Tony Simmons is the Executive Director of High School for Recording Arts (HSRA), an independent public charter school and Studio 4 Enterprises, an educational services and management company.
While working with numerous national recording artists and record companies as an entertainment lawyer, Tony met David “TC” Ellis and assisted him in the formation of Studio 4/High School for Recording Arts. During that time, he co-founded Another Level Records, the first national student-operated record label. In addition to his duties overseeing the day to day program at HSRA, Tony continues to work with students in exploring the Business of Music and mentoring those involved in Another Level Records, as well as overseeing the student-operated commercial radio and live video show entitled studio4allaccess, which airs every Friday evening on KMOJ 89.9FM Minneapolis/St. Paul and is podcasted through iTunes.
Tony has served as board member to such leading national school reform organizations as Edvisions, Inc. and Reaching At Promise Students Association (RAPSA). His association with RAPSA lead to his contribution to the report, “Seizing The Moment: Realizing the Promise of Student-Centered Learning.” He was also a part of the working group that lead to the National Association of Charter School Authorizer report entitled “Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools,” and has provided technical assistance to and been a member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options.
Tony has served as a member of the Saint Paul School District Quality Review Team and as a peer reviewer for those applying to the Minnesota Department of Education for Federal Charter School Program grants. He is a former board member of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools. He accompanied the former Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota on a trade mission trip to China as the public education representative. Tony has spoken or presented at numerous conferences including the Oxford Roundtable, Oxford University (Designing Leadership and Practices for the Future of Public Education), University of Illinois at Springfield (In The Mix: Cross Dialogues Regarding Hip Hop Culture), Minnesota State University at Mankato (Juvenile Delinquency and the Studio Model) and Big Picture Learning 2015 Leadership Conference (Vision + Action For Equity), Deeper Learning 2016—Hewlett Foundation and at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Tony attended Howard University and Pace University where he earned a BA in Political Studies. He also graduated from Rutgers University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate. Tony is a native New Yorker who enjoys live music, reading and traveling with his family.