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!