Telling Daniel's story

Accomplishments and Activities

Daniel's school life was improving greatly. After years as an A and B student, he had received straight-A's the last two grading periods.

He was selected to be in the gifted and talented program in junior high school.

He was a "Stretch for Excellence" award winner, having been named as the top biology student of the Columbine High School sophomore class. He died before he knew he had been selected.

In March of 1999 Daniel had spent two weeks in France with his French class. He had especially enjoyed living for 5 days with a French family.

While at Ken Caryl Middle School Daniel won two National Science Olympiad awards, presented to the top ten scorers in the area of general science knowledge. While in 8th grade he tied for second place!

Photos from a wonderful life
Daniel using the computer

National Honor Society

In September 1999 we were informed that Daniel had been accepted for membership into the National Honor Society. (NHS is an honorary society whose competitive membership is based on academic achievement, service to the community and teacher recommendations.) Daniel had applied for membership in the society several weeks before the tragedy at Columbine.

The day we received his acceptance letter was one of those very happy/sad days for us. (In addition, the parents of Columbine victim Matt Kechter were also informed that Matt had been accepted.)

We attended the ceremony on September 15. It was a bittersweet moment. We are very proud of this accomplishment of Daniel's, but saddened he is not here to accept it in person. Saddened that the talents he had will not be shared with the world.

Debate Team
Daniel joined the debate team, in part to overcome his shyness. He participated in cross-examination debate, Congress, and Lincoln-Douglas debate. He earned membership in the National Forensic League. Topics he debated included alternative energy sources, genetic engineering and the rights of journalists to conceal sources. He won several excellent and superior ratings.

Waiting to Drive
He was eligible to get his learner's permit for driving at 15½ (December 25 of last year) but because of his trip to France, debate competitions, and other school demands, he agreed to wait until this summer to get it and take drivers training. A teenager willing to wait to drive!?! That's the kind of kid Daniel was.

He was a Junior Volunteer at Swedish Hospital the last two summers, helping in the pharmacy. He had some interest in a career in the medical or research field.

He was a walker with his family in two 10 kilometer AIDS Walks in Denver. The Mausers were volunteers in RAIN Colorado, which provides aid and companionship to an AIDS patient.

He was an occasional babysitter--someone who played with and took an interest in the children he cared for.

Daniel with broken arm

Daniel gets a broken arm while skiing, after being hit by a snowboarder.

He was the kind of kid who volunteered to rake the leaves of a neighborhood senior citizen after he had a heart attack.

Just for fun
He liked to ski, play video and computer games, and bike.

His father was hoping that in the summer of 1999, after the leg strength he developed in cross country running, Daniel would hike up his first 14,000-foot mountain with his dad.

He learned to play the piano.

He played chess and won 2nd place in a Denver metro-area tournament as a member of the Ken Caryl Middle School Chess Club Team.

Daniel was also a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, for three years.

Daniel loved the challenge of playing games with adults, including the computer versions of
Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, as well as trivia and knowledge games. If he wasn't quite competitive enough for a game, he would volunteer to read the questions or participate in some other way--he loved to learn, loved to experience, loved to watch others, loved to learn.

Family fun included vacations, games, swimming, and hiking (especially in the red rock majesty of nearby Roxborough State Park.)

Daniel was baptized into the Roman Catholic church on September 23, 1983. He was working on receiving the sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church. He would have been confirmed two weeks after his death; his class dedicated the class to him and placed a plaque in the teen program room.

He had a keen interest in current events and social issues, becoming a regular reader of Time magazine. He enjoyed watching "60 Minutes" on TV. Daniel had concerns with the proliferation of guns in the U.S. Just two weeks prior to his death he asked his dad if he knew that there were loopholes in the Brady Bill (a Federal law that requires background checks for certain gun buyers). It wasn't a topic in his debate class, but he had heard about it in a conversation. His dad was motivated into action when he realized that this was a sign--that Daniel was shot with a gun that was purchased through one of those loopholes in the Brady Bill!

He was fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit a great number of places, including France; Washington, D.C.; Disneyland, Universal Studios, Los Angeles; San Diego; Disney World and Sarasota (where he was bitten by a sting ray in the ocean!); Yellowstone National Park; Pittsburgh, PA (his dad's hometown); Niagra Falls; Devil's Tower, Wyoming; Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Jewel Cave and Wall Drug, South Dakota; Las Vegas; Grand Canyon; Zion, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah; Maine and Boston; and New York City.

He saw plenty of Colorado, with visits to Mesa Verde and Rocky Mountain National Parks; Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon National Monuments; and weekends in places like Steamboat Springs, Estes Park, Buena Vista, Trinidad, Ouray, Durango, Vail, Marble, Breckenridge, and Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. One of the family's favorite spots was Glenwood Springs, where we loved to play miniature golf, ski, and especially swim for hours at the huge hot springs pool.

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