Get to know John

A public servant, widely recognized for his accomplishments in public sector leadership, John Tedesco currently serves as a member of the Wake County School Board; the largest school system in North Carolina, and the 16th largest in America. John was elected with nearly 77% of the vote to represent a district with over 100,000 people. Since that time he has served in various leadership posts including:

As a member of the Wake County Board of Education, Tedesco leads a system with 169 schools, a $1.4 billion budget, 150,000 children, and 18,000 employees. Tedesco and his colleagues successfully led the effort to reduce the Wake County Public School System budget by more than $100 million, while still protecting the students and all of the system's teachers. In addition, they launched one of the largest parental choice student assignment plans in the nation.

Tedesco has spent over a decade helping tens of thousands of children here and across America. The oldest of six siblings, he credits his Christian Faith and education as the keys to his rise from extreme poverty, and the foundation of his relentless drive. Following the death of his mother John moved to Garner to help raise his three youngest siblings who were in Garner middle and high school, and now attend Wake Tech Community College.

John is a dedicated family man. He, his wife Jennifer, and their son Gabriel, are proud residents of Garner where they attend Victory Fellowship Church. John earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration from Thiel College in Greenville, PA., just north of where he grew up in the Pittsburgh area.

His unique background and expertise on educational issues has earned him national recognition. Tedesco's views and aggressive challenge to the status quo have been highlighted on Fox News, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, The Economist, and CNN. His commitment is to ALL children, families, and tax-payers. He is frequently quoted stating, "Public education takes care of other people's children with other people's money and needs to stand accountable for both."

Tedesco serves as the President of The North Carolina Center for Education Reform a catalyst for positive transformation of schools across our state. He and his wife, Jennifer, are also small business owners with multiple ventures dealing with leadership and development consulting and retail distribution of organic baby products.

Along with his entrepreneurial efforts, Mr. Tedesco has had a distinguished career in the service of others. He most recently served as the Chief Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, where he is credited with developing the North Carolina Mentoring Children of Prisoners Initiative. Prior to that post he served as Director of Development for Harbor House in Central NJ, serving over 8,000 abused, abandoned, and/or homeless children annually.

Additionally, he served as Borough Administrator (City Manager) of Highlands, NJ, during the tragic events of 9/11 where his leadership supported the relief and recovery efforts of that day and the months that followed. Prior to his leadership in municipal government he served as Director of Annual Giving for Pace University in NYC, raising millions of dollars for student scholarships. Mr. Tedesco has received numerous community accolades and served on various boards. In 2008 he was named a Goodmon Fellow as a graduate of Leadership Triangle.