Dublin High School’s Tim Sbranti Joins Congressman Swalwell’s Team, Leaving Legacy as Educator and Mayor
There is a fable shared by current Dublin High School Principal Carol Shimizu that a young Tim Sbranti travelled through town in a cleanly pressed shirt and willingly introduced himself, with a firm handshake as the future Mayor of the City of Dublin. Perhaps this is a story of legend. All we do know is that this 1993 graduate of DHS made these dreams come true.
As we conclude the Difference Maker series for 2015, we wanted to place a spotlight on a long time community member that has contributed so much to his alma mater, the City and to the larger region. The prospect of witnessing a native young person advance to the position of Mayor strictly comes out of something that resembles “Mayberry RFD.” Yet, in Dublin, all things are possible.
As a young person, Tim played Varsity Tennis and Basketball while enrolled at DHS. Additionally, he was the editor of the Dublin Shield and served as Student Body President. Subsequently, he attained a B.A in Government and minors in History/Communications while attending CSU Sacramento. Ultimately, he achieved a Single Subject Teaching Certificate in 1998.
His attachment to the Dublin Unified School District continued shortly thereafter – gaining employment as a Social Studies teacher in the fall of 1998. In the years that followed, he taught subjects ranging from Civics, Economics, U.S. History and World History. Further, he has sustained as a Leadership teacher, advised for the school newspaper, Speech and Debate. As a passionate sportsperson, Mr. Sbranti has also led his expertise in coaching athletes in the areas of Tennis, Basketball and Volleyball.
On top of everything else, he successfully ran for Dublin City Council in 2002. After a short term, he returned in 2006 and ultimately was elected as Mayor in 2008 – a term that he served until 2014. Presently, Tim will be leaving his post as educator and will be taking on a very different role. In less than a month, Mr. Sbranti will be joining the staff of the 15th Congressional District Eric Swalwell as a Deputy Chief of Staff. This district includes portions of Hayward, Pleasanton, Fremont, Dublin and San Ramon.
OneDublin.org recently had the opportunity to visit with Mr. Sbranti as he winds down his career within DUSD and prepares to tackle a new challenge. As usual, he was serving the 2015 graduating class by guiding rehearsals for the upcoming matriculation ceremony at Gaels Stadium. But, he was more than willing to share his thoughts.
OneDublin.org: Your departure from Dublin High School is somewhat unexpected. Yet it also appears to be a wonderful opportunity. Help our readers understand how and why you are taking this next career step.
Tim Sbranti: “For the better part of 12 years (2002-2014), my time was essentially split between two full time jobs….my role as an educator for DUSD and my role as an elected official with the City of Dublin. I loved every minute of it, but after terming out as Mayor last December it gave me some time to reflect on my future and my next career steps. Options included continuing to teach and coach at Dublin High School, getting my school administrative credential and perhaps becoming a principal or superintendent, starting a business, pursuing opportunities in sports broadcasting, or running for another elected office.
“At the same time I was reflecting on my next steps, Congressman Swalwell was in the process of retooling his operation and had created a Deputy Chief of Staff position. The Congressman wanted someone who was from the 15th Congressional District and understood its needs. Although the position would be based primarily in the District, Eric envisioned a Deputy that would split time between D.C. and the District Offices to ensure maximum collaboration in the development of legislative policies, constituent outreach, and connections to community leaders and local elected officials. As he was reflecting on the position and who would be a good fit, I was honored that he thought of me. I was surprised when he asked me initially, but given that he is a rising member of Congress who has done so much in such a short period of time. I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of his team. Although I will certainly miss teaching, I’m excited for what the future holds working for Congressman Swalwell.”
OneDublin.org: Your relationship with Congressman Swalwell goes back many years. Please shed some light on how this evolved from Teacher-Student to Mentor-Representative relationship.
Sbranti: “It definitely was an evolution over time. I was helping to manage Claudia McCormick’s City Council race in the fall of 1998 while the Congressman was a senior at Dublin High School, and he expressed interest in perhaps getting involved in politics someday. I gave him some precinct packets and he proceeded to help organize some of his classmates and help walk door-to-door on her behalf. The following summer when he returned from college he asked if there were any other campaigns and I helped get him involved with Tom Torlakson’s State Senate campaign. Given our mutual interests and growing friendship, we continued to stay in touch. He helped on my first City Council race in 2002 and even appeared on the cover of the brochure. As he was considering his own career options after college, I encouraged him to return to Dublin and get involved locally.
