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Board of Trustees

Bridge Preparatory Charter School’s Board of Trustees provides oversight and support to ensure the success of the organization in achieving our mission and remaining committed to our charter. Board of Trustees meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Law and members of the public are welcome to attend!

The Board of Trustees meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning at 7 p.m. Meetings for the 2021-2022 school year will be held virtually in accordance with Open Meetings Law

Information on how to access Board of Trustees meetings can be found on our BoardOnTrack page by clicking here.

NOTE: Updated Details for the June 15th BOT Meeting are as follows: 


  • Bridge Preparatory Charter School, 715 Ocean Terrace (Building A- Atrium), Staten Island, NY 10301
  • Zoom Video: 
  • Meeting ID: 857 2623 6693
  • PasscodeL nvgu2s

Additional Locations to Join by Video Conference

  • 2742 Hiltop Loop, Apopka, FL 32712
  • 11 Oakridge Pl, Eastchester, NY 10709

The Board of Trustees operates efficiently and effectively through four standing committees (Executive, Academic, Governance and Finance) which report at each month’s full Board meetings. Committee meetings are open to the public and can be accessed by virtually by calling: (701) 802-5114 and using the Passcode: 5094595# . Meetings for the 2021-2022 school year are being held on the following schedule:

Executive Committee: 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:45 a.m.

Finance Committee: 2nd Monday of each month at 4:30 p.m.

Academic Committee: 2nd Wednesday of each month at 9:15 a.m.

Governance Committee: 1st Thursday of each month at 8 a.m.

Agendas and minutes from both calendar and committee meetings can be found on our BoardOnTrack page, by clicking here.


Maria Casale

Job Title: Founder & Owner – Leap Tutoring Academy Corporation

Maria is the Founder and CEO of LEAP Tutoring Academy, which works with children who are dyslexic or struggle with literacy. LEAP has locations both on Staten Island and in Manhattan. Maria has deep and relevant experience in education and literacy, and is certified in Orton-Gillingham, AOGPE, and Lindamood-Bell. She has permanent certification in New York State as a Reading Specialist and working with children with varying academic needs. Maria is a Staten Islander that has worked as a teacher, reading specialist, Assistant Principal and Director of Intervention Services for the NYCDOE.

Mark Harmon Vaught

Job Title: Director of the Office of the President - Wagner College

Mark serves as Director of the Office of the President at Wagner College where he facilitates presidential external relations, communications, fundraising, and strategic initiatives and leads college partnerships. Mark previously served as Special Assistant to the President at KIPP NYC, a network of 18 high-achieving public charter schools, where he managed and supported network growth projects, board engagement, compliance, and operations. Mark’s board service embraces his lifelong professional and personal commitment to ensuring all students have access to high-quality early education.

Rose Kerr

Job Title: Founding Board Chair

Rose is one of Bridge Prep’s co-founders, along with Laura and Tim, and currently serves as the Director of Education for Staten Island Borough President. Rose has a proven track record in new school development and is the Founding Principal of the Staten Island School for Civic Leadership (SISCL). She has also served as an Assistant Principal and classroom teacher throughout her decades in the New York City school system. A Staten Islander, Rose won the Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters for her innovative Triad teaching model at SISCL, and was a featured speaker on “How to Create Effective Schools” hosted by world-renowned educator and author Harry K. Wong.

Geena Kuriakose

Job Title: Director of Training - Brooklyn Learning Center

Dr. Geena Kuriakose is the Director of Training at the Brooklyn Learning Center where she is in charge of the neuropsychological training of post-doctoral fellows, interns, externs, and practicum students. Geena is a practicing NYS licensed psychologist with over 15 years of experience in the field. She is trained in assessing children for learning, developmental, and psychological disorders and in treating/remediating these disorders. Geena has a BA in Psychology, an MS in Therapeutic Interventions, and a Ph.D. in School  Psychology. Geena is a life-long Staten Islander with close ties to this community.

Frank Santarpia

Job Title: Senior Advisor – Office of the Staten Island Borough President

Frank had been an entrepreneur and real estate investor for four decades before deciding to devote himself to public service in 2009. As CEO and COO for a number of companies in a variety of industries, Frank has many years of financial experience to assist his Bridge Prep committee. He is a Staten Islander for more the 35 years, and through his continuing work as Senior Advisor to Staten Island Borough President, Frank has a thorough knowledge of city government and its various agencies.

Laura Timoney

Job Title: Deputy Director of Education – Office of The Staten Island Borough President

Laura is one of Bridge Prep’s co-founders, along with Rose and Tim. She currently serves as the Deputy Director of Education for Staten Island Borough President and is a former member of Community Education Council 31, where she chaired the special education committee. Laura is a Staten Islander with a deep knowledge of the public school system and special education, having been a parent and student advocate for many years. Laura is also an executive search consultant at Viacom, where she has worked for the past 10 years and has over twenty years of experience in recruiting talent for major corporations.

Azalia Volpe

Job Title: President - Bridge Prep Family Association

Azalia is the founding President of the Bridge Prep Family Association and is a mother to two neurodiverse children, a son with ADHD and Autism and a daughter with ADHD and Dyslexia who attends Bridge Preparatory Charter School. Azalia is an attorney and currently works as an Administrative Law Judge for New York State. She is also an elected member of the Citywide Council on Special Education and serves as a Co-Troop Leader for Girl Scout Troop 5115. Azalia has a BA from Syracuse University and a JD from CUNY School of Law.

Laurel Wedinger-Gyimesi

Job Title: Partner – Barry, McTiernan & Wedinger, P.C.

Laurel currently serves as a managing partner at the law firm Barry, McTiernan & Wedinger and is a former member of Community Education Council 31 and trial attorney. She is a mediator and advocate with in-depth knowledge of the special education process and how effective schools operate. Laurel is a Staten Islander and advises the Board on legal matters.

George Winn

Job Title: Founder – The Winn Group

George is the Founder of The Winn Group, LLC and provides business development and relationship management in global financial services, healthcare and education. Prior to founding his firm, George was the acting CFO/COO for Lavelle Prep Charter School from start-up through the first year of operation. George has also worked at Equinox Capital Management, Nordea Investment Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. George has a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University and a MBA from Boston University Questrom School of Business.