Weekdays 8:30 am- 6:15
calendar to find out the days
we are closed.
~ 1047 Amsterdam Avenue,
NY, NY 10025
at the Cathedral:
Send resumes to
Specialists and Counselors:
A team of qualified administrators develop plans,
insuring that children will safely enjoy themselves.
Summer Camp swim staff are certified by the Red
Cross. Head teachers have experience in similar
settings. Counselors are teachers and college-age
students with an expressed interest in working
with our youth. Staff return to A.C.T. year after
year and have been enrolled in our programs themselves.
Our staff is encouraged to directly communicate
with parents regarding each child's progress.
Staff meetings and training sessions are held
before and during each program season. All staff
are closely supervised and formally evaluated.
Jennifer Gowers:Executive Director as of 3/12/18. Here is a message from Jennifer:
I am delighted to join ACT as the new Executive Director. It is a true privilege to join such a beloved program with such a beautiful legacy, and to listen and learn from current staff, families, and young people as I begin. I have great respect for Jose and for everything he has built, and am excited to celebrate and elevate ACT in the years to come.
I have worked in education for most of my life: it is in my blood. My mother is a dance teacher, my aunt teaches theatre, my cousin teaches music – and I have always been committed to and inspired by work with young people. In my own career, I have largely served as an educator and educational leader, spending the past 13 years working in NYC schools, public and public charter, in a variety of roles. Beginning as an English Teacher at Banana Kelly High School in the South Bronx where I looped with my students for three years, I moved into Literacy Coaching and Educational Consulting at Teaching Matters before serving as an Instructional Specialist for the New Visions network. I then had the honor of helping to found a brand new charter school, Equality, in the Castle Hill neighborhood of the Bronx before moving to manage Literacy at the network level for 5,000 young people at Ascend Public Charter Schools in Brooklyn. Additionally, I had the pleasure of serving as a summer camp counselor during my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied Elementary Education. I continued studying education at the Graduate Level, obtaining my Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and my doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University (and I received my hood right here at the Cathedral)!
I am excited to employ all of these skills in service of the young people at ACT. I look forward to continuing to learn from Jose from now through his retirement at the end of March, and I look forward to opportunities to listen to you: please contact me if you’d like to share your thoughts, ideas, or experiences at ACT, it would be my pleasure to meet you!
José V. Torres, Executive Director and Day Camp Director: Retiring 3/28/18
José Vicente Torres received his Masters
in Social Work from Columbia University after
teaching in elementary school. Mr. Torres is the
chief executive for A.C.T. Programs. In addition
to year-round responsibilities for all A.C.T.
Program operations, Mr. Torres is the Summer Camp
Director who has had the pleasure of sharing his
work experiences with his own wife and children
on the beautiful setting of the Cathedral since
1981. Formerly a teacher, Mr. Torres created and
developed all A.C.T. Program activities since
1981 that include its preschool components, expanded
summer camp program, Divine Parties
and Holiday Vacation camp.
Marie Del Tejo, Director
of Programs, August Camp Coordinator, Nursery
Ms. Marie Del Tejo has worked in the educational
field for two decades. She holds Bachelor of Arts
and Master of Science in Education from Hunter
College. She also attended Columbia University Middle Management program for Youth Services.
Marie has worked in the A.C.T. Programs since
the summer of 1990. She is the Director of Programs,
responsible for the day-to day operations of all programs
activities. Marie also teaches Parent-Toddler
classes and oversees the August Camp Program.
all part-time staff assistants and aids are not
Mrs. Nancy L. Torres
has a Masters in Education from New York University.
Mrs. Torres has 30 years of teaching experience
in private and public schools. She is currently
retired, having taught in all elementary school
grades, most recently at Hunter College Elementary
School. She is certified in Gifted Education.
She is currently serving as an adjunct professor
for Hunter College School of Education and is
a consultant for several nonprofit organizations
including A.C.T. She coordinates all day camp
theme activities and supervises specialists who
offer expert instruction in their fields.
Barbara Ciner, Preschool Head Teacher
Barbara Ciner has worked in the educational field
for over a decade. She received her a Master's
degree in English Education from New York University,
and reading certification from Hunter College.
Ms. Ciner, who has permanent certification in
early childhood through grade 8, is in her third
year as Head Preschool Teacher at our A.C.T. Program.
She implements lesson plans and oversees preparation
of all materials related to curriculum development.
Ms. Ciner also mentors classroom assistants and
Ann Shepherd, Nursery
Head Teacher, Parent-Toddler Instructor
Ann Shepherd, better known as Ms. Ann to our Nursery
school children, has been teaching for almost
two decades. A graduate of Wells College, with
studies in English Literature, Ms. Ann has experience
in a wide range of settings with children between
the ages of three and eight years old. She has
worked in Head Start and in full and parttime
programs at the YMCA Coop Nursery. Before becoming
a lead teacher, she did a student internship at
P.S. 234, tutored children at the Northside Center
of Child Development and worked as a volunteer
at The Lenox School and the Mabel Barrett Fitzgerald
Day Care Center.
Orissa Woods, Assistant
Preschool Teacher, School-Age Program Coordinator
Orissa Woods has nine years experience as an early
childhood education teacher. In 2003, she established
Unity Group Family Daycare Services and administered
the entire operation while maintaining a healthy
educational environment. During the year, Ms.
Woods serves as A.C.T.'s Preschool Assistant Teacher,
is a program specialist in the Afterschool Program
and, in the summer, is an Assistant Teacher
in the Summer Camp MiniACT Program. She is
completing an Associate's degree in Information
Technology at Monroe College.