Teacher spotlight: Mr. Contaldi, Macroeconomics

From MMA to the classroom, Mr. Contaldi has seen it all!

Ryan Contaldi

Ryan Contaldi

Mr. Ryan Contaldi teaches Macroeconomics at Passaic Preparatory Academy. He has been teaching since 2005, and began at Prep in 2018. He also taught at PHS for 13 years and School No. 10 for two full days!

Mr. Contaldi has a great sense of humor and said he attended the “No. 1 ranked university in all of Middlesex County, N.J., Rutgers University.” During his years in college, he wrestled and stated, “You do not ‘participate’ or ‘play’ wrestling — it is way more important than that.” Mr. Contaldi was also a professional MMA fighter! Listen to the Prepping Passaic Podcast to hear him describe his experiences in the octagon.

He always encourages his students to work hard despite facing difficulties and hopes his students can overcome their challenges. The Boulevard Online asked Mr. Contaldi to answer a few questions so students can get to know him better.


The Boulevard Online: How long have you been teaching?

Mr. Contaldi: I have been teaching since 2005. But — as most teachers will admit — I was terrible for at least five years after that.


TBO: How long have you been teaching at Prep?

Mr. Contaldi: I have been at Prep since the beginning — 2018, because let’s face it, this place would not nearly be as good without me. Prior to that I was at PHS for 13 years and No. 10 School for two days (yes, two days).


TBO: What college did you attend?

Mr. Contaldi: I attended the No. 1 ranked university in all of Middlesex County, N.J., Rutgers University.


TBO: Did you participate in any sport?

Mr. Contaldi: I wrestled. You do not “participate” or “play” wrestling – it is way more important than that. You “play” other sports because they are corny. 


TBO: What was your answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” when you were younger?

Mr. Contaldi: I never had, and still do not have, an answer to that question. Once you have “grown up”– that gives you an excuse to settle. I have things to do.


TBO: Where did you grow up and what was it like?

Mr. Contaldi: I grew up in North Brunswick, New Jersey. It is like New Brunswick, but not as cool. I usually just say New Brunswick, because no one knows where North Brunswick is — but I did not want to lie to the entire Boulevard readership. It was awesome — I was there.


TBO: What have you learned through your teaching career?

Mr. Contaldi: I have learned to be more tolerant. That may seem like a false statement because I am still not exactly a patient person but I am getting better. I have also learned that people want essentially the same things — to be happy and be treated with respect. I do my best to help people with those goals. It is a work in progress. 


TBO: Any kids? 

Mr. Contaldi: I have two kids. They are awesome. They make teenagers easier to understand. 


TBO: Pets?

Mr. Contaldi: I do not have any pets although I think dogs are awesome.


TBO: Any advice that you want to give to students?

Mr. Contaldi: Work hard. There are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. Don’t waste any of them. Life is going to be full of difficulties. You are living through one of the most difficult times in the history of this country. This is a quote I stole from the great Henry Rollins: “Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.”


Thank you, Mr. Contaldi!