Tedesco leaving job to focus on Wake school board

Posted April 2, 2010
Updated April 3, 2010

— Wake County Board of Education member John Tedesco announced Friday that he is resigning as chief development officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle so he can "commit full time" to his role on the school board.

"While my heart is with the mission of this incredible organization, today our broader community stands at a crossroads," he wrote in a news release to "friends, media (and) interested parties."

Extended interview: John Tedesco Extended interview: John Tedesco

"I believe in times of challenge leaders need to make sacrifices to serve a greater public good," he added.

"I don't think people understand school board roles. They are essentially almost volunteer gigs,” Tedesco said.

Tedesco said his work for the board pays about $11,000 a year. It will not replace the salary he was making at Big Brothers Big Sisters, although he declined to say how much that was.

Tedesco said he’ll support himself on savings for a few months while he chairs the school board’s Student Assignment and Economically Disadvantaged Taskforce committees.

Tedesco has been the point man for the board’s push to change how students are assigned to schools across the county. He wrote the resolution for an assignment model in which students go to schools within a certain community zone.

The board will spend up to 15 months crafting an alternative to the decade-old assignment method which bused students across the district to help achieve socio-economic diversity, allowing no school more than 40 percent of students receiving free- or reduced-price lunches.

Tedesco said he wants to devote more time to that work, noting he has been putting in 20-30 hours in addition to his full-time job.

“Short of losing some sleep and personal time, I don’t think I’ve paid a price” for the opportunity to serve the community, Tedesco said.

“I wanted to make a bigger commitment to our community and our kids,” he said of his decision.

“My efforts to help … a couple of thousand kids (through Big Brothers Big Sisters) was very important to me,” he said. “But my efforts to make sure we do right by over 140,000 kids right now, it critical at this time.”


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  • CherryDarling Apr 6, 2010

    Oh, please... he is trying to turn his 15 minutes of local fame into something bigger for himself later on. He is not as interested in being a "public servant" as you think...

  • superman Apr 5, 2010

    Garner is a roll. The Slim Jim plant moved, the EMS is closing down, the CC are probably going to close the library, someone stole money from the fire department. And then the people voted this guy on the school board. They probably told him that you can either quit or we will terminate. Personnel is confidential and I am sure they not going to come out and say what the real situation is or was.

  • Just In Time Apr 5, 2010

    This guy is a piece of work. It appears as though he was an underachiever all his life and needs to redeem himself to justify his existance. Why did he try to "FIX" the school system in Pennsylvania where he was raised?

  • superman Apr 5, 2010

    Inquiring minds want to know--(1) why would he want to be on the school board with no kids (2) why would voters want him on the board with no kids (3) How can he afford to "quit" his job. His savings wont last long with no job. Me thinks that perhaps he speaks with a forked tongue. I do not believe the story about quiting his job and all that service to humanity junk. That doesnt pay the bills. I have some beach front property in Alaska for sale.

  • gnewsome1 Apr 5, 2010

    Sounds like an Art Pope/Larry Leake protege who loves the limelight and stirring controversy. Oh well, the people voted for him. Now they've got what they voted for. The public and especially the school system, would have been much better off had he quit the school board to focus on his "other" job. Poor boy?? What a weak leg to stand on.

  • ncguy Apr 2, 2010

    I don't think that is a good move.
    Commitment is one thing, paying your bills is another.

    unless there is another source of income? I hope not special intrest groups?

  • tamiya_stars Apr 2, 2010

    Luckily this guy has already shown he is smart enough not to let the spin machine make him into a bad guy for doing what the people of his district elected him to do, so WRAL and crew just keep on trying to work this guy over but it is not going to change a thing. If you didn't know his political point a view, he would be regarded as a hero for his work with BB BS.

  • geosol Apr 2, 2010

    Of course! The new political activist gig pays better! Just like Sister Sarah's.

  • Da Toy Maker Apr 2, 2010

    I personally admire him for dedicating himself to WCPS Board position. Does the Board position pay any money? Just curious.

    Just to be clear, I'm not a fan of the old or new board majority. Nor do I have any idea how to make the WCPS better. Just an average resident.

  • andy2 Apr 2, 2010

    This guy has a big stupid mouth. I am not sure why he would be qualified Super for the school system. Why start a rumor. It almost appears he only got elected to help push the agenda of the other idiots on the board. This guy does not know the first thing about education. By the way seeking other endeavors is clever way of saying I was canned.