Meet MN Governor and Lt. Governor Candidates Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan
Source and for full bio: https://walzflanagan.org/meet-tim-walz/
Public service defines Tim Walz. Tim is the highest-ranking enlisted service member ever to serve in Congress, an award-winning high-school teacher, a champion football coach, and a leader in Congress.
Serving Our Country
Tim’s parents, Jim and Darlene, instilled in him the values that continue to guide his commitment to the common good and selfless service. Summers of farming with his family reinforced these lessons.
Tim’s dedication to public service began soon after his graduation from Butte (Nebraska) High School with his 24 classmates. At the age of 17, Tim enlisted in the Army National Guard. In 1989, he was named Nebraska Citizen-Soldier of the Year.
“I loved growing up in a small town in rural Nebraska. Small-town life and working on family farms each summer taught me fundamental lessons about the importance of family and the value of hard work. I had wonderful public school teachers, great neighbors, and loving parents.”
Upon his 1990 return from teaching in China, Tim served full time in the Army National Guard. He joined his battalion overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
After 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion in 2005. When he retired, Tim was the highest-ranking enlisted National Guard soldier in southern Minnesota.
“When I enlisted in the National Guard at the age of 17, I never imagined that I would serve for 24 years. I knew that I was ready to accept the responsibility that comes with serving our country. Over the years, I discovered that I had the capacity to lead–a duty that I strive to fulfill each and every day. The honor of serving alongside my neighbors in southern Minnesota was a privilege.”
An Award-Winning Teacher
After high school, Tim held a series of odd jobs ranging from building grain silos to manufacturing to mortgage loan processing as he explored America. He accepted a temporary teaching position at the Native American Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. It was this experience that convinced Tim to follow his father’s lead and become a teacher.
“I tell folks that managing a high-school lunchroom for years trained me for the craziness that can overtake Washington, D.C. My father was a teacher–I learned early on that the opportunity to help students learn and achieve their goals is incredibly rewarding. From the classroom to the lunchroom to the football field, I loved every day that I worked with students.”
Tim attended Chadron State College, where he graduated with a social science degree in 1989. Harvard University offered Tim an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education by teaching in the People’s Republic of China in 1989-90, where he joined of one of the first government-approved groups of American teachers to work in Chinese high schools.
Following his return to Nebraska in 1990, Tim seized the opportunity to develop a program of cooperation between American and Chinese students. He created a small business–Educational Travel Adventures, Inc.–through which he led annual educational trips to China for American high school students. Over the years, Tim has served as a visiting Fellow of International Relations at the Macau Polytechnic University, a position that helped develop his knowledge of China.
Tim’s return to Nebraska led to pivotal moments in his life. He accepted a teaching and coaching position. More importantly, he met Gwen Whipple, who was teaching at the same school.
“It’s true: the best thing that happened to me was meeting and marrying Gwen. Without a doubt, I outkicked my coverage (to use a football term)!”
In 1993, Tim was named the Outstanding Young Nebraskan by the Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce for his service in the education, military, and small-business communities.
Tim and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato in 1996, where they began teaching and coaching at Mankato West High School. In addition to teaching social studies, Tim helped coach the Mankato West football team that won the school’s first state championship.
“As an Ivanhoe native and a Gustavus Adolphus graduate, Gwen loved living in southern Minnesota. We jumped at the chance to move to Mankato and start our lives together. Every day, I know that I represent the best district in the U.S. Congress. I grew up in Nebraska, but Minnesota is my home.”
Tim’s inspiring approach to teaching gained him recognition as the 2002 Minnesota Ethics in Education award winner, 2003 Mankato Teacher of the Year, and the 2003 Minnesota Teacher of Excellence. Determined to expand his own education, Tim completed his master’s degree in educational leadership in 2001 and began doctorate studies at St. Mary’s University in Winona.
Lieutenant Governor Bio:
Peggy Flanagan, is a longtime advocate for Minnesota’s children and families, a DFLer, an organizer, and a near-lifelong resident of St. Louis Park.
Peggy has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 2015 representing the communities of St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Plymouth and Medicine Lake.
Peggy moved to St. Louis Park as a baby with her mom, because her mom rightly saw that the community offered her daughter the opportunity to get a great public education, to be part of a caring community, and to thrive. Peggy is proud to be a graduate of St. Louis Park Public Schools and the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies and child psychology.
The principle of Peggy’s professional, political and personal life is giving back, particularly to children, families, communities of color, American Indians and low-income and working people. A noted community and political organizer, Peggy is a partner with The Management Center, an organization dedicated to helping leaders working for social change. She formerly served as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF), a non-profit child-advocacy organization working to level the playing field for all children in our region and state. While at CDF, Peggy co-chaired the Raise The Wage campaign, the successful fight to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade.
Before joining Children’s Defense Fund, Peggy also worked for almost a decade at Wellstone Action, the organization founded to carry on the work of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program, then as director of external affairs. As one of the original trainers of Wellstone Action’s signature program Camp Wellstone, she has trained tens of thousands of progressive activists, community and campaign organizers, future candidates – including Tim! – and progressive officeholders to make effective, sustainable, progressive change around the country.
Since her election in 2015, Peggy has continued building coalitions and working on behalf of children and families. Peggy serves as the DFL lead on the Subcommittee on Child Care Access and Affordability. She also serves on Health and Human Services Policy, State Government Finance and Rules committees. During the 2017 session she joined with other DFL legislators to form the POCI (People of Color and Indigenous) caucus. The caucus aims to improve the education, health and economic opportunities of people of color and indigenous communities across the state.
Peggy serves on the board of directors of Native Progress, Sojourners, and the Minneapolis Foundation.
A citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, Peggy lives in the Bronx Park neighborhood of St. Louis Park with her 4-year-old daughter Siobhan, an aspiring teacher, doctor, and princess and far-too-energetic dog Reuben.
Your key platforms:
No comment provided - learn more here.
What’s one thing you want the Rochester community to know about you?
No comment provided.