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Heitzig Brings Diverse Talents to St. Benedict’s

Benedictine Volunteer Teaches Economics and Coaches Students

Above%2C+Chris+Heitzig+teaches+his+economic+class.+He+is+already+engaged+with+several+parts+of+the+school.
Above, Chris Heitzig teaches his economic class. He is already engaged with several parts of the school.

Above, Chris Heitzig teaches his economic class. He is already engaged with several parts of the school.

Above, Chris Heitzig teaches his economic class. He is already engaged with several parts of the school.

Dominick Silva, Staff Writer

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Benedictine volunteer, Chris Heitzig, is ecstatic to be teaching at St. Benedict’s Prep.  He said, “I really love it here and I am happier now than I was a year ago.”

He feels very needed at St. Benedict’s.

“Everything I do here is directly benefitting someone else’s life which makes me feel better about my own,” said Mr. Heitzig.

Mr. Heitzig was born in Brooklyn Park, a suburban area in Minneapolis. His father is a computer scientist and his mother is involved in restaurant management. He attended Park Center High School and then went to St. John’s University for four years. In college, he majored in Economics and minored in Philosophy and Mathematics. He attended a Benedictine college because of his values and is serious about God’s mystery and presence in people’s lives.

“In Minnesota, you can walk up to some flowers and trees and say “oh god is here with me.” But here you see a bike that’s chained up getting torn to pieces and you ask yourself where is god but you know he’s there,” Mr. Heitzig said. Mr. Heitzig follows the monastic schedule which means he eats and prays with the monks.

Mr. Heitzig is at the Hive because the Benedictine Volunteer Corps gave him an option to volunteer anywhere in the world. He chose St. Benedict’s as his number one because he likes racially diverse high schools and he feels right at home.  He is looking to stay for another year.  He said, “I’m happy so far, if i’m happy, why would I leave.” At St. Benedict’s he is currently teaching economics.

He feels very strongly about teaching economics and the impact it can have on the students. Mr. Heitzig believes that students especially in this area are financially illiterate. “Students don’t know what a lot of the vocabulary terms mean and don’t understand how to navigate the world,” he said.  “It’s at the heart of human life to make ends meet and support yourself financially. You need to have economic literacy to realize your dreams,”

Mr. Heitzig plans on doing a lot more than just teaching at St. Benedict’s Prep. He is looking forward to doing some work with the Benedict News because he was involved with the student newspaper and was a Section Editor at St. John’s for three years.  Newspaper isn’t the only activity Mr. Heitzig wants to be a part of.

“I really like coaching, I want to invest my time into the soccer and basketball programs here because those are two of my favorite sports,” he said. Mr. Heitzig is assisting college guidance counselor Didier Jean-Baptiste.

For the monastery, he wants to get more involved musically. “I like playing the piano, so I would like to play at the masses and any other way I can just to keep my music skills up,” Mr. Heitzig said.

Getting involved with all these activities will distract him from missing his sister Maddie, a senior in high school. She is his favorite person in the world.

“I miss her like crazy out here but she’s coming to visit me during Thanksgiving,” said Mr. Heitzig.

When asked what he liked best about the school Mr. Heitzig said, “I really like the diversity in the community. It’s not only racial diversity. There is a wonderful mixture of talents, backgrounds, personalities, and, in the staff’s case, professions.” However, Mr. Heitzig said that so far there is nothing that he dislikes about the school but if anything there is one thing he does miss. “While I love the urban setting, I miss Mother Nature. I miss being surrounded by trees and lakes and open fields,” he said.         

Overall Chris Heitzig feels he is doing a good job at St. Benedict’s Prep.  Mr. Heitzig stays after school to help students with their academic needs and greets everyone he knows in the hallways with a smile and conversation.   

“In order to interact with students efficiently you have to speak their language and learn all their different slangs to build strong relationships with them,” Mr. Heitzig said. After his time here, Mr. Heitzig plans on attending graduate school for economics because he wants to spend the rest of his life researching and teaching at universities about his discoveries in economics. But for now he wants to continue building relationships with students.

“I have exposed all the students for who they are,” he joked. He smiled and said, “Truly great people…or is that too cheesy?”

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Heitzig Brings Diverse Talents to St. Benedict’s