Mark Sumera - Aspen Country Day School

Mark Sumera
Middle School Math & Science Teacher

970-925-1909 x 253

A Middle School faculty member since 1999, Mark has taught more than two decades of Aspen Country Day School students the beauty of the quadratic equation. He also enchants Lower School students with science demos and leads hard-charging ski groups on Middle School ski afternoons. Mark grew up in Wisconsin and holds a BS in environmental science from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Prior to joining Aspen Country Day School, he taught chemistry and math at Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale.

What’s in your starter pack? 

Well, one would have to be a guitar. Then anything that would allow me to build stuff. I love making music and building things. My grandfather worked in a steel mill in New York, and his job was to fix things as they broke. He was really good at it. My dad is an electrical engineer. When I was a little kid and my dad was changing the oil in the car, I would hold the flashlight for him. I grew up building things; it’s just something that I’m good at and love to do.

Something you haven’t done yet?

Travel and explore more places. I’ve done a lot on my bucket list, but climbing around in the Andes would be great. Or playing in the ocean off of Bali or Thailand.

Dream dinner party?

Benjamin Franklin. Jimi Hendrix. Jerry Garcia. 

Most interesting job besides teaching?

I was a canopy ecologist for two years at the Wind River Canopy Crane. It was a 300-foot-tall crane in an old growth forest in Washington state; it would pick you up and bring you into the treetops to do research. You’d study nutrient cycling, the impacts trees have on microclimates and weather patterns, rainfall distribution, the plants and animals that live in the canopies — there are animals and insects that never touch the ground.

If it were your last day on earth?

I would spend it with my wife because I love her. The term soulmate is thrown around, but she certainly is mine. You know, just sitting on a couch with her makes me happy.

Anything else?

Where I grew up, everyone’s kind of private. You live your life, you do your job, and you do a good job. This is unusual for me, to talk about myself. So I have nothing more to add because I’ve already gone way past my comfort level.

Student Interviewers

Jared H.
Elle E.