Rachel Oelsner is a member of the 2020 senior class at Oconomowoc High School. Rachel is a trumpet player in the OHS band, her favorite month is October and her favorite holiday is Halloween. We’d like to thank Rachel for taking the time to talk with us about her Lake Country life and her post-graduation plans.
Q. Please tell us about your current plans after high school. What inspired you to choose this path?
A. “In the fall, I will be attending University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee as a geography major (with a focus on urban geography and city planning). I hope to become an urban planner after college, and UWM offers a lot of great programs for students with this goal and is phenomenal at placing students in jobs right out of college. Part of what inspired me to pursue urban planning was the Civil Engineering and Architecture class that I took at Oconomowoc High School. The class focused a lot on architecture, but there were many aspects of urban planning built into the curriculum as well.”
Q. Please tell us a little bit about your family.
A. “I have a younger brother, Nathan, who is finishing up his sophomore year at Lake Country Lutheran High School. He is extremely intelligent, and I would for sure consider him as my best friend. My mom teaches at Kettle Moraine Middle School, and my dad is an audio/visual technician for a company in Germantown. Both are extremely supportive and have helped get me to where I am today.”
Q. What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
A. “My ABSOLUTE favorite restaurant in the area is Mazatlan in Delafield. I was pretty disappointed when their Oconomowoc location closed, but it’s definitely worth it to head over to Delafield for some good Mexican food. Aside from that, I’m also a huge fan of The Picnic Basket and the two taco trucks that are located in the downtown area of Oconomowoc.”
Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in our community?
A. “The most interesting person that I have met in our community is probably my Girl Scout leader, Laura Labus. Aside from being a great leader and passing these skills on to the girls in our troop, Laura is extremely organized and has a great love for animals. She has fostered several litters of puppies over the past few years and at one point, passed the required qualification test to be on Jeopardy!”
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why? *
A. “If I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be to Italy. Italian culture and architecture has always been an interest of mine, and I would love to experience it firsthand.”
Q. What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
A. “My favorite movie is Ratatouille, and my favorite TV show is Star Trek (the original from 1966, not any of the new series).”
Q. What’s the best advice you ever received from a teacher? Who was the teacher?
A. “Mr. Krofta, my band director at Oconomowoc High School, always tells the band, “To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late, and to be late is unacceptable.” This is good advice not only for band rehearsals, but for interviews, meetings, and work. It is important to make a good impression when you are meeting people for the first time, and one of the best ways to do this is to be on time.”
Q. What is your go to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
A. “American Authors.”
Q. If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch? *
A. “I would love to meet Chief Justice Roberts of the United States Supreme Court. I have a fascination with the courts and how justice is carried out. Though I wouldn’t consider a career in law, I find the processes extremely interesting. I would probably meet for lunch at Golden Mast.”
Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community? *
A. “One of my favorite things about the community of Oconomowoc is the many festivals that we have that bring the community together. Some of my favorites are Moonlit Movies, Fall Fest, The German Christmas Market, and The Festival of the Arts. It’s really special that we have so many opportunities to be involved in the community and meet new people.”
Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
A. “After college, I can see myself working as an urban planner in a large city. I’m not sure where in the country I will end up, but I hope to continue my involvement in the community wherever I am living.”
Q. What show are you binge watching right now?
A. “Monk, a crime show about a genius detective with OCD.”
Q. Who inspires you to be better?
A. “A lot of my inspiration comes from my boyfriend, Zach Lemke. He is currently attending University of Wisconsin – Madison and pursuing a degree in nuclear engineering. We’ve been together for 2.5 years, and during this time, he’s taught me the value of hard work and dedication. Watching him pursue his goals gives me the motivation to pursue mine. Like me, Zach is very academically inclined, and having taken a lot of the same classes in high school, a slight competitiveness always drives me to do my best.”
Q. If you could go back over your entire school career what is one thing you would do differently?
A. “One organization that I have immensely enjoyed being a part of in high school has been the Students 4 Service organization. Through this club, I have been able to participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities over the last two years. One regret that I have is not taking advantage of this opportunity sooner. If I could go back, I would have joined Students 4 Service during my freshman year rather than waiting until my junior year to get involved. The club has given me the opportunity to help my community and meet some amazing people in the process.”
Q. Who or what do you miss the most right now? *
A. “I play trumpet in the Oconomowoc High School Wind Symphony, and the thing that I miss most right now is being able to play in a band, being able to practice with my trumpet section, and being able to see my friends from band in person.”
Q. What’s the first thing you want to do when this quarantine is over? *
A. “The first thing that I want to do when quarantine is over is to go to Roots Coffeebar with my friend Cassie, get coffee, and walk around the lake together.”