The Moments That Make Us: A Spotlight on Tony Cervo

Tony Cervo and Tom Tafoya go way back. From 2001-2006, Tony was a District Webmaster for the San Unified School District. During his time there, he was put on a Request for Proposal committee that was tasked with replacing the district financial system. There, he met fellow committee member Tom, and their working relationship began.

“During my time with Tony at SJUSD, he was known to be knowledgeable and capable, which is why I asked him to join me at Visions,” says Chief Operations Officer Tom Tafoya.

“A few years later, after Tom had moved to Visions, he called and asked if I wanted to come to Visions. He wanted a complete overhaul of the Visions website, and also needed someone to do IT support for both teachers and staff,” says Tony. “The San Juan IT Department was in a state of flux at the time, so I took the opportunity to move on. So, in June of 2006, I started working at Visions.”

Beginning as an IT Specialist, Tony was responsible for website support and updates and tech-related professional development for both teachers and staff. Then, in January of 2014, Tony moved to a Programmer position and has since been part of many initiatives, including helping train staff with the retooling and maintenance of our websites, integrating systems with The Wire, our websites and LPAD (including our ordering systems), and maintaining content for the Technology Services Department within The Wire.

“Through his many years at Visions, Tony developed a lot of skills not just in technology, but also in communicating with users and the look and feel of LPAD,” explains Michael Miller, Technology Services Manager. “He regularly handled recurring tasks that others weren’t even thinking of, and we could always count on him to give his honest opinion on plans, communications, documentation, and styling.”

“Over the years, I have appreciated (mostly) Tony’s willingness to share his thoughts and opinions,” says Tom. “His willingness to question our thinking created opportunities for us to develop better solutions for the school and our students.”

No Pun Intended

During his 18 years with Visions, Tony learned, grew, and became a core member of our amazing IT team. Their twice-daily check-ins and bi-weekly meetings were a reflection not only of their 1% better every day efforts, but of all the ways that their department continues to impact the organization.

“The IT team is great! We were very collaborative and bounced ideas off each other all the time,” says Tony. “[We] looked ahead to what we had coming up. All of [this] helped us to improve as we went along.”

For Tony, the best things about working at Visions were the people and the work-life balance, but his favorite thing?

“The teamwork and shared vision (no pun intended).”

The End of an Era

On June 5th, 2024, Tony showed up to Memorial Auditorium to close out his time with Visions in the biggest and best way possible – taking pictures at our graduation ceremonies. A prolific photographer, Tony has been assisting the Marketing team for the past few years, and has captured some of our students’ best moments.

“I had the honor of working with Tony on both graduation photography and countless IT projects. His photos always stood out and made our graduates look like the rockstars they are,” says Justina Janas, Marketing and Communications Analyst. “On the tech side, he was always quick to lend a helping hand and even showed me a few WordPress and coding tricks along the way. His contributions to Visions will be missed.”

Click to see some of Tony’s photos from our 2024 graduation ceremonies below!

Tony’s photography won’t stop there, however. His post-retirement plans include wine tasting, traveling (Tokyo in June!), and continuing his favorite side hustle – concert photography.

“In the past, I’ve shot the likes of Elton John, Lorde, Depeche Mode, Descendents, Ziggy Marley, The Avett Brothers, and more,” says Tony.

He also plans to spend his time hanging out with family, reading, and spoiling his cats.

Tony, thank you for all that you’ve done during your time at Visions. We wish you nothing but the best in all of your next adventures!

Fun Facts About Tony:

He was born in Stockton, CA and would often come to Sacramento on weekends to go to concerts or all-ages dance clubs (since he was still in high school).

He graduated from San Diego Sate University with a degree in Production and Operations Management.

He plays the drums (through not actively for a while… which he’s hoping to change now that he’s retired).

He’s written three letters to the editor of local newspapers (back when we had newspapers), and all three were published.

His favorite holiday is Halloween and he tends to go all out for his costumes.

He loves to cook! He makes dinner for the family almost every night.