Born and raised in Westerleigh, on Staten Island’s North Shore, Bridge Prep’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Tim Castanza comes from a proud family of Staten Island educators. Tim began his career in education in Philadelphia, where he served as a Special Education and English teacher, Varsity Basketball Coach and eventually Director of Special Education and Specialized Programming. He considers his time spent in the classroom as invaluable and irreplaceable, and where he developed a true passion for improving the academic trajectory of his students.
Tim believes that all teachers, of every subject, are teachers of literacy. During his time in Philadelphia, he was also responsible for implementing key structural changes, mindsets and strategies with members of his staff and for ensuring that students of varying abilities were having their individual needs met. Tim is an alum of the Teach for America program and was a staff member at Teach for America’s National Summer Institute, where he supported new teachers preparing to teach Special Education and English in cities across the United States.
Tim returned home to work with the New York City Department of Education, leading various teams responsible for evaluating access to high-quality schools, the demand for educational programming for at-risk students, and the assessment of space available for those services. Tim’s work enabled him to support the DOE in developing strategies to improve engagement and communication between the many communities across New York City. Tim was selected by the New York State Department of Education’s Office of Special Education to join a team tasked with developing guidance for districts to promote improved outcomes for students with learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.
Tim believes a caring, supportive, and inclusive school community is critical for the success of public education. He is committed to assuring Bridge Prep provides an educational experience where students, families, and staff feel valued, safe and respected.
Tim is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Sunset Hill and continues to find ways to remain an active member in the Staten Island community. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Staten Island Business Outreach Center (SIBOC) and is on the planning board of the annual Dyslexia Awareness Day in Albany. Tim can be spotted at events throughout the Staten Island community with his wife Kristen, son Jack, and their dogs Fletcher and Molly.