Tedesco will not run for re-election to school board

July 18, 2013 8:01:59 PM PDT
Wake County School board member John Tedesco is announcing that he won't run for re-election this fall.

Known for being outspoken on the board, Tedesco it was hard for him to decide not to run again. He says with the job taking up to 30 hours a week on top of working full-time. He needs to break away to focus on his family.

"You're certainly never going to make everyone happy," said Tedesco. "It can be challenging, but my heart was there."

Tedesco reflected on his four years on the Wake County School Board Thursday. He seemed emotional when he talked about making the decision not to run for re-election.

"It was actually pretty hard," he said.

Tedesco says his young family and growing business need his attention now. He's proud of what he was able to bring to the table over the past four years.

"Today, graduation rates are up, efficiency rates are up, achievement gaps have narrowed," said Tedesco. "I was a strong vocal proponent of helping provide access to our low-income children to courses and opportunities."

Listing off his highlights, he even includes the trouble that circled the controversial school assignment plan.

"Thousand of parents getting upset as their children were consistently reassigned -- one school for second grade, another for third," he said. "In the last three years, we've seen the least amount of reassignments the district has seen in 20 years."

When Tedesco was elected in 2009, he was among the Republican majority. Now in 2013, Democrats now have that role. His leaving won't tip that scale, but he says the tides could turn come election time.

"We'll see what happens in 2016," he said.

When asked if that was a hint of a comeback for him, he would only say, "Wherever God may lead me."

Wake County School Board Chairman Keith Sutton weighed in on Tedesco's decision.

"I look forward to working throughout the remainder of his term to serve the children and families of Wake County," said Sutton in a statement. "I am sure that the decision to not continue his service on the board of education was not one that he and his family took lightly, and I admire his commitment to his family and his future as his main focus and priority right now."

Tedesco lost the election for State Superintendent of Public Instruction last fall.

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