive her Masters of Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles. Vanessa moved to NYC in October of 2015 and continues to enjoy being a tourist. Her favorite place in the city continues to be Central Park & appreciates all the different cultural opportunities. She loves to dance and spend time with friends.

Nicolas1819Abigail Nicolas, Speech Therapist Abigail is excited to be a part of the ADS family!

kimKim Higdon, Reading Teacher

Kim Higdon, Ph.D., has been teaching since 1991 in South Korea, Washington, Texas, and most recently as a university professor in Florida. As a K-12 teacher, she has taught all ages, from Pre-Kindergarten through middle school. In addition to teaching, Dr. Higdon presents workshops at national and international conferences on literacy and using technology to motivate and enhance literacy learning with adolescents. Her dissertation and other research are on supporting beginning teachers in urban schools, and she is very passionate about supporting students to be successful in middle school, high school, and not only to get accepted into college, but to graduate with a degree so they can live their dreams and help others along the way.

Gaterlin Mata, Director of Special Populations Gaterlin is proud to be part of the ADS family!


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