Just prior to joining Saint Ignatius High School in 2015, Hjort worked as a campus minister and math teacher at Magnificat High School. That experience gives him an important perspective that he brings to Saint Ignatius students, according to Department Chair Dave Sabol ‘99.
“He finds creative and authentic ways to incorporate the school's Catholic mission into his work in the classroom, like the Catholic Social Teaching project he runs through geometry,” says Sabol.
Hjort’s Catholic faith is an integral part of his teaching.
“People ask, ‘Where do you see God in math?’” Hjort says. “Math is considered God’s language. Everything can be modeled with a mathematical creation. That fascinates me. It’s like reading God’s blueprints.”
Outside of the classroom, Hjort is a baker by hobby. There’s a precision in baking that appeals to the mathematician in him. He was moderator of the now defunct extracurricular, Bakers for Others, until last year. The group donated their baked good to Friends with L’Arche and were well regarded for their chocolate chip scones.
“It was fun,” he recalls. “We had 10 consistent guys. When they graduated, it faded. Now, I’m hoping to revive it and am looking for the appropriate space on campus.”
Like most Saint Ignatius faculty members. Hjort loves teaching and views it as his vocation. His greatest sense of satisfaction is when he promotes the mission of the school or is able to show students how they are indeed Men for Others. His greatest reward, he says, is in teaching sophomores and watching them mature over the course of an academic year.
“They begin with freshman hesitation and evolve to sophomores trying to find themselves,” he says. “By the end of the year, they are hitting their stride and ready to keep going.”