Letter: Tony Mazzocchi—Experience We Need for Our Children’s Future

To the Editors:

Anthony Mazzocchi (credit Rob Davidson)

I have been extremely fortunate to get to know Tony Mazzocchi. By hearing of his hopes and dreams not just for his own children, but for ALL children, what I have discovered is he is motivated beyond politics and power. He cares. He’s passionate. And unlike other candidates, he has a deep background in education. Knowing these things makes me confident he can be a leader and a voice for our kids.

So what does Tony stand for?

1) Innovation – Seeking out new and innovative solutions to the issues we face in our schools is something I have heard him say over and over. He believes that we can achieve a lot through easy fixes, like scheduling and creative programing. But easy fixes are not enough. Tony also believes that, in order to truly prepare our kids for the future, we need to pioneer a school climate, curriculum, and policy that can build a school system that prepares kids for a real future, not just a test.

2) Creativity – Yes, Tony is an Arts and Music guy. But he and I have also spoken in depth about how music and the arts are directly connected to STEM learning. By creating a well-balanced curriculum that encourages and rewards creativity, we are also developing well-rounded kids — the kids who will discover cures, lead movements, and build the next great machines and buildings. Tony doesn’t just love the arts and music in isolation, he loves what doors these subjects open for our kids and their futures.

3) Equity for ALL – The data recently released by SOMSD exposes the stark divides in our schools that many of us, especially Tony, always knew existed. From his time as a teacher in Brooklyn, to an administrator with SOMSD, to the Assistant Dean at a prominent university today, Tony cares that ALL kids have access to the resources, programming and curricula that allows them to choose their path. He looks at kids and sees possibilities, not deficits.

4) Experience and Leadership – We need educators and administrators on our board who can partner with, but also challenge, the future superintendent. We need leaders who are willing to question the way we currently value education, which places children in standardized paths. We need leaders who view schooling not just as a route to college, but rather as a path to building the future that our children will create. Tony is that leader.

On November 7, I will vote for Tony Mazzocchi for BOE and for ALL of our children’s futures; I hope you will join me.

Nureed Saeed

South Orange, NJ

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