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A Message to Fellow Educators

Nick Antonucci, teacher

I need to clarify that I am not a politician. What I am is a life-long public servant and proud union member who dedicates his life to teaching. Educating students in our public schools and at Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) is rewarding, as is, serving as the Executive Director of Sachem Professional Development Inc. (SPDI), a non-profit professional development school for teachers. I LOVE being a teacher and spending my energy on education for myself and others. Running for Congress was NOT in my plans. So how did I get here?

I tell students that history is never written about people who sit on the sidelines and accept things as they are; it’s about those who get involved when they are no longer satisfied with the status quo. I am seeking a Congressional seat because our educational system and our children’s future should be a priority, and it’s not. I am seeking a seat in Congress because Washington ignores the voices of educators. Educators often receive and are required to carry out mandates that we had no say in determining. Mandates we know are inappropriate and are bound to fail and not address the real needs of our students. These problems we see in education did not just sneak up on us. From A Nation at Risk (Reagan) to No Child Left Behind (Bush) and Race to the Top (Obama), educators have watched curriculum get slashed, high stakes testing increase, funds re-directed to corporations, our jobs increase in frustration, and our students suffer. Career politicians keep getting elected, but these issues are not resolved or even improved for educators or students. I am running for Congress because the needs of education should not be ignored; it needs to be our nation’s priority. Our democratic republic can’t succeed without an educated and involved citizenry, and this is why I am asking for your help in bringing a voice of education to Congress.

Nick Antonucci, teacher

I’ve listened to working families, and they want a Congress that puts aside partisan bickering and gets to work on those issues – like education – that matter most for ALL Americans. I am running for Congress because there is nothing more important than preparing students for their future. The cutting-edge innovations we see today in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, autonomous technologies, advanced manufacturing, and genomics will be commonplace tomorrow. We must prepare students to embrace their future, and it’s our responsibility to make sure they have the skills to meet these challenges successfully – those in front of us and those just over the horizon. Shaping what the future of education should look like will not be easy, but this work must start now.

I am running for Congress because it’s clear that we need to change our federal education laws – those that call for mandated high stakes, standardized, annual testing for grades 3 through 8 that harm our children and undermine learning. We need everyone, parents, teachers, and administrators, to realize that the time has come for change. We cannot wait! Schools need to be a place where students see classrooms as curiosity shops and not test-prep workshops. Education should be about the process of gaining knowledge, nurturing critical thinking skills, and encouraging creativity. The tethering of educators and students to the yearly pressure of preparing for mandated tests obstructs this goal. I am running for Congress because our current federal education laws impede the power of education to transform lives and must change.

At the moment, our campaign is the unknown, underfunded underdog in this race. I am reaching out to teachers now to ask for your support, and I hope you’ll keep my campaign in mind as we move into the 2022 election season. If you agree with my stand on education, please jump off the sidelines and join our campaign. Any support you’re willing to provide – volunteering, donating, or helping to get our campaign issues out there by talking to others – is appreciated.

I continue to believe a small group of committed individuals can achieve dramatic change. If you’re passionate about education and our nation’s future, I hope you join our campaign. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 631.745.9964 if you have any questions or comments about our campaign.

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