6th Grade Team

Ciprian1819Erika 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 English language. She attended college and obtained her Bachelor's degree in biology and her Master's Degree in Science Education. She loves science and teaching. 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!

Melnyk1819Nataliya 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, she graduated from high school and 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 opportunity and she was excited to see the world and taste the “American dream”.

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 of teaching math through his original interest in linguistics; methods used in foundations of mathematics are also used in formal
linguistics. Alex sees mathematics and language as a way of describing the world. Alex is proud to be apart of ADS! 

DeGiorgio1819Niki DeGiorgio, Humanities Teacher
Niki was born in the Bronx and raised in southwest Connecticut. After receiving her bachelor's degree in Literature, 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!

Zauderer1819Dan Zauderer, Humanities Teacher
Dan has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Political Philosophy from Trinity College 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. 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.

Portorreal2019Maria Portorreal, Spanish Language Arts Teacher Seño Portorreal is excited to join the ADS family as a Spanish Language Arts Teacher!


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