Connection: Marci Tuzinsky and Tobin Tuzinsky

Connection: Marci Tuzinsky and Tobin Tuzinsky

A tight-knit mother-son pair, Tobin and Marci’s relationship leans on humor and honesty. Throughout their relationship, they have navigated the balance between competitiveness and sentimentality.
Tobin Tuzinsky
Tobin Tuzinsky

Although Marci Tuzinsky’s job as dean requires her to hold a firmer hand during school hours, she’s the “chill” parent at home according to her youngest, Tobin. Laid-back and always willing to have a gaggle of teenagers over, Tobin’s boisterous friends remind Marci of her days as a CHS forum leader. 


“She’s just like the fun mom when everybody’s over,” Tobin said. “But my friends still call her Dean Marci, because they can’t get used to anything else. And when people are talking about school though at my house, she kind of removes herself.”


As a result of being together at CHS every weekday, Tobin’s mom has an inside perspective on his high school experience in a way that most other parents don’t. Between having personal connections with his teachers and friends or an inside look at his grades, working and learning in the same environment for three consecutive years has brought the pair even closer than before; they’re able to help each other with school-related things and joke about them too as mother and son, not as dean and student.


Beyond school, Tobin’s mom is one of the most influential figures in his life and is the one who puts things into perspective when he’s stressed and overthinking.


“She’s the person who is always really patient and she just takes time to sit down with me,” Tobin said. “She helps me with literally anything, it could be hockey or school or my mental health. Whatever it is, she’s just there.” 


Next year though, chances are Marci and Tobin won’t be spending so much time together. A competitive hockey player, Tobin plans to billet, or take part in a hockey custom where high school graduates spend a gap year (or a few) out of state playing “junior” hockey in order to prepare for the physicality of college hockey. Players who billet stay with a host family near where their team plays rather than commuting to faraway places. Although he’d like to stay close to home and play for a team in the region, Tobin may end up hundreds of miles away from his home and family. 


Throughout this process – just like the rest of Tobin’s life – Marci has been his rock. She’s been steadily instrumental in helping Tobin navigate the stress of making significant life decisions. 


“She’s a very patient person, which annoys me sometimes,” Tobin said. “But she’s helping me figure all this out. She also said that no matter where I’m playing she’ll still take some time to come out and watch some of our games. So she’ll come see me and I’ll come back and see her, but I really don’t want to be too far from Ann Arbor and my family.”


In the end – wherever Tobin ends up – Marci will support him, and when he visits, she’ll be glad to have her son home.

Marci Tuzinsky
Marci Tuzinsky

In order to understand the connection between Marci Tuzinsky and her son Tobin, first you have to have an understanding of the family dynamic within their household. 


Tobin is the youngest of three kids. And Marci believes the influence his two older sisters, Marina and Nadia, have had on him is significant.


“I think that [his sisters] influence who he is, which then has an impact on the types of relationships and connections he’s allowed himself to have with anybody,” Marci said.


Marci’s kids have all grown up with her at Community High School. She was pregnant with all three of them as a teacher and by bringing them through the halls, they became familiar with her life both at home and at school. But when Marci took on the dean position in 2014, her job became more demanding. Whether it’s staying late at school, or taking phone calls at home, it became more important than ever for Marci to find moments to sustain her family relationships. 


She’s always finding ways for their family to spend time together. Whether it’s a friendly (highly competitive) game of cards, hanging out outside, or the simple act of driving to and from extracurriculars, she prioritizes creating connections. 


The Tuzinskys are a competitive bunch, and much of the time they spend together reflects that. But even though they’re a playful family who pick on each other, they also acknowledge the fact that they all have a different amount of flack they can take. That empathy towards Tobin has been reflected towards the rest of the world and is something that Marci has always admired in him. 


“Tobin has never really cared a whole lot about what other people thought of him,” Marci said. “If he has an interest he shares with somebody he’ll hang out with them — he doesn’t care if someone else thinks he’s not cool, none of that fazes him.” 


Marci likes to learn more about Tobin through the eyes of people he spends time with. She loves when he invites his friends over and when she can interact with teens. When she was a kid, Marci’s house was always full of people and she likes having a piece of that in her house now too. Marci enjoys having these connections to Tobin’s life, because in turn it allows the pair to have a stronger connection with each other. 


Marci and Tobin’s relationship has always been grounded in reality but enhanced by the goofy, playful situations they always seem to find themselves in. 


At the 2023 Community High School graduation, Marci, Dean Rebecca and Superintendent Dr. Swift were all on stage along with the counselors, waiting to do their opening speeches. Tobin however, had been on the other side of the auditorium ushering people in. Before the ceremony started, Marci had told Tobin that he could come down to sit next to her after her speech. Dr. Swift sat at the end with Marci right next to her, so as Tobin walked down the rows to meet his mom, he was met by no open spots beside her. But as Tobin looked between himself, his mom and Dr. Swift, an unspoken agreement was met and Dr. Swift moved over. Marci shook her head in disbelief. 


But the situation only escalated as Tobin reached down into Dr. Swift’s purse, thinking it was his mom’s and took out a piece of gum. 


Ultimately, the relationship between Marci and Tobin has always been a balancing act, but it’s one that has worked for the two of them.


“My connection with Tobin has always been that we have fun together,” Marci said. “I appreciate him but we’re also very real with each other.” 


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About the Contributors
Lucia Page Sander, Social Media Editor-in-Chief
This is Lucia's fourth semester on staff and her first as a Social Media Editor-in-Chief. When she's not playing soccer for the Michigan Jaguars or competing for Lily Weightlifting, you can find her in the garden, watching tennis with her family, or jumping on her mini trampoline. Lucia loves surfing, doing the Wordle, climbing trees, and munching on cherry tomatoes. She is beyond excited to see what this year brings both inside and outside room 300.
Clara Freeth, Social Media Editor-in-Chief
Clara Freeth is a junior at CHS. This is her second year in journalism and her first as a Social Media Editor-In-Chief. When not writing, she can be found playing field hockey as captain of the Ann Arbor Huron varsity team, listening to music in her room, or spending time outside with her friends. Clara is excited about all that this year has to offer!

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