What better way to celebrate the day of love, Valentine’s Day, than to highlight a couple of couples that got their start at GMVS? Have your own story to share? Email [email protected] for the chance to be featured on Instagram and among our 50 facts about GMVS. 

Photo to the left and above, Kelley and Doug Lewis from a 2004 Valentine’s Day race at Sugarbush.

Kelley ‘89 and Doug ‘82 Lewis met in Portillo, Chile at a GMVS Summer Camp in 1990. Doug was a last-minute fill in, coaching the U16 boys. Kelley was a PG training with Kirk Dwyer. They first met on the chairlift, then hung out tuning skis… and the rest is history. 2023 marks 31 years of marriage!

Another GMVS couple is Amy ’93 and Zac Comey ’94.

Photo of Amy and Zac from 1991.


Photo from the present day with children Ava ‘21 (19), Max, (15), and Owen (17). 

The two started as best friends, freshman year for Amy ‘93 and sophomore year for Zac ‘94. The rest is history. After GMVS, both attended UNH and then got married. They came back to GMVS when Ava, their daughter, was a student. The Comeys currently live in Darien, CT with their three children.

Another GMVS couple, Madaileine ‘00 and TJ ‘97, met while attending GMVS in the mid ’90’s. Madaileine (Mags) was in the 7th grade program and was close friends with TJ’s sister Jamie ‘00, also a GMVS alum. At the time, three years of age gap did not allow for much more than friendship. Madaileine frequented the Kingsbury household as Jamie’s friend and even embarked on a few family trips where she really got to know TJ and his family! Fast forward 9 years, TJ returned to Vermont after attending school in Montana and working across the country. Madaileine and Jamie had continued their friendship and were teammates on the UVM ski team. TJ and Madaileine had both “grown up” and began rekindling what might be considered a lifelong “ancillary” friendship.  Dating, co-living, a dog getting hit by a boat prop, some deep conversations, seizures and brain surgery led them both to a cold, snowy, blustering, snowshoe trodden engagement at the top of Camels hump in February of 2008 and a marriage in the Valley in 2009. They have built a beautiful family with three boys, another dog that has yet to be hit by a boat prop, and live in Waterbury, VT with their boys working their way into the ski racing scene. The two began their love story at GMVS and continue to share a life-long love of learning, sport, and adventure. 

Madaileine ‘00 and TJ ‘97 at the top of Stowe Mountain on a cold Vermont day.


As the temperatures drop in late October, GMVS athletes are busy prepping skis, gathering school assignments and packing for the month ahead of training in Colorado and beyond. The flurry of activity is an annual occurrence as our student-athletes shift their focus from daily workouts in the weight room, quickness and agility drills on the upper field, and bounding up Bragg Hill, to prepping for the race season ahead. 

Concurrent to this shift inside and away from campus, the sideboards to the hockey rink are dusted off, hauled out of storage, placed on the lower field and constructed into an ice rink over a matter of days. When the weather is just right the local Waitsfield Fire Department fills the rink and then everyone patiently waits for the pool of water to freeze with hopes that it’ll be ready for skating when everyone returns from November camp.

While there were early efforts to construct an ice rink with and without sideboards, like when Willi Cannell ‘05, Vince Scalia ‘06, Drew Bonner ‘06, Charlie Powell ‘05, and David Iverson made a Zamboni out of 2x4s and pvc tubes in 2005, it wasn’t until the annual Gala in 2018 when families, alumni, and friends of GMVS raised their paddles in support of donating to enhance the student experience on campus. This fundraising effort was just the catalyst needed to invest in ice rink boards and commit to putting up the rink for the winter months year after year. 

Lit up at night and accessorized with a smattering of hockey sticks, skates, and helmets, the rink is a place for kids to go during the day, at night, and on the weekend, alone or with friends fired up for a friendly competition. Thanks to the leadership of GMVS U14 coach and hockey fanatic Adam Julius, once the rink goes up the entire community chips in to maintain the ice and ensure everyone has fun; helmets required!

Frequently found on the ice is GMVS student Callum Smith ‘24. According to him, “The ice rink is a place to go when you want to release some steam and it’s even a lot of fun when you are shoveling off the snow. It brings together the Alpine and Nordic athletes and gives us another activity to do.”

