Local News

Tedesco reflects on tenure on Wake school board

Posted August 15, 2013

Tedesco: 'I could have done a couple things differently'

When John Tedesco spoke at a recent Wake County school board meeting about his decision not to seek re-election, a school system staffer snickered, and muttered with no small hint of derision, “Mm-hmm.”

That verbal slip wasn’t accompanied by an eye roll, but that was probably only because he was on camera.

Meanwhile, on Tedesco’s public Facebook page, supporter Judy Hadley wrote enthusiastically after his announcement: “Thank you, John, for your dedicated service to Wake County schools and your dogged determination to get things right!”

Like him or not, it’s apparent that Tedesco, who announced in July that he will not be running for a second term in the District 2 seat, inspired strong feelings in people from all sides. And that was often done just by his presence on the board – which was passionate, but also prone to combativeness and overexposure.

During a recent interview with the Raleigh Public Record, Tedesco reflected upon his work, talked about what he would have done differently and what he considers the biggest accomplishment of his term.

In hindsight, Tedesco said, he realizes now that some of his actions could have used a softer approach.

In 2009, Tedesco was part of the Republican majority elected to the board that voted to do away with the decade-old income-based reassignment plan at its very first meeting. The move set off alarms within a number of communities, in particular the North Carolina NAACP.

“I had to learn to be more empathetic and understanding. We probably could’ve benefitted better in 2009 from doing it more slowly and deliberately,” Tedesco said.


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  • Ex-Republican Aug 15, 2013

    "Tedesco reflects? What? Who cares."

    Apparently you do enough to comment on the article.

  • InTheNo Aug 15, 2013

    Tedesco reflects? What? Who cares.

  • Ex-Republican Aug 15, 2013

    "John was a dreamer. He had and has nothing of significant value to contribute to anything. .... Now that takes a pretty big ego and imigination." ---- superman

    1. "has nothing of significant value to contribute" - Do you know John personally? What do you base this opinion on? Anyone who gives up their free time to serve on a board has lots to give.

    2. "Now that takes a pretty big ego" -Ironic coming from someone who has an online moniker of SUPERMAN.

  • superman Aug 15, 2013

    John was a dreamer. He had and has nothing of significant value to contribute to anything. I wouldnt trust him with last weeks lunch. He thought he was qualfied and could be elected State Supt of Public Instruction. Now that takes a pretty big ego and imigination.

  • districtcadvocate Aug 15, 2013

    I like John. I think he and his fellow Republican board members did not handle the power they had early on in 2010 therefore the good he/they wanted to accomplish had to compete with the poor boardmanship displayed and we all paid the price.

    What we can not forget though is that in 2008/9 there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the Board of Ed. 5 members either jumped ship or decided not to run in the 2009 election. John's election and run-off was Republican vs Republican and the run-off contender against John changed her mind almost daily.

    History will record that WCPSS had some serious problems that 'diversity' could not and will not solve. We all have some very painful lessons to learn yet we rather blame everyone except ourselves.

    John, good luck, I appreciate you taking the time and the personal attacks and setbacks you suffered trying to direct the school system from the vantage point of the less priviledged. I am certain you will make a lot money now and that's ok

  • babbleon1 Aug 15, 2013

    '"We probably could’ve benefitted better in 2009 from doing it more slowly and deliberately,” Tedesco said.'

    But that's not what the men who funded your campaign wanted. Art Pope and Bob Luddy (who owns the Thales private schools) will benefit if Wake Co public schools are seen as going downhill.

    That's what was behind your election, and the NCGA's vouchers, and the attempt to redistrict the school board elections. Margiotta was even on the Thales Board of Directors!

    People who are paying attention know what's behind the confusion you, Goldman, Margiotta and Malone sowed.

  • lost in translation Aug 15, 2013

    This guy was a my way or the highway type individual. The problems that exist today with our political system are rooted deeply in his approach to problem solving. This deep rooted approach is not conservative or liberal. It is not Republican or Democrat. It is based on not listening, speaking before thinking, and not understanding that your way doesn't necessarily work for others. McCrory and his cronies are part of that thinking and so isn't Barber with the NAACP. Gone are the Reagan-O'Neill compromises, gone are the Kennedy-Helms compromises. You can be far right or left but at the end of the day it is how you approach a problem and then solve it. Leadership has these qualities. We do not have leaders.

  • Conservative Aug 15, 2013

    "Tedesco may be missed by several but not many. He wanted everything his way no matter what it did to the schools or kids. "

    While the liberals complain about Tedesco for "his way or no way" approach how come they don't complain about Obama for the very same trait he displays!!!!!!!!!!

  • notkidding Aug 15, 2013

    "Tedesco's problem was that he was openly against the failed policy of Socio-Economic (race) based diversity busing.
    This brought out every liberal wacko to attack him."
    Spot on assessment !

  • THeelBrn Aug 15, 2013

    Overexposure? Compared to the moral Monday people, this guy was off the radar completely.