On March 7th, 2014 the Monticello Area Education Foundation will host the 12th Annual Legacy of Learning Gala at Monticello Middle School. With the theme “Sage Ingenuity”, Monticello High School Graduates in the Science and Technology field will be honored. Proceeds from this event help teachers fund creative projects to benefit students throughout the Monticello school district.  

Meet our Honorees:

Mark  Schneider  is a Senior Principle Engineer for The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington.  He is responsible for the design of structural and mechanical assemblies used in space applications.  As the Responsible Engineer for the Boeing Commercial Space Company Sea Launch Program Payload Interface Assembly, he has coordinated both electrical and mechanical interface requirements between Boeing designed hardware and the Russia Space Corporation Energia upper stage of the Sea Launch 3 stage Zenit rocket.  An additional responsibility is coordination of the Boeing payload assembly operations performed at the Sea Launch processing facility in Long Beach, California.  Graduating from Monticello High School in 1972, Mark pursued an engineering degree and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois.  His interest in math and science started in elementary school with the beginning of the space race to put a man on the moon.

Hobbies that helped develop this interest consisted of constructing scale models of aircraft and rockets, the launching of amateur rockets, and studying astronomy.  As a young boy growing up on the edge of Monticello, Mark’s back yard connected to an open field of corn or beans allowing him to safely conduct rocket launches and recoveries as well as having an unobstructed view to the stars.  Lincoln and Washington Elementary School writing projects allowed Mark to expand interest on current affairs in space, astronauts’ missions to prepare for the moon landing and forecasting advancements in satellite technology and space science.  At the age of twelve, the money earned from Mark’s first job, walking beans for local farms, went to pay for his first telescope.  His experience with the Industrial Arts class at Monticello High introduced mechanical drawing training that connected Mark’s hobbies with his career.

As a young boy Mark dreamed of orbiting the earth from space, but as an adult, he is happy to travel around the world with his family; wife Lisa, and daughters, Erin and Erica.  Their adventures together have taken them to Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as Central and South America.  Through family and career, Mark has developed new goals which combine engineering with assisting communities around the world, through resolving local issues like providing electrical power and clean drinking water to remote villages.

Having his loving and supporting family; Mother, Therese and Father, Eugene and siblings, Steve, Carol & John, Mark was encouraged to learn the basics of his interests at an early age.  But life has been an education every day finding new ways to help make the world a better experience for all through engineering.


C. Scott Wilkin is currently the Associate Director of Business Development for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Champaign campus.  Scott is a 1983 graduate of MHS, and culminated his education with a Master of Science from the University of Oklahoma where his studies specialized in Low-Temperature Solid State Physics.  Scott and  Diana met in Carbondale Illinois while attending Southern and were married in 1992.  Scott started his professional career as a Product Line Manager for Texas Instruments, after 2 years  transitioned to National Semiconductor where Scott, at the end of his tenure,  managed over 150  people.  In 1999, Scott decided to join Alcatel as a Program Manager and shortly thereafter Scott and Diana had their twins Nick and Natalie in 2000 with Jacob following close behind in 2001.  Scott and Diana decided it was time for a change of scenery (and weather) and moved to sunny Monticello Illinois in 2007, so we could raise our children in this wonderful community.  Scott concluded his work with Alcatel-Lucent in March of 2014 as the Vice-President of Business development for the optics division supporting  Verizon and AT&T.  Scott is involved in the Rotary Club of Monticello and has been instrumental in bringing current technology uses to the club.