GMVS alumni are known to share their memories of the rink too, even from the days before the new rink boards. In the Spring 2021 Alumni Newsletter, Charlie Powell ’05 shared, “The hockey rink has always been a great spot for kids and staff to gather together. Even though it’s under a big clock in the Doug Parker Center, the rink is a place where time seems to shift after hours, and there are hours of skating until exhaustion. The collaborative work to install and maintain it during the winter will forever make it one of the magical features of our campus.”

Today kids and staff come together to play organized hockey tournaments, competitive games of broomball, slapping around a puck or two, and evening playing around with staff kids who are just learning to skate. It brings kids together, during some of the darkest and coldest months for some of the greatest highlights of the year.


Now known as one of the best junior programs in the country, GMVS took over operations of the weekend race program from Sugarbush in the late ’70s, not long after Sugarbush bought Glen Ellen (then, Sugarbush North). While certainly not the oldest club in the state, the GMVS Ski Club has a storied history and has seen plenty of success.

The weekend race program used the upper north end of the Mount Ellen base lodge as a home base and trained on the Inverness trail. Prior to that Sugarbush, Glen Ellen, and Mad River Glen all had their own junior race programs. The top racers from those programs throughout the entire Mad River Valley would come together for training as the Valley Junior Race Team, which later became Mad River Valley School (“Mad Acad”) and eventually Green Mountain Valley School.

The GMVS Ski Club operated out of the base lodge until the early-’90s when several club families and the school spearheaded an initiative to build its own facility at the base of the Inverness Trail at Mount Ellen, which was completed in 1993. Today, over 120 kids descend upon the Ski Club every winter weekend to participate in the Club program which provides junior racers an opportunity to realize their potential while learning the fundamentals of an exciting sport they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.


GMVS has a long history of alumni racing at the highest levels, with familiar household names such as Doug Lewis ’82, AJ Kitt ’86 and Daron Rahlves ’91.

This year, we’re thrilled to cheer for these GMVS athletes at World Cup races:

  • Ali Nullmeyer ’16 (Canadian National Team) *SL photo above
  • Ben Ritchie ’19 (U.S. Ski Team) *top SL photo to left
  • AJ Ginnis ’11 (GRE Ski) *bottom SL photo to left
  • Charlie Raposo ’14 (GB Alpine) *GS photo to left

In addition to the four athletes above, Brian McLaughin ’12 with Team Global Racing and Jimmy Krupka ’16 who trains and competes with the U.S. Ski Team’s NorAm Team, have eyes on earning a World Cup start this season.

While you’re in the crowd at this year’s races, grab a bell and make some noise to support these athletes who have dedicated themselves to ski racing and continue to make us proud.


The G7 Program is specifically designed for alpine and Nordic racers who are eager to experience ski academy life. The program started in the fall of 2005 under the leadership of Megan Travis (then GMVS Ski Club Assistant Director / now mom of Harper ’25) with the goal of helping bridge club-level athletes to the academy on a part-time/ trial basis.

Since the beginning, G7 students have immersed themselves in the life of the school from the start of the ski season in early November, through the end of the racing season in March. The first “7th Grade Program” participants were all alpine skiers and came to us through their affiliation with the GMVS Ski Club or its counterpart at Mad River Glen. From its inception, the G7 program allowed students to explore life at GMVS during the winter term, while still living at home, and then return to their local schools in the spring.

Initially, the program was limited to ten students and the original curriculum consisted of math, science, English, Vermont history, and languages, and mirrored daily life at GMVS with on-snow training in the morning and afternoon classes. Because the groups were small, early cohorts of G7 students were immersed in hands-on learning and visited sites like the Vermont state capital and the Vermont Ski History Museum in Stowe. A stop at Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream was part of these early academic expeditions. The winter term was capped off by a reception for families and the showcasing of each student’s portfolio of coursework. These portfolios were then shared with each of the student’s sending school teachers to assure them that the time away was well spent!

As the program grew, most students continued to be locally based. Through its strong relationship with the local Harwood Union Unified School District, students would leave their public school curriculum, and GMVS teachers would work closely to complement and cover much of the same curriculum that was ongoing at Harwood and/or Crossett Brook Middle Schools during the same time period. Classes were taught by our dedicated G7 staff, and students would learn the art of balancing their academic course load with the demands of intensive ski training.

