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Schulte brings reporting experience to Herald

Jason Schulte may be a bit out of his element, but that hasn't stopped him from pursuing the career he wants.

Schulte, a Minnesota native who now lives near his home state in River Falls, assumed a newly created news reporter position at the Herald last week. The job doesn't involve sports coverage, like the newspaper work he's done in the past. But it marks one of several new beginnings for the former renter-turned-condo owner.

"I knew at an early age I was going to be a writer," he said Wednesday.

Schulte's father, Mark, was a sports editor in college, and an influence on him, his son said. Not only did his dad, later a golf coach and math teacher, foster his interest in sports, but in newspapering as well. The family also includes his mother, Rose, and a sister, Erin.

Eventually, he followed the elder Schulte's path, favoring golf as a sport to play, and becoming a sports editor for a college paper himself, he said. He'd graduated from high school in the town of approximately 1,000 people where he grew up--Pierz, Minn.--in 1997. There, besides football and basketball, he enjoyed participating in theatrical productions, including "The Foreigner" and "Heaven Can Wait."

A couple of years contributing to the school yearbook and the school newspaper helped prepare him for the media jobs he held while at Winona (Minn.) State University from '97 to 2001, he said. The journalism major and political science minor wrote for The Winonan, serving as its sports editor his last semester, and was employed in the sports department at the Winona Daily News, covering football, volleyball, basketball and more, plus doing an occasional feature story.

"I was even on the radio," he said about a stint with the campus station.

Schulte said he's been in this vicinity since '01. His then-fiance, Michelle, a Ridgeland native, had gotten a job as a paralegal at a law firm in Hudson. They lived in that city for three years, marrying in 2002, and moved to Baldwin in 2004. He was ultimately hired by the Glenwood City newspaper.

"I covered school board, filled in occasionally on city council and did features, but most of it was sports," he said, remembering trips to state tournaments in Madison.

This August, the couple relocated to River Falls as first-time condo owners, he said. He spends his free time with his wife and their dog, "Casey," a black lab. He's also a fan of Minnesota sports: the Vikings, Gophers, Twins and Timberwolves.

At the Herald, Schulte will collect and compile information from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, report on governmental and school meetings, handle special section content and emphasize outlying county coverage.

"I look forward to this opportunity," he said, adding, "I'm excited and nervous."