Election Q&A: Teresi runs for school board

Gabriella Di Lalla, Staff Writer

To prepare for the upcoming Nov. 2 election, The Paw Print’s Gabriella Di Lalla conducted email interviews with the seven candidates running for three positions on the Mayfield City Schools Board of Education. The Paw Print has not taken a position in the election and has not endorsed a candidate.

The story below reflects the interview that took place between Gabriella and James Teresi.

Gabriella: Why are you running for the Board of Education? If elected, what will be your priorities?

Mr. Teresi: I have been on the board for eight years, and it has been a very fulfilling experience to see what has transpired in the last eight years…the Innovation Center, STEM, laptops for all students, the renovation of the middle school, etc.  I am blessed to say I was a part of the progress.  My priorities would be to make sure we continue our motto of “every student, every day.” Beyond our academic education, I want to be a part of the support of the next generation’s growth and strength to develop the next strong society.

Gabriella: Is there a particular issue that motivates you to serve on the Board of Education?

James Teresi: What really motivates me to serve is that it is not about me or my goals.  It is about the opportunities that are available to the students.  I look at the middle school and the renovations that took place and how that small part has changed the way the students learn – how students can bond, hang out in The Grove, and still get a great education.

Gabriella: What particular experiences or skills have prepared you to serve as a board member?

Mr. Teresi: I was fortunate as a young man to attend Shaker High School.  When I had children, I moved to Mayfield Heights because my research told me Mayfield Schools were far more advanced than other east suburban systems.  My two daughters attended Mayfield Schools.  I was impressed from the first day.  I admired what the superintendents of the past were striving to accomplish.  I wanted to be part of the system!  I began by volunteering.  I had coached baseball and football at parochial schools for many years but decided to come over to Mayfield and to become actively involved.  I began coaching with Byron Morgan and moved on to Mr. Pinto during those years.  I formed great relationships with the coaches and of course with the student-athletes.  When you are involved in sports you learn that sports will teach students a great deal (i.e. teamwork, responsibility, sportsmanship) – it develops solid citizens.  I was impressed then and as the years have moved forward, I became more impressed with the students, the faculty, and the entire mindset of the school system.

Gabriella: What issues do you believe our district needs to address in its academic program and offerings? What changes would you recommend?

Mr. Teresi: I cannot specifically say there are issues that may need addressing.  What I would say is that every issue that is addressed by the board is for the well-being of the student.  As a board member, the decisions that are made are not about me or the other board members.  The decisions will always pertain to what is best for the student body.  Sitting on the board has its challenges.  Our decisions do not please everyone, but our decisions are factually based on what is best for the students and how that decision will affect the student and the faculty.  My belief is that many things in life can be replaced (i.e. your car, your money, your books), but a child’s life is irreplaceable.  It is our job to give you the best education in your years at Mayfield.

Gabriella: What differentiates you from the other candidates and/or board members?

Mr. Teresi: I believe my years of involvement with the school system and the students will differentiate me from other candidates.  I am not involved in a popularity contest with other candidates. I do not have underlying issues with the superintendent or faculty. The fact that my children have graduated will demonstrate that I am running for the right reasons and not running for my seat just to crash, trash, or burn the progress we have made.