Today, under the leadership of Grif Edwards,  the program continues to attract local student-athletes as well as those from further afield who are looking to experience a taste of academy life. The G7s are fully immersed in the GMVS community, including working directly with older students who act as peer tutors or mentors during student life programming. The curriculum is now different in all subjects and includes a 6-8 week STEM course taught by Eddie Merma of Sculpture School.  The G7 program now culminates with a community-based STEM project and a GMVS version of TED Talks which keep students focused on an end goal outside of qualifying for championship ski events in March.


Did you know that GMVS has been running an annual theater production since 1978?

It was in 1978 when the school moved to its current location on Bragg Hill and GMVS students prepared for their roles in Godspell, the first of a series of annual musicals to be directed by Headmaster Dave Gavett. At the time they probably didn’t realize they were paving the way for one of the school’s most cherished and long-standing traditions. Dave’s vision to create the theater program was met with the full support of GMVS founder Al Hobart and has been an integral part of the GMVS experience ever since his arrival.

The first production of Godspell was performed in the Dining Hall. Following performances moved off campus to larger locations in town. Odd Fellows Hall was home to Man of La Mancha, Pippin, Grease, King of Hearts, and Godspell, and in 1984 the production of Cabaret was performed at Edison’s Studio.

In 1985 the cast and crew moved the production back on campus to the Doug Parker Center (DPC) and has been performing there ever since. At the time the DPC was the school’s gym for athlete workouts and training, but in the week leading up to the opening night, the interior was transformed into a theater – large rolls of flooring were laid, the stage was built from the ground up, and folding chairs were lined up for audience seating. Just as quickly as the theater was built each year, when the show was over the auditorium was dismantled and returned to its original state.

In 2014 when the Racing Performance Center (RPC) was constructed, the DPC was transformed into a permanent theater, complete with stadium seating and a stage that remains up throughout the year.

Productions through the years:

1978 -Godspell

1979 – Man of LaMancha

1980 -Pippin

1981 -Grease

1982 -King of Hearts

1983 -Godspell

1984 – Caberet

1985 – Oliver

1986 – Camelot

1987 – L’il Abner

1988 – Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

1989 – Leader of the Pack

1990 – Godspell

1991 – Annie

1992 – Oklahoma

1993 -Man of LaMancha

1994 – Anything Goes

1995 – Guys and Dolls

1996 – Sweet Charity

1997 – 42nd Street

1998 – Little Shop of Horrors

1999 – The King of Hearts

2000 – The WIZ

2001 – Fiddler on the Roof

2002 – Les Miserables

2003 – City Of Angels

2004 – Seussical The Musical

2005 – Beauty and the Beast

2006 – Urinetown

2007 – Little Women

2008 – Footloose

2009 – Grease

2010 – Anything Goes

2011 – Cats

2012 – Godspell

2013 – Shrek

2014 – Beauty and the Beast

2015 – Les Miserables

2016 – Legally Blonde

2017 – Chicago

2018 – Footloose

2019 – Grease

2020 – Godspell (Cancelled)

2021 – Mama Mia!

2022 – Newsies


If you ask any Vermont outdoor enthusiast they’re bound to agree that mountain biking is one of the most popular outdoor sports the state has to offer residents and visitors alike. The ever-expanding network of trails is suited for beginners who are just learning the sport, experts who are seeking the most technical routes and biggest drops, and riders of all levels in between. Trail maps are easily accessible, trails are generally well marked, and locally in the Mad River Valley, there is a wide selection of trails to choose from. This wasn’t always the case.

As we look back on the history of mountain biking at GMVS, the tales told of exploring Valley trails are reflective of how far the sport has come in a handful of years. In the early 1990s bike technology was far from what it is today and the selection of trails in the Valley was limited to three primary routes: Chain Gang just up the hill from the GMVS campus, Dana Hill / Cyclone behind American Flatbread, and Denny-Land in what is now the Wu Ledge Town Forest area. Even into the early 2000s mountain biking was an evolving sport. Alum Sandy Vietze ‘11 recounts his experience riding while at GMVS, “For better or worse, biking was pretty gnarly in the Valley and while a lot of kids were turned off, I found it was a great challenge.”

