Farewell to Mr. Tassoni
By Alison Murr
Recently, it was announced that Northside would be losing one of their beloved counselors, Mr. Patrick Tassoni. Mr. Tassoni will be moving on to work at the American School of Dubai. I met with Mr. Tassoni to gain insight into his years here at Northside and what lessons he has learned that he will be taking with him to Dubai.
The American School of Dubai is an international American school, sponsored by the US State Department. Students come from all over the world to learn from either their American or British curriculum and Mr. Tassoni worked there during the 2013-14 school year.
When asked what his takeaways from his time here at Northside were, Mr. Tassoni talked about the lessons he had learned over his past 18 years as a college counselor for Northside students. When it comes to helping students decide where they should go to college, Mr. Tassoni learned that it is always best to put the student first. According to him, he observed that putting the student’s decision first always led to the best course of action in terms of education, even if it was not the most popular opinion. Mr. Tassoni also learned to be flexible, open minded, and patient. He realized that students change over time and that they need space in order to grow, and that by showing students that he, just like them, had imperfections, he found that students were able to show their hearts and be their most authentic selves.
Looking back, Mr. Tassoni mentioned many of the things that he would miss about our school. Along with missing the students, faculty, and staff, he listed off a few trends unique to Northside. “The Northside way” was his name for the way upperclassmen take care of the underclassmen. Ever since the first students came to Northside, Mr. Tassoni said that he has watched the upperclassmen model what learning, caring, and compassion looks like. Instead of ignoring or looking down on the underclassmen, the upperclassmen always take it upon themselves to become the role models for them. He also mentioned how Northsiders always appreciate the achievements of others, act humbly, and manage themselves both after school and for performances such as INight. Out of all of his memories from Northside, Mr. Tassoni said that the ones that were his favorite were the “real moments.” The real moments included times when students were their true selves, had the courage to be open and vulnerable, and would “show up and be seen.” Although we are sad to see such an important member of the Northside community leave, we, along with his students are thankful for all he has done for Northside. Anthony Ceballos (adv. 007) remembers Mr. Tassoni’s willingness to help, “I went to him more than a few times about things like scheduling, or advice on what to do with the summer. When it came to things like helping choose my classes, if I was right there in front of him he was more than willing to help and actually did give good advice on the ways I could spend my summer productively while still appealing to my interests.” We wish him the best of luck in Dubai.