Student stars: Matthew Hoffman of North Catholic High School


The world of education is filled with hard workers — hard-working teachers, hard-working administrators and, of course, hard-working students. In recognition of the great students and schools in our neighborhoods, The Northside Chronicle is profiling just a few of them in this weekly blog feature.

Chronicle intern Tracy Patinksi sat down with students from many Northside schools to talk about their dreams and goals. These students work hard day in and day out to make their families and teachers proud, and each one was nominated for these profiles by their teachers and principals for their accomplishments in academics, sports, arts and more.

Matt Hoffman, a senior at North Catholic, has worked hard at his education. (Photo/Tracy Patinksi)
Matt Hoffman, a senior at North Catholic, has worked hard at his education. (Photo/Tracy Patinksi)

North Catholic senior Matt Hoffman is having a great year — in fact, according to him, it’s “really really good. The best start to any school year ever.”

Part of it is due to his hard work in class, and part of it because of his enthusiasm about what’s coming after graduation. Matt was excited to talk about his work in theater, where he’s racked up many impressive accomplishments during his time at the Troy Hill school.

In this year’s spring play, Matt is the only senior boy involved — and he hopes this means he can snag the male lead. Although he seems quiet, his face lights up as soon as he starts talking about his plans.

“I’m hoping to go out with a bang,” he says.

His work doesn’t stop at acting. Matt has taken his excitement for theater to the next level, assuming the title of director and putting on his own one act play titled “The Reading of the Will.” In this role he is not only able to show his own years of hard-earned expertise, but also act as a mentor to the freshmen students cast in his play.

“My teacher nicely forced me into it,” he says. “But now I’m really happy I did go [along] with her.”

Alongside his accomplishments in theater, Matt also works with a demanding schedule. His impressive lineup of courses this year include French 4, calculus, Advanced Placement European history, and honors religion. While some nights the homework really piles up, Matt has been getting good grades so far this year, and enjoys his time and friends at North Catholic.

“I pretty much look forward to every class,” he says.

His favorite, though, is an instrumental music program. Matt has played violin for over 10 years, and also dabbles in piano and the organ.

Matt mentioned his math teacher, Spanish teacher, parents and the Popes as role models that have helped him get where he is today and continue to inspire him.

Looking down the road, Matt anticipates his graduation and looking at schools where he can study architecture. True to his interest in theater and music, he plans to look more at the arts side of architecture than the engineering aspects.

His first choice is The Catholic University of America, followed by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Cincinnati. With all of his achievements under his belt, he’s feeling optimistic about the application process.

“I hope with all of the things I’ve told you about that I’m doing I’d get accepted,” he says.

And after college? Matt plans on working for awhile, and then eventually returning to Pittsburgh to start his own company.

“It’s a small city, but there’s still a lot here,” he says, mentioning the architecture, theaters, and arts as reasons for his return.

Tracy Patinski is a full-time graduate student in Carnegie Mellon’s professional writing program and interned with The Northside Chronicle during the fall semester.

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