“After returning from law school and going to work for the DA’s office, in his ‘spare time’ he managed my City Council race in 2006 and Mayors’ race in 2008. I always appreciated his counsel on many issues during that time, and I encouraged him to get involved in some of the local City Commissions such as Heritage and Cultural Arts and Planning. When an open seat came up on the Dublin City Council in 2010, I was happy to support him. I enjoyed our collaboration during our time on the Council from 2010-2012, and I was proud to be the first elected official to support his run for Congress in 2012. After his election we continued to stay in close contact….I helped to advise him on issues he was facing in his first term in Congress while I continued to seek his advice on issues pertaining to my role as Mayor of Dublin. Over the years I think we’ve both learned a great deal from each other. He helped me a great deal over the years and I have been thankful for our friendship and the chance to help him as well. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve as an official member of his team in the future.”
OneDublin.org: When you reflect/observe upon your many years at as an instructor at DHS, please comment on the increased academic rigor that most students are facing in 2015.
Sbranti: “Dublin High has changed dramatically since I began teaching here in 1998. The facilities overhaul is the most obvious and visible example. However, the biggest change has to do with both the academic rigor and new opportunities. There is greater rigor across the board in terms of the higher graduation standards and number of Advanced Placement courses. In addition, there are a wide variety of career pathways and academies. The number and variety of AP courses have clearly prepared more of our students for college, but I am most excited about the hands-on career-oriented opportunities in areas such as engineering, medicine, computer science, visual/media production, performing arts, etc. There is truly something to meet the needs and interest of every student at DHS.”
OneDublin.org: On top of everything else, you have served as the Mayor of Dublin for eight years. Pause for just a moment and comment on what this experience has meant to you – particularly as a graduate of Dublin High.
Sbranti: “As someone who grew up in Dublin, it gives me tremendous pride to have had the opportunity to serve as both a Council Member and Mayor of my hometown. Dublin has always been a great city for families, but there were very few attractions or public amenities. Growing up here I saw our residents have to go out of town to neighboring communities for their restaurants, shopping, job opportunities, and public facilities. I am proud of the fact that during my time as a Council Member and Mayor we were able to enhance our city by adding major facilities such as the Public Library, the Senior Center, Shannon Community Center, Fallon Sports Park, Heritage Park and Museum, and the soon-to-be opened Aquatics Center at Emerald Glen Park. This is in addition to adding many thriving shopping centers, office complexes, and diverse housing opportunities. To see our City grow and flourish in such a way where our residents can do all of these things in our own backyard is rewarding.”
OneDublin.org: As a soon to be minted Deputy Chief of Staff for Representative Swalwell, you will be tasked to be an “ear to the ground” as well as a local face for the Congressman. How will you approach this opportunity?
Sbranti: “I will approach this position with eagerness and enthusiasm. I take the role of serving the public very seriously. I think Congressman Swalwell sets the standard with his unparalleled work ethic, focus on reaching out and listening to the community’s needs, and his willingness to listen to all sides on every issue, collaborate with all stakeholders, and most importantly….seek action, I will work to emulate the standard that he sets. It is my desire to work with the Congressman and our entire team to have nothing short of the best and most responsive Congressional office in the entire country.”
OneDublin.org: Anything else that you would like to add?
Sbranti: “Of all my time in public service, I think one of my proudest accomplishments that had the greatest impact for Dublin High beyond teaching or anything I did in public office was co-chairing the successful Measure C Bond Campaign for the Dublin Unified School District in 2004. This allowed for the building of what is essentially a new campus for Dublin High, and I have been proud over the years to see so many students benefit from the transformation of having a modern state-of-the-art learning facility.”
So, if your child was fortunate enough, he/she was mentored by a DHS graduate, a former City Council member and Mayor of Dublin and a future staff member of a U.S. Congressman. These things do happen in Mayberry RFD – better known as Dublin, California. We wish Mayor Sbranti, Stephanie and young Sophia the best as they take on their new adventures.