Yonkers Mayor Spano Appoints Two New Trustees to Yonkers Board of Education
YONKERS, NY – October 2, 2019 – Mayor Mike Spano today swore in Dr. Edward Fergus and Dr. John Castanaro as his newest appointments to the Yonkers Board of Education. As trustees of the Yonkers Board of Education, Fergus and Castanaro will join seven other members of the Board, which is the official policy making body of the School District. The new trustee appointments come as Edgar Santana vacates his seat and Pat Mondesando’s term expires. Their terms are effective immediately.
“As we work toward providing our students with the best education possible, I am proud to appoint Dr. Fergus and Dr. Castanaro to the Board of Education as they bring unique perspectives as lifelong learners and educators. There is no doubt their experiences and knowledge are valuable assets to our District and our students,” said Mayor Spano.
Dr. Edward Fergus is Associate Professor of Urban Education at Temple University. Edward is a former high school teacher, program evaluator and community school program director. Dr. Fergus’ current work is on the intersection of educational policy and outcomes with a specific focus on Black and Latino boys’ academic and social engagement outcomes, disproportionality in special education and suspensions, and school climate conditions. He has published more than three dozen articles, book chapters, evaluation reports, and five books. Dr. Fergus has worked with over 65 school districts since 2004 on educational equity and school reform, specifically addressing disproportionality in special education and suspension. Dr. Fergus partners with state education departments such as California (2010-2017), Maryland (2016 – present), and Texas (2012 – present) and serves on various boards such as NY State Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (2010-present), appointed in 2011 to the Yonkers Public Schools Board of Education (2011-2013), and is an expert consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on Educational Opportunities (2014-2016) and NAACP Legal Defense Fund (2018).
Dr. Fergus received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Education from Beloit College and a doctorate in Educational Policy and Social Foundations from the University of Michigan. Dr. Fergus has two children, one of whom attends Yonkers Middle High School.
Dr. Fergus commented, "I look forward to supporting the continued educational progress made under the leadership of Superintendent Quezada. This progress is encouraging continued attention to what quality education needs to look like for Yonkers' students."
Dr. John Castanaro joins the Board of Education serving as one of New York State’s top physicians in dentistry. With his own practice in Yonkers, Dr. Castanaro is also a member of Mayor Spano’s Health Advisory Board, which provides recommendations and information to residents for better health and well-being. Dr. Castanaro has been an educator in the medical field serving as a Biology Teacher’s Assistant at the University at Buffalo, has taught dental screenings for George Washington Medical Associates and currently serves as an Attending for the Mt. Sinai dental residency program. Dr. Castanaro also has given of his talents to nonprofit organizations, including Tampico Mexico Outreach, performing comprehensive dental exams, restorations and extractions for orphaned children. Dr. Castanaro has been awarded Top Doctor Award (2017, ’18, ’19), Leading Physicians of the World – International Association of Dentists (2015), Top Dentist New York State (2018) and Andrus Gala Honoree (2019). He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and his Masters in Biology from the University of Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Scranton.
Dr. Castanaro said, “I am honored and enthusiastic to join the other members of the Board of Education in their commitment to promote opportunity and equal access to all Yonkers students in their pursuit of academic excellence.”
“The Trustees and I welcome Dr. Fergus and Dr. Castanaro and look forward to their contributions to the important work of our dynamic diverse Board,” said Reverend Steve Lopez, Yonkers Board of Education President. “Both trustees bring valuable insight and significant experience, which will benefit our policy decisions and mission to provide the highest quality education for Yonkers children.
Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Superintendent of Schools added, “It is an honor to welcome Trustees Dr. Fergus and Dr. Castanaro. Their perspective and knowledge regarding teaching, learning, health services and community engagement will enhance our work in schools and central office. I appreciate Dr. Fergus’ words of support. Equity and access for all students is at the heart of my work for Yonkers Public Schools students, staff and families.”
Dr. Fergus will serve out the remainder of Santana’s term through April 2020 while Dr. Castanaro will serve a new five year term that runs through May 2024.