Joey Balistreri is an educator and product of life-changing public school teachers. He’s not a politician nor partisan-politics insider. He and his husband live in the Jackson Park neighborhood with their two-year-old son, Liam.
Joey first came to Milwaukee in 2010 with his now-husband, Michael—a proud graduate of Rufus King High School. They met while both attending college in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Around the same time, Joey’s family disowned him for being gay, but luckily, the Balistreri family was there to welcome Joey with open arms. The rest is history—Milwaukee is home.
Joey Balistreri grew up in Virginia and attended public schools for his K-12 education. He was constantly guided, challenged, and pushed to be his best by dedicated public school teachers. It was in high school where Joey discovered his love for the arts. Joey attended George Mason University where he majored in violin performance. When Joey’s husband graduated from the United States Naval Academy, they were stationed in and relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. It was in Jacksonville where Joey began his teaching career as a Teach For America corps member. As a fifth grade math and science teacher, he worked to ensure all students were accepted for their true-self and able to achieve their best through high expectations.
After two years in Florida, and like most military families, the Balistreris relocated. This led Joey to Indianapolis where he stepped into the role of an Instructional Coach. While in Indy, Joey coached and managed a cohort of 25 teachers. In this capacity, Joey impacted over 1,000 students across Indianapolis Public Schools, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.
In 2015, Michael and Joey adopted their son, Liam, who was born with a rare physical disability. Having a son with special needs truly changed his perspective and passion for equal access for all children. Since becoming a parent, Joey has fought tirelessly to ensure Liam and other children with special needs receive the same opportunities as their peers.
After yet another military move, the Balistreris were finally able to move back home to Milwaukee—where Liam will attend the same elementary school as Michael, Milwaukee Spanish Immersion. As a former teacher, teacher coach, and parent of a special needs child, Joey has the passion and responsibility to make Milwaukee Public Schools the best option for all families.