A passionate mentor

Hope Martin, Design and Layout Editor

 

Biology teacher Mr. Chris Freidhoff is a teacher who is adored by many. It is seen through his work that he is very passionate about what he does and inspires his students to become the best people that they can be. 

One of Mr. Freidhoff’s students, junior Ruby Bjalme agrees.

“Mr. Freidhoff always makes class entertaining and teaches material more hands-on than just notes. He is a teacher who is passionate about his job and makes class enjoyable for everyone,” Ruby said.

Mr. Freidhoff teaches two classes of AP biology, three regular biology classes, and one college prep biology class. He has been teaching for a total of nine years. Aside from teaching biology classes, Mr. Freidhoff is also an assistant coach for the track and field team. He will typically specialize with the jumpers and the sprinters for both indoor and outdoor track.

Aside from what many people think, Mr. Freidhoff didn’t graduate from Pitt – he’s just a really big Pitt fan. He actually graduated with his undergrad from St. Francis University in Loretto, PA. His first master’s degree is in stem education through California University of Pennsylvania. He is also getting his second master’s degree through Montana State University. He is about halfway done with achieving that goal. 

Mr. Friedhoff offers advice for college bound students. 

“Make sure that they are passionate about what they are choosing. Make sure they want to do it no matter what the outlook of money is, because money doesn’t always equate to happiness. Money definitely helps with happiness, but make sure that they choose a career that they want to go into. Because happiness at the end of the day, happiness to go to work is about the things that you do and the people that you reach and that’s something that you do on a daily basis,” Mr. Freidhoff said.

Aside from Science, Mr. Freiddhoff has another passion that he was actually going to pursue instead of teaching for a long time. 

“When I was very young, from five until about sixteen or seventeen, I was 100% going to be a paleontologist and archeologist. I loved Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones. I could watch those movies back to back. I was already looking at colleges for it, but then I realized that it was a passion of mine, but it’s very hard to get a place in that profession and make a career out of it,” he said.

However, in the end, Mr. Freidhoff decided to become a biology teacher with a little pushing. 

“Around sixteen or seventeen I had a bio teacher, Mr. Rearick. He was an absolutely fantastic teacher… He recommended that I become a bio and science teacher. We talked about it for a while and we were doing a cellular respiration project. I started thinking ‘wow this might be for me.’ I might enjoy this so much that I want to teach it.”

At that point during his junior year, Mr. Freidhoff realized he wanted to be a teacher. 

Even though Mr. Freidhoff decided not to pursue becoming a paleontologist or archeologist, he has still found ways to incorporate his passion for paleontology and archeology into his classroom. 

“I love paleontology. I still go out to Montana and go on paleontological digs with crews. One of the crews sends us dirt from Montana with fossils in it and I’ve been able to bring that dirt with the fossils and have students look through the dirt and find these fossils and we actually get to send those fossils back (with the dirt as well) to have real paleontologists categorize and identify the fossils,” he said. 

Mr. Freidhoff impacts the lives of his students every day. From being a role model for students, to keeping class fun, he shares his love of science with students every chance he gets.

“Mr. Freidhoff is an amazing teacher. He is very open and welcoming, and takes pride in what he teaches,” junior Noah Aberegg said.