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avatar for Tony Simmons

Tony Simmons

High School for Recording Arts | St. Paul, MN
Executive Director
United States of America

Tony Simmons is the Executive Director of High School for Recording Arts (HSRA), an independent public charter school, and Vice President of 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 Paisley Park recording artist David 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 programing and operations at HSRA and its replication, Tony works 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 show entitled studio4allaccess, which soon will be podcasted through iTunes.


Tony has served as board member and/or provided technical assistance to such leading national school reform organizations as Edvisions, Inc. and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. He was a member 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." He is also a former board member of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools and recently joined the boards of the national education reform groups, Reaching At Promise Students Association (RAPSA) and Education Evolving. He has spoken at numerous conferences including the Oxford Roundtable, Oxford University (Designing Leadership and Practices for the Future of Public Education), Harvard Graduate School of Education (Diversity and Innovative School Models); University of Illinois at Springfield (In The Mix: Cross Dialogues Regarding Hip Hop Culture), Stanford d.school and Deeper Learning Conference at High Tech High Graduate School of Education where Tony also serves as guest faculty. He was also part of the development team for Minnesota's first online project-based charter school, EdVisions Online Academy.


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 and enjoys all kinds of music, reading, and traveling with his daughter.