Sandy’s memory of ‘gnarly’ terrain is a common thread in the stories told by alumni who explored the trails in the early years of mountain biking at GMVS, as are the unexpected adventures and mishaps. GMVS alum Andrew McNealus ‘08 shared a vivid memory of riding when he was a GMVS athlete out with his coach, Adam Julius, “We were out for a ride and got lost, we were late for dinner, and it was getting dark when we finally popped out on this rock on the Mad River across from Lareau Park by Flatbread. The only way home, without turning around, was to cross the numbing river water flowing from the snow melting in the mountains.” The experience remains fresh for Andrew as he continues, “It was always an adventure with Adam leading. He always said that he knew the trail and then never really seemed to actually know the route.”

Since 1993, Adam Julius has been passionate about getting GMVS athletes on bikes and riding trails. “Today, the trails are exponentially better than the early days of riding and offer a greater variety to choose from, which gives GMVS coaches an opportunity to teach kids and build confidence on easier terrain before moving onto more technical trails,” notes Adam.

GMVS has inspired many athletes to try the sport, and in some cases even line up on the starting line at local races. Interest in racing ebbs and flows, but 2018 was a big year when 12 GMVS riders entered the A Vermont Youth Cycling Series at Cochran’s Ski Area and the team won first place in Division 2. The team was composed of the following student-athletes: Lydia Riddell, Trey Jones, Alejandro Miquel, Elena Gober, Ava Pavlik, Sebastian Segre, Tomas Barata, Gavin Dewey, Luke Keating, Dillon Rowles, Gavin Wirth, and Will Patton. (Results)

While ski racing is the primary focus at GMVS, mountain biking has been integral to training throughout recent years. A few were less enthused about the ‘gnarly’ terrain and haven’t returned to the sport, but for many, GMVS ignited a passion for mountain biking that has remained strong. Today, GMVS alumni are racing with college cycling teams, working for bike companies, and many are sharing their passion with friends and family as it becomes part of their lifestyle.

On Saturday June 5, Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) wrapped up a successful school year, after operating in-person classes and athletics through a worldwide pandemic without missing a beat. A year ago, in the spring of 2020, GMVS shifted to remote operations amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time school leaders were optimistically planning for a full re-opening in the falI. It was a moment in history when everything in the world that was once certain, became uncertain, yet GMVS persevered with positivity, and reimaged how to teach, coach, and support incoming student-athletes. Indoor spaces were transformed to accommodate physical distancing requirements; a large tent in the middle of campus served as an outdoor dining space, classroom, and place for students to convene; students and staff wore masks on the hill, in the classrooms, and everywhere in between; campus was closed to visitors, and weekly COVID-19 testing for all students and staff became the norm.

Maintaining the health and safety of the GMVS community and the greater Mad River Valley community were of utmost importance, and we are proud to share that we completed the year without disruption and no in-school transmission. The end of the year wrapped up with final exams, lacrosse practices, and a celebratory all-school dinner at American Flatbread.  As usual for a typical year, the week culminated with a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Saturday, June 5th.

In keeping with GMVS tradition, the graduation ceremony focused on our graduates each of whom shared heartfelt thoughts and memories about their time at GMVS. The graduates’ short speeches were inspiring, touching, and included emotional tributes to their teachers, coaches, and fellow classmates. Although they were saying goodbye to this chapter, they are prepared for continuing to live the mission of GMVS which instills the development of a whole person with a life-long love of learning, sport and adventure.

The graduation ceremony also featured the awarding of the Governor Phil Hoff Vermont Honor Scholarship and the recognition of the school’s valedictorian. The Phil Hoff Vermont Honors Scholarship is awarded annually and goes to a Vermont resident who has participated in community service as well as other extracurricular activities and has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. This year, the award went to Carly Elsinger of Richmond, VT.  The school also recognized a valedictorian for the highest GPA in the graduating class. Sebastian Segre of Falmouth, ME earned the school’s highest academic honors.

Most of the 31 graduates will continue on to various colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, and Spain. A handful will remain at GMVS to participate in post-graduate studies and continue to pursue their ski racing goals. Commencement is always bittersweet, and we are proud to send these focused young adults off into the world to do great things. As new alumni, they always have a home at GMVS. Congratulations to the GMVS Class of 2021!

