What a delight to welcome my long-time friend and chartering pioneer Anthony (Tony) Colón to Minnesota for several events highlighting National School Choice Week. Despite major snowstorms that clogged the roads, a room full of hardy Minnesotans showed up for an early breakfast near downtown Minneapolis to hear his message.
Tony is one of the nation’s most outspoken diversity advocates, and he has led chartering in the Hispanic community for years. He and I first met as founding board members of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He is a former teacher and principal, and an education reform advocate for over 30 years for both chartering and private school choice. He was vice president of the National Council of La Raza’s Center for Community Educational Excellence.
Tony is an authentic, passionate, respected educator who has an inspiring personal story of growing up in a family living in poverty. Despite family hardships, education was always a top priority. He is giving back now through his firm AJCC (Anthony J. Colón Consulting) by developing a new cadre of education reformers and helping existing educational organizations do a more effective job of educating low income, minority and underserved children. He also gives back in another way: once a friend, always a friend. It was wonderful to visit with him again.