What makes an excellent teacher? Enthusiasm? Passion? Dr. Slaughter embodies those characteristics and many more. Some students who were enrolled in his Music Appreciation class would even go as far as to say that he is the best teacher ever to walk the hallowed grounds of Belmont Hill. Not because he was an equal opportunities grader, but because he was an engaging teacher who demonstrably cared about his young charges. He engages his students as he lives his life, aiming to “minimize the stress, focus on the journey.” Dr. Slaughter was never offended that many boys prioritized science or languages ahead of music; all he asked was that you approach the class in a serious way with an open ear, mind, and heart, and a willingness to learn something new every day.
To call his class “Music Appreciation” is to understate its influence. In Slaughter’s Music App, we built a few of the tools of life: the gentleman’s handshake, the ability to present one’s views in public, and of course, the disdain for teenage slang. I shall miss the customary handshake at the beginning of every class, the cheerful greeting, the warmth of his engagement. Dr. Slaughter cared about us, the boys, his cherished students. We on the Hill all wish him well with future endeavors.