For the Fall semester next year, Mr. Trautz will not be teaching at Belmont Hill, but rather at The Island School in the Bahamas.
Mr. Trautz, the current Science Department Chair, started his career at Belmont as an intern in 1999. He left Belmont Hill in 2001 but came back the following year. He has coached the Varsity Cross Country and Alpine Skiing teams, leading them to multiple ISL Championships. He has greatly impacted community service projects like starting the Turkey Drive with Mrs. David in 2010.
Mr. Trautz said that he felt that “the timing is just perfect,” to take a sabbatical. He wants his kids “to have the experience to live abroad,” to experience different cultures, and to be outside their comfort zone. And since his son would be applying for Belmont Hill come fall, Mr. Trautz felt that “the timing worked out perfectly because it’s not like he could get into Belmont Hill and then I could just pull him out and go on a sabbatical.”
Mr. Trautz is excited about getting back to teaching in an outdoor classroom because that’s where he started his journey. Before starting to teach, he worked for the national service in Hawaii. He did turtle research during his first year then worked with the division of interpretation where he would guide hikes. Being outside and teaching is really exciting for him, so is The Island School’s sustainably built campus. “They do a lot of really cool things that are environmentally based and sustainable that I really appreciate and enjoy.” Finally, Mr. Trautz is excited to get back on the water; “I grew up in Maine, working on a lobster boat, that was my summer job for high school and in college, so to get back onto the water is pretty important to me.”
When asked about what he will miss most about Belmont Hill, Mr. Trautz said, “It’s the community. It’s missing seeing all the students every day. I love the give and take from the student, in the hallway, the high fives, the fistbumps, the cracks, and jokes.” Mr. Trautz will miss the familiarity but above all, Mr. Trautz said that he will miss the faculty and staff; “after 20 years, while the kids cycle through, the faculty and staff pretty much remain the same and become a big family.”
During Mr. Trautz’s absence, Belmont Hill will hire Harry Goldberg, Assistant Dean of Admission at John Hopkins Medical School, as the Science Department Chair in the fall. As Mr. Trautz takes on this new challenge next fall, we will all miss him and wish him good luck!