Humans of Verona: Meet Benjamin Wellnitz
By Sarahi Garcia
Many of you may know him for his active participation in school, and for those who don’t, I would like to introduce to you, Benjamin Wellnitz.
Ben Wellnitz is a senior this year, who was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the youngest member of his family, along with two older twin brothers, and his mother and father. Since he can remember, Ben has always been a part of the Verona Area School District (VASD) from both school and sports activities. His Verona schooling started in Stoner Prairie, Savannah Oaks, and lastly Verona Area High School (VAHS). Although Ben’s academic journey at Verona is coming to an end this year, he plans to continue his academic career at a college and if everything goes according to plan he will pursue a graduate degree and earn a Ph.D. After years of schooling, he hopes to become a professor in mathematics or physics.
Ben is an active member of various clubs and activities, which include Math Club, Science Club, National Honor Society (NHS), Silver Cord, Engineering Club, SeaPerch team at VAHS, and lastly the Verona Area Mount Horeb (VAMH) Swim Team. Ben holds the position of Science Club officer and Co-branch leader within the Engineering Club.
VAHS has provided Ben with a community that he can form a part of. He was also provided many opportunities to pursue what he wished because teachers allowed him to explore his interests by “letting [him] do what he wanted”. An activity in particular that brought two clubs together is the SeaPerch team. It combines both “Engineering Club and Science club resources and people to get a group of kids to compete in SeaPerch.” This team gets to build an underwater remote operated vehicle and use it for competitions. This just proves that activities found at VAHS will provide a variety of ways to pursue any passion or interest within the school.
As we can see VAHS provides a lot for their students, however; students can always find a way to contribute to VAHS themselves. Ben contributes to VAHS, by encouraging other students to join any activities or clubs, because it's always a great way to meet new people, and get insight into the opportunities the school can offer.
Although many don’t say it often, there is always someone or something that influences who we are and who we want to become, and for Ben, that’s his father. Ben has recognized what his father has done right or wrong in his life, and he tries to model his life after him but in his own way. Ben also gives credit to “a great list of math teachers who have all inspired [him] to choose the future plans [he has] chosen.” Specifically “[the] math teachers [who] have inspired [him] through letting [him] figure out that [he loves] math” are his teachers Ms. Barr, who was his seventh-grade teacher, and Mr. Wolf who was his eighth-grade teacher, both at Savanna Oaks. Because to Ben, both teachers displayed devotion to making sure Ben understood what he was learning in class, and even making the class “fun along the way.”
While many people would like to be remembered for doing something great within VAHS, Ben chooses to be remembered solely as “a good student who worked hard”, however; he couldn't do that alone. He wants to recognize his friend, Bowen Quan, “for making sure [he does his] work all the time.”
On a final note, Ben had stated that he has a long term plan for his career but he also mentioned that a “Short term [plan] is to enjoy the ride through different activities and events, because If [he doesn’t] enjoy it then there's no reason to do it.” Wherever our plans take us, let this be a reminder to enjoy the ride along the way.