VCAC - Ventura/Schunk Biographies

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Jesse Ventura Biograpghy

Jesse Ventura's campaign for Governor of Minnesota is the latest aspect of a lifetime spent serving the public in such varied ways as mayor of Brooklyn Park, a Navy Seal, professional wrestler, actor and broadcaster.

Ventura, 46, was mayor of Brooklyn Park from 1991 to 1995. He served in the Navy for six years - four on active duty, two in the Reserves - and is a Vietnam veteran. While on active duty, he was a member of Underwater Demolition (Seal) Team 12.

After his discharge from the Navy, Ventura attended North Hennepin Community College and then began an 11-year career as a professional wrestler. He has been a professional broadcaster for 11 years and also an actor for 11 years. He is currently a radio talk-show host.

Ventura is a member of the Make a Wish of Minnesota Board of Advisors and has been a volunteer football coach at Park High School in Champlin for three years. He is an active, vested member of the Screen Actors Guild and receives health and pension benefits through the guild. He has been a member for 11 years. He has also been a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Announcers for about 10 years.

Ventura was born in Minneapolis July 15, 1951, and is a 1969 graduate of Roosevelt High School. He; Terry, his wife of 22 years; and their teen-aged son and daughter live in Maple Grove.

Mae Schunk Biography

Mae Schunk's philosophy as an educator is to encourage students to achieve excellence. "This requires each of us to make a commitment to do our best each and every day," she tells them. "That commitment will be reflected in the achievements you make and in the quality of your life."

Schunk, 64, credits her parents for advocating high expectations and giving strong support to their six children to "do the best you can and be the best you can be." She was born May 21, 1934, grew up on a 120-acre dairy farm near Greenwood, Wis., and graduated from high school there.

Schunk attended the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. Later, she completed a master's degree program and educational leadership studies at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.

A teacher/educator for 36 years, Schunk has been the schoolwide enrichment specialist at Phalen Lake School for the past two years. During her 22 years in St. Paul schools, she has been a curriculum specialist, assistant principal and teacher. She has also helped develop curriculums for magnet schools.

Mae and William Schunk have been married for 40 years and live in Inver Grove Heights. William grew up on a dairy farm in Stanley, Wis., graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is currently lead engineer, software configuration manager, with United Defense in Fridley. Their son, Benjamin, is an information services technician for Suzer Spine-Tech Co. He and his wife, Jennifer Baskin, live in Bloomington.

Mae Schunk took a six-year leave from teaching when Benjamin was born. Following the death of her father in 1987, she cared for her ailing mother in her home for 9-1/2 years. Her hobbies include flower and vegetable gardening, creative cooking and baking, collecting and sharing recipes, and various art projects with stained glass and water color.

A nature enthusiast, she enjoys family gatherings and activities that include fishing and weekend cabin stays with family or friends.

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