Jon Oleson has lived an experience-rich life. He’s taken some hits that have helped him grow and gotten some lucky breaks. Always curious, he’s explored life in rural, small town, and big city settings.
Jon is parent to two boys and a girl—good planning, he says, to have Nate and Ben first to help when Meggin got to dating age. Having left the home nest soon after high school, they are leading lives that make parents proud, and have blessed Jon with nine grandchildren. Great memories of “being Dad” remind him of the good feelings from the hanging-out-with-kids experience.
Jon’s work history started early. He jumped at the opportunity to work on a potato and grain farm when he finished seventh grade, getting paid a bit for having fun. Nearly six decades of work has given Jon many opportunities to explore the people world and the physical world, and to him work was more of a reward than something you had to do.
Fresh out of college, Jon served kids in Duluth, MN, as a church youth director. That experience, along with college year summers as a camp counselor in the Black Hills, helped him prepare for relating to kids during his twenty-three-year career as a teacher and ten more years as a secondary school assistant principal.
Bit by the entrepreneurial bug late in life, Jon never retired; instead, he formed a small conflict management LLC. He has also found time to volunteer in a public middle school, at his church, and with the local chamber of commerce. He served five years on the Bloomington, MN, Planning Commission before being elected to the City Council in 2013.
Jon’s life has been supported and guided by his Christian faith. Participating in a faith community is important to him, and he doesn’t hesitate to talk about its importance in his life.