Spotlight ArchivePatrick Bonnot
Anthony "Tony" Brenneke
The Foundation is proud to feature this year's "Continue the Legacy: One Gift, One Goal" annual fund drive vice-chair Mark Schell in this edition of the Alumni Spotlight.
Mark graduated from Helias in 1993 and currently serves as the Vice President of Manufacturing at Diamond Pet Foods, where he oversees five production facilities.
Mark and his wife Jill have two children – Sam, who is a junior at Helias, and Charlie, who attends St. Peter, where the Schells are parishioners.
Aside from his current involvement with the Foundation fund drive campaign, Mark has also spent a considerable amount of time involved with PAL football, PAL baseball and the St. Mary's Foundation Board.
An avid outdoorsman, Mark counts hunting and fishing among his favorite hobbies. And if that wasn't Missouri enough, he also enjoys rooting for the Chiefs, the Cardinals, and his Missouri Tigers.
Truman State University (BS in Business Administration)
University of Missouri (MBA)
What are some of your fondest memories of your time at Helias?
MS: Homecoming, all-school Masses, big sporting events but also everyday occurrences such as eating lunch with friends and hanging out in the halls before school.
What impact did Helias and/or your teachers/coaches/etc. make on you? Any specific examples?
MS: Honestly, it would be hard to capture in a just few sentences the impact that Helias teachers, staff and coaches had on me or he current student body. They were great examples of Christian men and women but also very professional teachers that did a great job educating their students.
Favorite Helias class or teacher, and why?
MS: No – I liked all of them.
Were you known for anything as a student at Helias? If so, what?
MS: Not that I am aware of.
How do you feel Helias personally prepared you academically and/or socially for your future (school, career, etc.)?
MS: Helias prepared me well for my future. It challenged academically and prepared me well for college life. The coaches at Helias used sports to teach us life lessons that would prepare us for our adult lives.
How does the Helias of today compare to the Helias of your high school years?
MS: The mission for Helias was the same in 1956 as it now- developing young men and women to be scholars and saints.
What does "Helias Community" mean to you?
MS: It means one big extended family. We are always there for each other.
What was your motivation for getting involved with the Foundation's Annual Fund Drive campaign?
MS: I wanted to help give back to a place that did so much for me.
What makes you proud to say you're a Crusader?
MS: I see the see the same pride and family atmosphere at the Helias now that was there in past.
PANDEMIC AND SOCIAL DISTANCING-RELATED QUESTIONS
How has daily life for you and your family changed during the COVID pandemic?
MS: School is different for boys, but they have adjusted; going to Church is different but we have adjusted; our jobs are different, but we have adjusted. Bottom line is you make the changes needed to get through this pandemic and move forward.
What are some positives and negatives you personally and/or your family have experienced during this time?
MS: The negatives are knowing people who have become very sick from this illness and spending less time with older family members.
What have you and/or your family learned from this experience?
MS: Be prepared to adjust daily – but also not let this pandemic run our lives
What are some of the things you miss the most from the pre-pandemic days?
MS: Football games with a full crowd.
What's something you and/or your family plan on doing when the pandemic and all the restrictions/precautions finally end?
MS: Go to a Cardinal and/or Chiefs game.
-- Kris Wilson / Foundation for the Benefit of Helias Catholic High School
** If you know of any Helias alum who's proud to say they're a #CrusaderforLife, please send their name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each month we'll focus on a new and different member of the Helias family. Whether they passed through these halls 60 years ago or their cap and gown still have that new smell, we want to know all about where life has taken our Crusaders and how their time at Helias helped them along the way!
To nominate someone for the Alumni Spotlight, email email@example.com.