A Burst of Energy and Happiness

By Danny Honsa '22, Communications Apprentice
January 13, 2021

Suzanne Engel Zobitz '80 at her desk. Photo by Danny Honsa '22.

The teachers, staff, and administration at Cretin-Derham Hall do their best to help students to be their best academically, in sports, and in their spiritual lives. Spanish teacher Suzanne Engel Zobitz '80 shared her story of teaching at CDH, and the coming of age in the community. 

Zobitz has a welcoming demeanor, taking all her students under her wing not just to teach them Spanish class, but to be their mentor about anything going on in school, social life, family life, or just someone to talk to. She is a cloud of joy and happiness that walks around the halls of CDH and the moment you enter her classroom, she is on a mission to educate you to your fullest potential. 

“Whenever you see Zobz walking down the halls, you just get a burst of energy and happiness from her. She always is smiling and being loud, it always makes my day,” said Maggie Dolan ‘22

Zobitz teaches Spanish to almost every grade of students at CDH and feels connected with students. With the transition to the hybrid schedule this year, she feels that it’s very hard for teachers to keep up and that students have an unbearable amount of work. Zoom has made it difficult for her to include everyone in class, since it’s hard to incorporate students online. However, Zobitz has shown her care and compassion for students by continuing her work at CDH despite a complicated family situation, as well as the health risk of COVID-19 requiring her to live apart from her husband. Her dedication to students and love of teaching is what drives her to come to school every day to teach her students.

"Being away from my husband is challenging, but teaching is what I love to do. We are managing," she said. 

Her children, Hannah '13, Frankie '15, and Beth '17 attended CDH and were highly involved students. Zobitz believes the wide range of opportunities available to express yourself and your faith at this school is what makes students succeed. 

“CDH is such a welcoming environment and community," she said. “The bond students have is unlike any other place, and when you walk in the halls you can see students yelling and laughing with each other.” 

Zobitz began teaching at CDH more than 30 years ago, and took eight years off to be home when her children were young. Over her 22 years of teaching and three decades of connection to CDH, she has developed a strong attachment to this school. She feels that it is like a home, that students can come here and see all our friends, and be welcomed by all the teachers and staff. She lives in White Bear Lake, and even though working at CDH is not super convenient to her commute, she wouldn’t trade it for anything else. 

Emily Carter '22 took Zobitz's class as a ninth-grader and a sophomore.

“Ms. Zobitz is just so caring,” Carter said. “She will do whatever she can to help you get better at a certain subject.” 

Over her many years at CDH, Zobitz has grown personally and developed lifelong relationships with her students. She is thankful for her time here and believes CDH is unique in being a private Catholic school that has specific teachings, morals, and values, but still offers students the opportunity to choose their opinions and be themselves. 

Zobitz, along with the other teachers at CDH, continues to work at this school for the sole purpose of education. 

“The education of students and their priorities always come first, and we need to do our best this year to work as hard as we can,” she said. “We need to better the future of our students and their connection with their faith while connecting students with one another in a way where they can call CDH their second home.”



Danny Honsa '22 is a Communications Apprentice. He is also involved in alpine ski, track, the Chronicle, math team, the student ambassador leadership program and Empty Bowls. In his free time, he enjoys going on walks outside and cooking.He is excited to promote CDH values and keep his fellow Raiders informed. 


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