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Ryan Hatzlhoffer has made a big impact at Union Catholic

In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic senior Ryan Hatzlhoffer
Hatzlhoffer, who lives in Colonia and Linden, is a Student Ambassador, a member of the Student Council, an Honor Roll student, and is a member of SMAC, and the baseball team.  
Here is our Q and A with Hatzlhoffer - 
What does it mean to you to represent the school as a Student Ambassador, and what do you enjoy the most about serving as Student Ambassador? 

Being an ambassador is one of the most important things at Union Catholic. It gives me the opportunity to give back to the school community that has given me so much over the years. The most enjoyable part of being an ambassador is meeting people from all different walks of life and helping lead them to have a positive school experience similar to mine.

How about your role with the Student Council, Ryan. What do you enjoy the most about being a member of the Student Council, and what does it mean to you to be in such a leadership role?
I have an incredible time being part of the Student Council. Most people who know me also know that I like to lay back and have a good time and being part of the student council gives me the opportunity to get involved in activities that allow everyone to get a break from the workload and just have a plain old good time. I have gotten a lot of opportunities to be a leader during my time in student council and I am so grateful to be able to play even a small part in the importance of the club.
Can you list everything else that you are involved in at UC (any clubs etc.)? 
Aside from Student Council, I am involved with SMAC, Livestream, and baseball.

Can you list any honors you have received at UC. 
I have been on the High Honor Roll.

What does it mean to you to have achieved academic success? 
Achieving Honor Roll and being recognized for academic achievements at Union Catholic fills you with such excitement and content because it makes all of the work, studying, and stress worthwhile.
What do you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic? 

The community at Union Catholic is what I love most. The staff and faculty have always been caring and friendly which has allowed me to grow strong bonds with some of them that I will hold dear to myself forever. I have also met so many students at UC that have made a change in my life. This is something I will never forget.

Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?
I always knew that I wanted to go to Union Catholic. I come from a Legacy family (both parents went to UC), so UC almost felt like home to me. Apart from that, I would say that the vibe and environment made me choose UC over any other school. When I partook in the Freshman For A Day program, I was hooked and instantly knew that UC was in my future, and I was willing to do everything I could to ensure it was.

What kind of advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools? 

Academics are important, but if you don’t take time to enjoy yourself and get involved, it will fly by too quickly. If you are looking for a place to be academically challenged and structured as well as looking for a place to make memories that you will always remember, UC is the place for you. What sets UC apart from the average school is the dedication of the faculty and staff who work to strengthen the core values of respect, responsibility, community, honesty, and compassion. This not only will help students in school, but will carry on with them in their lives and futures.

What specifically can you point to as the things that you’ve benefited from the most from your experience as a student at UC? 

The things I have benefitted from the most at UC are the relationships I have built, the lessons I have learned, and the knowledge and information that has been cemented into my mind. All these things will play a part in my future.

Everyone in school has seen you dress up in festive costumes for every holiday. From Santa Claus to the Easter Bunny, you have something to wear for every occasion. How and when did this all start, and can you explain why you do it and how much happiness it gives you and other people.
This all started as far back as I can remember. I love the holidays because they give me an opportunity to give back and make others happy. If I can put a smile on one person’s face, that's the best thing in the world to me. Even at school, I get to express myself and my love for decorating and celebrating the holidays in a way that spreads joy and positivity. I truly could not ask for anything more. 
What are you looking forward to the most the rest of this school year? 
In all honesty, in these final few months of school left I want to enjoy and make as many memories as I possibly can. I am looking forward to some events such as prom and Mr. UC because they will both give me the memories I hope to gain. I am also excited to close out with my senior baseball season.
Favorite class and teacher at UC?
Though I enjoy all my teachers and appreciate all they do for me, I would have to say that Mr. Araneo is my favorite teacher and his Digital Journalism class is my favorite as well. The class has strengthened my public speaking skills and helped to boost my confidence. I have had the pleasure of having Mr. Araneo for 3 years and over those years, we have grown a bond that is very important to me. I am so grateful for all he does to prepare me academically and help me set a future for myself. Since I hate picking favorites, I must say that I also really enjoy art with Mrs. Schroppe and Criminology with Mrs. Donnelly because they give me knowledge about very unique topics.

Favorite UC memory? 
I have too many favorite memories from UC, and I honestly can’t just pick one. However, I would say that one of the most unique memories and experiences that stands out to me is when Principal Sister Percylee Hart led the pipe and drums band down the halls for St. Patrick's Day. I don’t think many people could say they have witnessed something like that at school. 
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
My favorite core value is community. Having a community like the one at Union Catholic not only is a very unique experience, but it is also very beneficial. Every UC student both past and present share a bond that can never be taken away.
How about the future? Which colleges are you looking at, and what type of career you’d like to pursue?
I plan on owning and operating my own interior design business one day. I am looking to start out locally for my first few years of college, and when I become comfortable with where I am I would like to transfer to a college focused on interior design. To start out, I am looking at Kean, and one day hope to consider schools such as the New York School of Interior Design, SCAD, and FIT. No matter where life takes me, one thing's for certain - I will always be a Viking.
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