The Communicator

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The Communicator

Connection Story: Marci & Tobin

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.
Daniel Ging


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 house- hold.

Tobin is the youngest of three kids. And Marci believes the influ- ence his two older sisters, Marina and Nadia, have had on him is sig- nificant.

“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 po- sition 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 com- petitive) 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 ac- knowledge 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 some- body he’ll hang out with them, he doesn’t care if someone else thinks they’re not cool, none of that fazes

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 connec- tions to Tobin’s life, because in turn it allows the pair to have a stronger connection with each other.

Daniel Ging

Marci and Tobin’s relationship has always been grounded in reali- ty but enhanced by the goofy, and playful situations they always seem

to find themselves in. At the 2023 Community High School graduation, Marci, Dean Rebecca and Dr. Swift (the super- intendent of Ann Arbor public schools) were all on stage along with the counselors, waiting to do their opening speeches. Tobin however, had been on the other side of the au- ditorium 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 him- self, his mom and Dr. Swift, an un- spoken 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 be- tween 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 togeth- er,” Marci said. “I appreciate him, but we’re also very real with each other.”


Although Marci Tuzinsky’s job as dean requires her to hold a firmer hand during school hours, she’s the “chill” par- ent at home according to her young- est, Tobin. Laid-back and always willing to have a gaggle of teenagers over, Tobin’s boisterous friends re- mind 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 Mar- ci, 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 teach- ers and friends or an inside look at his grades, working and learning in the same environment for three con- secutive years has brought the pair even closer than before; they’re able to help each other with school-relat- ed 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 any- thing, 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 spend- ing so much time together. A com- petitive hockey player, Tobin plans to billet, or take part in a hockey custom where high school gradu- ates 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 com- muting 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 steadi- ly instrumental in helping Tobin navigate the stress of making signifi- cant life decisions.

“She’s a very patient person, which annoys me sometimes,” To- bin said. “But she’s helping me fig- ure 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.

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About the Contributors
Claire Lewis
Claire Lewis, Journalist
Claire Lewis is a junior at CHS, who's in her 4th semester on staff. She loves writing, both in class and out. She likes spending time in the sun, whether that's laying in her hammock alone, or going on walks with friends. When she's not getting sunburnt she frequently crochets, reads, watches movies, and listens to music.
Lucia Page Sander
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.

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