President & CEO
Mr. Tedesco has been a champion for children and a proven public sector leader within complex organizations for over a decade. He has served as a Director of Program Services for a national educational foundation, a Director of Development with major universities and regional non-profits, a City Manager, and Chief Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Throughout his career he has directly helped tens of thousands of at-risk children. During his tenure with Big Brothers Big Sisters he helped expand School-Based Mentoring programs and is credited with establishing state partnerships to launch the North Carolina Mentoring Children of Prisoners Initiative.
John Tedesco is a passionate advocate for educational reform. In 2009, Mr. Tedesco was elected to the Wake County Board of Education. The Wake Board leads the largest school system in North Carolina and the 17th largest in America with 147,000 students, 165 schools, 18,000 employees and a $1.5 billion budget. As Vice Chair of the board and Chair of several key committees he has been a direct force for student achievement personally pushing advanced rigor, new data systems, increased participation in advanced mathematics for all students, expansion of themed academies for STEM and Global Studies, and the creation of both the Economically Disadvantaged Student Performance Task Force and 4 Renaissance Schools for historically low-performance.
John grew up in the Pittsburgh area and was the oldest of six. There he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science concentrating on Public Administration at Thiel College in Greenville, PA. John is a proud resident of Garner where he attends Victory Fellowship Church with his family. John has received numerous community accolades and served on various boards impacting positive community change and scholarship. In 2004 he was presented with the Rotarian award for “Service Above Self”, and in 2008 Mr. Tedesco was named a Goodmon Fellow by Leadership Triangle.
Note from the Board regarding the selection of Mr. Tedesco
We proudly welcome John Tedesco to lead our efforts at North Carolina Center for Education Reform; a non-partisan not-for-profit organization committed to strengthening public education and producing measurable results for all students in North Carolina. In the spring of 2011 The Center sought out a new president & CEO. Mr. Tedesco was seen as the experienced leader capable of driving our vision to success. His expertise and passion in education, non-profit management and development will serve as a spark to create a powerful transformation of education in North Carolina. The Center is committed to being a catalyst to empower, innovate, and transform education on behalf of the children of North Carolina. Mr. Tedesco has been described by reporters as one who has “done his homework” and stands as a “transformative force” - we at North Carolina Center for Education Reform most certainly agree and are honored to welcome him.
Faruk Okcetin, Chairman
Brent Atwood, Treasurer
Dr. Crystal Chambers
A.L. Buddy Collins
Dr. Anthony Higgs
Debra Mills, Secretary
John Tedesco, ex-officio - President & CEO