GMVS is proud to share the exciting news that Conrad Sastre (’21) and Tomás Barata (’21), have been named by the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation to the Spanish National Alpine Ski Team. Recognized as two of the best Spanish alpine athletes in their age group world ranking, Conrad and Tomás will have the opportunity to represent their home country and continue to compete against top athletes from North America and Europe.
Hailing from the beautiful city of Barcelona overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, both Conrad and Tomás learned to ski just a few hours away in the Pyrenees Mountains. The athletes skied at different mountains, raced for independent teams, and met thousands of miles away in a small town in Vermont, where Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) became a home away from home.
Conrad learned to ski with his dad when he was two years old in Andorra, a tiny, independent principality, known for its ski resorts, situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. Before coming to GMVS, Conrad raced for GRANUEC, a ski club that trains in Pas de la Casa, Andorra. After his first day with the club he was hooked, fell in love with the sport, and knew from that day forward that he wanted to give ski racing his best.
Tomás also learned to ski when he was just three years old, and it was only a few years later at the age of six, that he began racing Ceva, a local race club. Surrounded by fast teammates at Ceva, Tomás was inspired to be like them and aim for the top. While Ceva provided a strong foundation, it wasn’t long before Tomas had developed into a young athlete looking for a place where he could further his racing career while balancing the rigors of high school academics. GMVS was home to other young Spanish racers looking to further their racing career, including his older sister Carla, and Tomás followed suit.
Tomas arrived at GMVS in 2017 as a 9th grader, and Conrad arrived in 2019 as an 11th grader. During their time at GMVS, these athletes have exemplified the grit and resilience it takes to pursue the highest level of ski racing while also engaging in high-level academics at Green Mountain Valley School.
Doug Williams, GMVS Men’s U19 coach notes, “The GMVS Coaches are very proud of both Tomás and Conrad being named to the Spanish Ski Team. This is a direct result of the hard work and dedication they put into on-snow training and physical conditioning during their time at GMVS. Congratulations to both of them and their families, we look forward to working with them and following their progress.”
Conrad and Tomás — congratulations on this hard-earned accomplishment. We are proud to call you Gumbies and look forward to cheering you on as you continue to follow your passion.

The letters GMVS and KBF have long been synonymous with one another, and on Saturday, September 12, 2020, it was no different.  

With brisk fall temperatures and clear blue skies above, the student-athletes of Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) took to the roads and the mountains to raise money for the Kelly Brush Foundation (KBF). Kelly Brush, an alumna of GMVS, established the KBF in 2006 after suffering a spinal cord injury in a ski racing accident while a sophomore at Middlebury College. Rather than let the injury stop her, Kelly embraced her new reality, making profound impacts on both ski racing safety and adaptive sports, while inspiring many at every turn.  Today, Kelly and her husband are the President and Executive Director, respectively, of the Kelly Brush Foundation whose mission is “to inspire and empower people with spinal cord injuries to lead active and engaged lives.”  

Look no further than the hundreds of cyclists on the roads last Saturday. Clearly, KBF is inspiring and empowering those with and without spinal cord injuries, and Kelly’s inspiration is the driving force behind the thousands of dollars raised each year during the Kelly Brush Ride. This year, on the 15th anniversary of the ride, the goals remained the same, but the event took on a new look. With COVID-19 forcing changes in much of what we do, this year’s ride went virtual and the students, coaches, teachers and staff of GMVS embraced the opportunity and raised over $50,000 for the Kelly Brush Foundation.

Members of the GMVS community chose from a variety of group options including: 12 & 20-mile mountain bike rides in the Valley, a 36-mile road bike adventure to Montpelier and back, or a 100-mile loop. Other community members established their own routes and challenges, all with the same goal in mind: do hard things, raise money for ski racing safety, and help empower those with spinal cord injuries through adaptive sports.

As Alpine Director, Steve Utter, put it: “Our students were asked to challenge themselves outside their comfort zones and do hard things. The seniors led by example, with a few getting on a bike for the first time and choosing to ride 100 miles. Every ride had some element of challenge that provided an opportunity for each of our students to push their limits for a very good cause.”

With the whole community invested in the event, it was an impressive performance by the GMVS Community, and a surprise visit from Kelly at the start of the 36-mile ride added to the day’s excitement and energy. Nearly 4,500 miles were logged covering over 300,000 vertical feet by the community as a whole, with one student choosing to climb the Appalachian Gap, an additional 1,700 vertical feet after completing the century ride. Saturday truly embodied the best of Green Mountain Valley School with students challenging themselves to help others and pushing their limits even when no one was looking. That is the essence of what the GMVS and KBF relationship is all about.