Commissioner Tracy Merlin was appointed to the Commission in June 2022 by Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. Tracy Merlin was born in Miami Beach and attended Miami-Dade County Public Schools for her primary and secondary education. At age fourteen, Tracy served as a Page for the Florida House of Representatives piquing her interest in politics. Tracy went on to attend Florida’s top public university, the University of Florida. She graduated with honors from the Pro-Teach Program, with both her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees in Elementary Education. Tracy continued her education at Johnson and Wales University where she earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. After a brief culinary career, Tracy went back to her original calling, elementary education. For over twenty-three years, Tracy continues teaching in Broward County. Currently, she lives in South Florida with her husband, daughter, and dog.
In 2005, Tracy became a Nationally Board-Certified educator. She has twice been nominated for Broward County Gifted Teacher of the Year. Tracy is a member of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Broward Teachers Union. Tracy holds teaching endorsements for Florida in Elementary Education, ESOL, Reading, and Gifted.
Over the past several years, Tracy has become an outspoken community activist for gun violence prevention, school safety, and women’s rights. Tracy spearheaded the campaign for Broward County schools to include safe gun storage information for parents. She was the former Educator Lead for Broward Moms Demand Action; Tracy co-founded the Honor with Action Coalition bringing together different gun violence prevention organizations. She is a member of Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence working with other educators to address gun violence in schools and the community. Tracy serves on a roundtable teacher panel with the Vice-Chair to the FL Senate Education Committee. Tracy regularly appears as a featured speaker at local events.
Tracy is a mainstay at Broward County gun violence prevention, political, and women’s rights events. Local news channels, national news, and even international news outlets have interviewed Tracy including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and ITV. In January of 2021, the cover story of the New York Times showcased Tracy and her educational methods. Recently, Tracy was featured in a “Build Back Better” advertisement advocating for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide accessible internet service for all students. Tracy comes from a long line of strong women and is the third-generation female activist in her family. Commissioner Merlin will carry on her family’s tradition of advocacy and empowerment in her new role.Back