Executive Office

Gerald L. Santilli
Gerald L. Santilli

Gerald Santilli, President of American Paradigm Schools, has a Master of Business Administration from LaSalle University, and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Rutgers University and Villanova University. A recognized leader in municipal and educational finance, he previously served as  partner with Santilli & Thomson, LLC, a financial consulting firm specializing in schools and other nonprofits. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Financial Services for the School District of Philadelphia.

In this capacity he was the district's chief financial officer and was responsible for accounting, budget, payroll, treasury operations, subsidies, auditing, grants, fiscal operations and all automated central financial systems. Before his tenure with the District, he was an administrator with the Bucks County Controller's office.

Mr. Santilli has always been active in community activities, including PTA president when his children were in elementary school, as treasurer, board of education member for his church and with various community organizations.

He is also known for his  work early in the charter school movement in Pennsylvania, having implemented the program for the School District of Philadelphia including the establishment of several Philadelphia charter schools. He served as the Board Treasurer for LEAP Academy University Charter School in Camden, NJ. Mr. Santilli is also the founder of First Philadelphia Preparatory and Tacony Academy Charter Schools.

 Richard Trzaska
Richard Trzaska
Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Richard Trzaska, Chief Executive Officer of American Paradigm Schools,  joined  the organization in February 2014. He has extensive experience as a public educator in both urban and suburban schools.  Mr. Trzaska taught in the Philadelphia School District for many years. He also held administrative positions in both Upper and Lower Merion School Districts.  His administrative successes int he Merion School Districts led him to eventually be named the new principal mentor in Lower Merion schools.

In 2000, Mr. Trzaska was appointed CEO of MAST Community Charter School. During his tenure and under his strong leadership, MAST was acknowledged as one of the highest achieving schools in PA. In 2007 Mr. Trzaska was invited to Washington, DC to receive the National Charter School of the Year Award.

He is a proud graduate of Frankford High School and a recipient of Frankford’s Pioneer Award for distinguished alumni. He received a full scholarship to Millersville University where he earned a BS in Industrial Arts Education. He holds a Master’s Degree from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in Educational Leadership. Mr. Trzaska has found his most professional satisfaction during the 32 years devoted to educating urban youth.

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