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Faculty Spotlight: Meet Union Catholic's Donna Hofmann

In our latest installment of Faculty/Staff spotlight, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic's Donna Hofmann.
Hofmann is retiring from full-time teaching after this school year.  
Here is our Q and A with Hofmann - 
Faculty member
Donna Hofmann
Years of service at Union Catholic?


Current positions at UC, both teaching and clubs etc?

All levels of Physics

What are your future plans following retirement?

To continue to teach Physics at UC - part time


Graduated from St. Aloysius Academy in Jersey City. College: degree in Geoscience from Jersey City State College (which is now New Jersey City University. University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Did you play sports or were you in any clubs etc. during your high school/college days?

Club gymnastics in high school. We didn't have a team, but we had a club that met in the mornings, and we just competed against ourselves

Before UC: What did you do after you graduated from college and before you started working at UC?

The job I think I am most famous for after college was as a gardener in a local cemetery, but I was also a lab technician at Englehard laboratories in Iselin. I also taught physics at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Edison, and at Marlboro High School in Marlboro.

When and why did you decide to become a teacher?

I don't think it was ever really my choice to become a teacher - God chose this path for me. A friend at the cemetery was studying to be a teacher. I had no teaching credentials but I felt I could do the job. I answered an ad for a science teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas, and I guess they thought I could do the job too. The first day I walked into the classroom, I knew that was where I was called to be.

What do you enjoy the most about being a teacher?

Physics is not an easy subject, and students often don't think they can meet the challenge to do something they feel is beyond them. I love when that's proven wrong, and they find depth in themselves that they didn't even know they could tap into. I also love when they return to UC and tell us how UC made a difference in their lives beyond these walls.

What are the biggest changes you have seen at Union Catholic since you started teaching here?   

The technology is certainly different. I'm sure I'm dating myself, but we used to have to sign up to bring a class into the Apple computer lab. But I have also seen a strengthening in the community through the years.

Your UC Journey: How did you wind up at UC? 

I wound up at UC kind of by accident, or was it providence? My husband was at a family party that I could not attend, and met someone who taught at UC. I had never heard of UC, but I was looking for a job that was more local. "Coincidentally", the next day I saw an ad for a physics teacher at UC.I applied and was hired. The interesting part of the story is that several months later, I saw my husband's family and I asked who that UC teacher was that had attended the party months before. They replied that they didn't know anyone who taught at UC, and had no idea what I was talking about. So, I believe it was an angel directing me here. Or maybe it was one of those powerful Sr. Percylee prayers!

What do you love the most about working at Union Catholic?

We are a community of faith. I tell my graduating seniors - remember two things as you go forward: God has your back, and so does UC. No one is ever forgotten by UC. There will always be someone here who cares

What are some of your favorite UC memories?

It was quite incredible to me how the whole UC community pulled together during Covid lockdown, especially students. They rose to meet the immense challenge of remote-learning, and then rose again to seamlessly return to our "new normal."

What do you love the most about being part of the UC Community? What makes UC so special?

I love that the thread connecting everything and everyone at UC is our faith, and that God is respected and allowed to permeate everything we do.

What’s something about yourself that most people don’t know that would surprise people?

I'm a big sports fan - can't play them, but love watching!

Did you know: Hofmann once served as the moderator for the Magic Club at UC.

What are you most proud of when you reflect on your years at UC?

I hope people see the light in me that has come from the grace of God. If I have helped someone take a step closer to Him, I am most proud.

Favorite things to do in your spare time?

Walk, hike, travel, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles

Favorite core value and why? 

Responsibility - We are our true selves when no one is watching. Personal responsibility breeds inward character and dignity.

One word to describe your experience at Union Catholic?