Governor Mike Dunleavy arrived in Alaska in 1983 as a young man looking for opportunity, and he found it. His first job was working in a logging camp in Southeast Alaska. Later on, Governor Dunleavy pursued his dream of becoming a teacher. He earned his teacher’s certificate, and then a master of education degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He spent nearly two decades in northwest Arctic communities working as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. Governor Dunleavy’s wife Rose is from the Kobuk River Valley community of Noorvik. Together, they have three children – Maggie, Catherine, and Ceil – who were raised in both rural and urban Alaska.
Governor Dunleavy and his family moved to Wasilla in 2004, where he owned an educational consulting firm and worked on a number of educational projects statewide. Dunleavy served on the Mat-Su Borough School Board, with two years as Board President, and then as a state senator for five years.