As the second semester began, long time science teacher Dr. Wachtmeister returned from his semester sabbatical. Doc Wacht. first started working in the science department at Belmont Hill in the fall of 1987. However, this was far from the beginning of his teaching career. In 1967, Doc Wacht. began teaching at a community college in Virginia Beach, VA. In his time at Belmont Hill, Doc Wacht. has taught several science classes (most notably AP Biology, which he has taught since his first year) and also coaches JV Baseball with Mr. Greer.
Doc Wachtmeister was not due for a sabbatical until next year, but he was able to take his a year early in order to join his wife’s family on a safari in South Africa. As a biology teacher, Doc Wacht was “amazed” by the wildlife, especially when he witnessed a herd of elephants dig up a dried river basin to find water. After returning from Africa, he and his wife spent seven warm days in Cuba, where he had previously travelled as part of a summer faculty trip. Doc spent the remainder of his time away from Belmont Hill on his cattle farm in Northern Virginia. Doc Wacht. grew up on the farm and now works there in the summer. Along with his wife and son Kurt, Doc spent his days doing odd jobs around the farmhouse, tending to the nearly 100 cattle, and chopping trees to supply his growing firewood business. “It’s exhausting at any age,” says Doc, “but extremely rewarding.”
Even so, Doc admits that he is excited to be back at Belmont Hill, something he considers a vacation compared to grueling farm work. Doc is thrilled to return to teaching; like farming, he enjoys seeing his hard work during the year pay off. But most of all, Doc looks forward to chatting and being around the other members of the Science Department because in Virginia, “all you can talk to is the cattle, and they never say anything back.”