50 years ago, a young man with a deep passion for ski racing had the courage to follow his dreams. 

The man? Al Hobart – a self-taught Masters racer from New York City. 

His dream? A school where competitive ski racers could develop the skills to become World Cup, Olympic, and NCAA champions, right here in the Mad River Valley. With a foundational understanding that becoming a world class skier starts with being intentional and deliberate about being a world class person, Al recognized ski racing as a humane discipline.

When he and his wife, Jane, first opened up their home to 11 winter-term students in January 1973, the Hobarts began a life-long commitment of service to GMVS.

Over the last 50 years, GMVS has been blessed with a number of highly passionate, dedicated teachers, coaches, administrators, and Trustees – all of whom have left an indelible mark on the school. But none have been as devoted as Al and Jane Hobart who have served the school for the bulk of their adult lives.

An alpine racer from New York City, Al moved to the Mad River Valley in 1963 with an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. When he arrived he was an active racer in the Master’s series, winning many national championships in GS and slalom. He continued to pursue his passion for ski racing and surrounded himself with like-minded individuals – the kind of people who had the fortitude to not only believe in a shared vision, but also make it come to life. 

His vision began at the Mad River Glen Slalom Hill, where he installed a rope tow dedicated to alpine race training, then he founded the Valley Junior Racing Club which he ran from 1966 – 1972. It was at that time that Al recognized the need for more full-time, in-depth training which necessarily required a focused, college preparatory academic component. He, along with John Schultz, Bill Moore, and Ashley Cadwell, founded Mad River Valley School, “Mad Acad” for short (which would come to be known as Green Mountain Valley School) in his home. 

Since our founding in 1973, Al has served as Headmaster, an alpine coach, and a Trustee, overseeing all aspects of the school and truly holding it in trust. After 50 years of service to GMVS, Al officially stepped off the Board of Trustees in June 2022, yet he and Jane remain deeply invested in the future of the school.

Today, Al and Jane still reside in their home off of Glen View Drive which once served as the school’s dormitory, dining hall, and gymnasium, often seen on Inverness at Sugarbush, and on the sidelines of GMVS soccer or lacrosse games cheering for their home team.

As we kick off our 50th year, we honor Al Hobart for his tireless work and dedication to the school. Without Al and Jane, GMVS would never have become the premier ski academy that it is today.