Name: Dale Yurs

Hometown: Verona, Wis.

Title: Special education assistant; Alderman

Business: Verona School District; City of Verona

Dale arrived at Lakeland brimming with enthusiasm for government, history and religion. He left overflowing with a newfound passion for digging deep to acquire knowledge.

“Lakeland gave me the love for academics,” says Dale, whose intense interest in the U.S. Constitution blossomed while here. “Before college, I enjoyed high school, but I never had that academic thrill I developed at Lakeland. What the professors gave me was a real thirst for knowledge, a desire to take things further. I wouldn’t have gone on to get a master’s degree or teach at the college level without my Lakeland experience.”

At Lakeland, Dale got a taste for teaching by assisting in professors’ classrooms and tutoring. He was also heavily invested in extracurricular activities, including organizing the “Get out to Vote” campaign in 2008. That project involved encouraging participation in the Presidential election and shuttling Lakeland students to their pre-determined voting location.

After graduating with his degree in history, with a religion minor, Dale spread his wings and soared. He earned a master’s in constitutional history from the University of Northern Iowa, taught history at Upper Iowa University and helped put together a World War I exhibit for the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum in Madison.

In April, 2013, Dale defeated an incumbent and now proudly serves the Verona City Council as an alderman. His No. 1 priority, he says, is settling down and starting a family with his wife. But his love for politics continues to glow brightly.

“I’d love to be in the state legislature,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in politics. My dream is not to get rich, but to have a career that allows me to make a positive impact, to help people.”

He’s doing a lot of that now, both as alderman and as a special education assistant.