is a senior at Wheaton North. He has a lot on his plate this year, juggling his positions as Student Council Executive Head of the Student Body, Captain of the Varsity Scholastic Bowl, Editor-in Chief of the student newspaper, and co-chair for New Student Orientation. He is an enthusiastic tutor for math, physics, and chemistry. Mark also is a part of Math and French Honor Societies; as well as National Honor Society, with which he ran a badminton tournament and raised $550 for the Forever 15 Foundation. He is a proud Eagle Scout and enjoys playing the clarinet for the Wind Ensemble and piano for the Jazz Ensemble and the Gold Jazz Combo. He is planning on attending the University of Chicago next year where he is considering majoring in Physics and Chemistry with a possible Astrophysics minor.
Wheaton Patch: Why did you choose these colleges?
Mark Maskeri: I selected U Chicago for both its academic strength and for the slightly quirky atmosphere; I knew from one of the application essay questions—"Find x"—as well as extensive research that the University would be an intellectual adventure. One that I fully intend to take advantage of—my essay was a lighthearted philosophical analysis of the unknowns in the human condition. Also, the opportunities in undergraduate research offered by faculty are very attractive.
Patch: What is your favorite memory from this year so far?
Maskeri: The Wind Ensemble, of which I am a Clarinetist, was invited to perform as a clinic band at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago this year. We prepared music so we could give a live clinic for several hundred band directors, working with a renowned clinician. Then, we had time to explore the Exhibits Hall—a really amazing display of musical commerce and education—as well as watch a performance by the President's Own Marine Band.
Patch: What’s your favorite memory from all of high school?
Maskeri: This would have to be a trip to New York that the Wind Ensemble took my sophomore year—another great band memory. We were invited, from bands across the nation, to perform in Carnegie Hall, as well as the band shell in Central Park. It was an absolute blast! Wandering through Time Square with friends, seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and of course, our performance on the most renowned stage in the world. I had the chance to perform in the same space where George Gershwin premiered Rhapsody in Blue and Count Basie performed—two of my piano idols. It was humbling, and quite amazing at the same time.
Patch: What is the best thing about being a senior?
Maskeri: All of the opportunities that are presented to me. Earlier this year, our school held a Veteran’s Day assembly to honor living and past veterans, particularly WN alumnus Robert Miller who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008; I had the honor of meeting and introducing a number of Wheaton veterans.
Patch: What will you miss about high school?
Maskeri: I think that I’ll miss the smaller, community dynamic. Though I hope—and to some degree expect—that feeling to develop in college, I will miss being able to walk through the halls greeting most people by name.
Patch: What won’t you miss about high school?
Maskeri: Getting up at 5:45 AM so I could be in the building at 6:35 for meetings.
Patch: What are your summer plans?
Maskeri: I plan to go on some good bike rides, spend time with my friends, and prepare for college at the University of Chicago.
Patch: What is your favorite activity/club/sport that you participate in?
Maskeri: It’s actually quite impossible for me to choose a favorite activity; I enjoy everything that I do for different reasons.
Patch: What is your advice for the next senior class?
Maskeri: No matter how old you are, the geese that fly into the courtyard will still hiss at you! That, and though it's horribly cliché, enjoy your year and the many opportunities that arise—you'll never get to do this again.
Patch: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Maskeri: Researching high energy physics at Fermilab or CERN, or perhaps teaching.
Patch: What will you miss most about Wheaton?
Maskeri: The Prairie Paths—I’m an avid cyclist.
Patch: “When I visit home, the first thing I’ll do is...”
Maskeri: Hug my parents and siblings, catch up with them, and then also catch up with some sleep that I’m sure I’ll be missing.
Patch: What song will always remind you of your senior year?
Maskeri: “A Movement for Rosa” by Mark Camphouse
Patch: Favorite Wheaton hang-out?
Maskeri: Herrick Lake; it's a great bike ride from home, and is a delightful pocket of nature in our suburb.
Patch: Favorite lunch item?
Maskeri: Hmm...depends. Let's go with a fresh Oven-baked Turkey Sandwich from Augustino’s.
Patch: Favorite class you’ve taken so far?
Maskeri: AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Budzikowski—not only did the course cover several fascinating topics, but Mrs. Budz taught it in a great, engaging fashion (and was always willing to work with me to explore the bizarre problems that arose from my questions).
Patch: How do you plan on keeping in touch with your high school friends?
Maskeri: A cross between the magic of Facebook, visiting and phone calls.
Patch: What is your goal for the end of the year? What do you hope to accomplish before graduation?
Maskeri: I still have AP exams to take! Once those are over—and have hopefully gone well—I can start really thinking about graduation. On an unrelated note, I would also like to be able to eat lunch on the roof of the school…that would be fun.