Tim Walz (DFL) - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Tim Walz (DFL)


The son of a public school administrator and community activist, Congressman Tim Walz was born in West Point, Nebraska on April 6, 1964. Raised in a rural community, Walz spent his summers farming with his extended family. In 1982, Tim Walz graduated from Butte High School along side his 24 classmates.

During his adolescence, Tim's parents instilled in him the Catholic values that propelled him into a life of service. When Walz enlisted in the Army National Guard at the young age of 17, he had no way of knowing he would spend more than two decades serving America as a member of the Guard. After high school, Walz worked a number of odd jobs before accepting a temporary teaching position at the Native American Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. It was his experience at the Pine Ridge reservation that convinced Tim to follow his father's lead and become an educator.

Prior to his retirement, Tim Walz was the highest ranking enlisted National Guard soldier in southern Minnesota. In 1989, Walz earned a B.S. in social science education from Chadron State College in Nebraska. That year he earned the title of Nebraska Citizen-Soldier of the Year.

With his teaching degree complete, Harvard University offered Walz an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education by teaching in the People's Republic of China. Working in China during 1989-1990, Walz was a member of one of the first government sanctioned groups of American educators to teach in Chinese high schools.

Following his return, Tim seized the opportunity to develop a program of cooperation between American and Chinese students. Walz established a small business called Educational Travel Adventures, Inc. through which he conducted annual educational trips to China for high school students. The business includes a scholarship program that allows students to travel and study in China regardless of their financial situation.

Walz helped coach the Mankato West High School football team to two state championships in four years. Over the years, Walz has also served as a visiting Fellow of International Relations at the Macau Polytechnic University, a position that helped develop his knowledge of China's unique international status.

Upon his return to the U.S. in 1990, Walz served full-time in the Army National Guard. He subsequently accepted a position teaching and coaching in Nebraska where he met his wife, Gwen Whipple. In 1993, Walz was named the Outstanding Young Nebraskan by the Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce for his service in the education, military, and small business communities.

Married in 1994, Tim and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato, Minnesota two years later. The couple accepted positions teaching and coaching at Mankato West High School where Tim taught until his run for Congress in 2006.

Tim Walz's inspiring approach to teaching has 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. Walz completed his master's degree in educational leadership in 2001 and is currently working on his doctorate at St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota.

After 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion in the spring of 2005. Prior to retiring, Walz served overseas with his battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On November 7, 2006 Tim Walz won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated six-term incumbent Gil Gutknecht by a margin of 53% to 47%. On November 4, 2008 Walz was re-elected overwhelmingly in the traditional swing district held by Republicans most of its existence.

Tim represents Minnesota's 1st Congressional District which includes the communities of Worthington, Mankato, Albert Lea, Austin, Rochester and Winona. 

He is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, the Veteran's Affairs Committee and was recently named Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which Tim is also a member.

Info from Tim Walz's Website.

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