Daily Commercial | By Caroline Gaspich | June 7, 2022
TAVARES — Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Tyler Brandeburg the Lake County School Board.
Brandeburg, a 29-year-old Commercial Insurance Advisor for Brown and Brown, fills the vacancy of left by the resignation of former board member Kristi Burns, Ph.D.
He will be representing District 2, which includes Beverly Shores Elementary, Carver Middle, Fruitland Park Elementary, Leesburg Elementary, Leesburg High, Oak Park Middle, Rimes Early Learning Center, Villages Elementary and Treadway Elementary.
Brandeburg, who was born and raised in Lake County and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida, had already filed to run for the open school board seat. He will serve the remainder of Burns’ term and run for election this year.
The Daily Commercial talked with Brandeburg about his new position, how he feels he will contribute to the board, and his hopes for the future of the school district.
How do you feel being appointed the newest school board member of Lake County?
It is a great honor and I am extremely humbled for the opportunity. I grew up in Lake County and attended Lake County public schools all the way from kindergarten to high school and it’s really cool to have the opportunity to come back and give back to the school system that has given so much to me and to represent three schools among others in District 2 that I attended myself. So it is a really humbling experience and I am really excited to get to work.
How do you feel you can benefit the school board?
I think that I bring a different perspective, a younger perspective in some cases, but also a business-minded background. I think it’s important with something like the school district to be able to see things from different angles and make sure the conversation is coming from all sides so we can make the most informed decisions that benefit the students, teachers, and our community. I think that if we just get to a situation where five people are up there with the same exact background and saying the same thing some things may fall through the cracks and we wouldn’t be doing the best that we can from that standpoint. So bringing a different perspective and looking at the financial budget side of things. The school board is the largest employer in the county and all the revenues and expenses that come from that — making sure we’re taking care of those things appropriately and being good stewards to the taxpayer dollars.
How long have you lived in Lake County?
I was born and raised in Lake County then I went to the University of Florida for four years and then came back home after graduating.
Why were you interested in this position?
It’s kind of in my blood I would say. My mom (Rosanne Brandeburg) held this seat when I was growing up so when I was in middle school and parts of high school she was the school board member for this seat. She held the seat from 2008 to 2016. She has more of a public relations, government background so she spent time at Lake Sumter State College for 20 years and ran the foundation during which the time she was on the school board so she came from more of an educational side.
So I saw her passion for it, her bring involved in education. and just the great experience I had. I’ve been back and involved with Leesburg High School since coming back from college with the Booster Club Board and getting to know Principal (Mike) Randolph and getting to see all the great things happening there. And just being a part of this community and loving it so much I wanted to give back where I could and I think the schools are such a crucial part where we can continue to improve and just what that means to the county overall.
What is your professional background?
I’m a Commercial Insurance Agent with Brown and Brown Insurance in Leesburg. So I have a finance degree from the University of Florida and then today I focus on commercial insurance so property insurance, RideAbility insurance, and workers compensation. While working with my clients I work to solve their needs to that standpoint and help them move forward. I’ve been working with them ever since I graduated in May of 2017 so just over five years.
Do you have any experience in the field of education?
Not directly… But I have 13 years of experience in Lake County public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade and I graduated high school nine years ago. So it’s still fresh enough to understand what was going on there — all the good things and all the areas that we can improve and again just bringing another perspective into the conversation. I’ve worked with different generations and age groups up there and it’s just shown me the different dynamics of how this all works together for our community at the end of the day. So at this point (on the board, we have,) three educators with a very superb backgrounds with different perspectives and then we have two business-minded folks so I think it’s a nice combination to make sure we’re looking at things and doing right by the students and by the community.
How are you involved in the community?
I’ve served on the Leesburg Booster Club at the high school for the last four years, I graduated from the leadership at Lake County in 2019 and I went through Leadership Florida and I just finished that up a couple of months ago. From the board side, I’m the president of the Leesburg Lightning, a summer league here in town. And then I serve on the Board of New Vision for Independence for Lake and Sumter County. The community has been so good to me and I’ve always been raised to leave it better than I found it. I’m just trying to be involved in areas that I can make an impact for the better.
What do you think is the most important purpose of the school board?
I think the most important purpose of the school board is to positively benefit our community and prepare us for the next generation. Education is such a crucial piece of what we do as a society and having a strong public school system means so much from an economic standpoint, quality of life standpoint, and just overall what we are offering moving forward. So trying to provide the highest quality of education we can to our students I think is of the utmost importance to the school board.
What attributes do you think are essential for school board members?
I think the ability to listen. To listen before you talk and really understand, or try to understand, the context of the situation. Instead of just seeing a headline or a broad generalization of an issue, try to get feedback from all parties — school district staff, the teachers, and depending on the issue the parents and different groups in the community. I think the community being involved in the schools is so critically important. So try to make sure everyone has a seat at that table and their perspectives are being heard so that we can make the best decision moving forward.
With my fellow board members, I also hope that we can all listen to each other’s perspectives. I want to make sure that we are understanding the material and putting in the legwork to understand our district and our county as a whole and kind of what the needs are. And all of that goes back to just being involved, being present, and asking questions and getting good answers.
What are your hopes and goals as a Lake County school board member?
Simply put, to just keep it moving in the right direction. The current superintendent of the school board and staff has done a fantastic job really trying to progress education in Lake County. So just making sure that we’re doing things the right way so we can continue to produce high quality students who will hopefully want to come back to Lake County and make a career here, raise a family here, and just really stay and be productive members of our community.