With COVID-19 in our midst, life seems to have come to an uncertain halt. Championship races were cancelled just as they were about to begin, interstate (let alone international) travel has ceased, and many of our early season prep camps have been put on hold. Yet, Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield, VT maintains focus on what lies ahead by embracing change and maintaining momentum on its transformational on-hill improvements. This unprecedented moment in time has been an opportunity to innovate and maintain positivity during an otherwise challenging time.

Progress on their new T-bar on the Inverness Trail at Sugarbush Resort continues unabated through this pandemic. Workers have deconstructed and removed the 62-year-old poma and have started to pour concrete for the new tower foundations. While many ski area projects are on hold this summer, GMVS remains on top of Poma-Leitner’s construction schedule and is on target for completion this fall. Tim Harris, Assistant Head of School notes that “with some of the best infrastructure of any academy, and now a state-of-the-art T-bar that decreases ride time in half, GMVS will give athletes more time on snow, an edge in training, and an unparalleled training environment.”

Installation of the new T-bar is the marque project in a series of transformational improvements to the Kelly Brush Arena on the Inverness trail. Alpine Program Director Steve Utter explains, “The T-bar will robustly expand training options and specificity, both in and out of gates. We can double our number of turns in the same amount of time, and with a mid-station, the full-length T-bar provides a variety of options for GS or SL training on Inverness.”

On March 13th, GMVS students said goodbye to campus as the race season was canceled and ski areas closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that came to a head during this year’s championship season. For a school that frequently supports students who travel the world chasing races while taking classes, GMVS shifted to a virtual model without missing a beat. In remote operations, GMVS staff continue to prepare for a bright future. “We are not in a holding pattern,” notes Tracy Keller, Head of School at GMVS. “We continue to look ahead, innovate for the future, and stay positive about the upcoming season.” Planning for the 2020- 2021 academic and race season is well underway. A variety of scenarios are being explored as GMVS forges ahead with positivity and hope for the future, while preparing to engage with athletes in a safe and meaningful way next fall.

On Wednesday May 20th, 2020 over 220 Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) students, staff, and alumni honored their 32 student member Class of 2020 with a unique athletic challenge. The goal, as a collective virtual community, was to sweat through 2020 miles and 53,000 vertical feet, in honor of the current year and a May 30th, 2020 graduation date. Participants were encouraged to bike, run, or hike as far and as high as possible.

GMVS, an elite ski racing academy, attracts students from countries near and far, so with students, staff, and alumni spanning the globe, Strava, an online fitness tracking app, was used to capture data for the one day challenge. The GMVS community rose to the occasion in full force, crushing their goal, logging over 3000 miles, over 200,000 feet in elevation, and 250 hours of physical effort.

“Spring is such a special time for the GMVS community, rich with so many positive traditions and emotions that we sadly are missing out on this year. The biking, hiking and running that our students, staff–and even a handful of alums–accomplished yesterday in tribute to the class of 2020 speaks to the great competitive spirit and community minded nature of our people.,” notes Steve Utter, Alpine Program Director

Top contributors logged over 50 miles each and included Colin Rodgers, Nordic Program Director, at 132 miles, and 12,351 feet! In Colin’s words, “I wanted to show my support for the class of 2020 by leaving a bit of GRIT out there yesterday! I started the ride with some seniors and was thinking I was just going to ride the local 4 Gaps- App, Lincoln, Middlebury, Brandon. Then as I was riding, I started to think about how cool it would be to make it extra meaningful and tack on the last two — Roxbury and Moretown. Needless to say, I finished in the dark. It was a ride I will never forget. Here’s to TK, Carl, Tanner, Charlie and Gavin and to all of the others in the GMVS Class of 2020 that I have been fortunate to spend time with. Words of advice- Leave it all out there!”

The challenge came in response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on the graduating Class of 2020. When the pandemic hit in mid-March, GMVS students and staff shifted in-person classes and athletic endeavors online. The senior class missed out on their long awaited spring together, and won’t have an opportunity to experience a traditional in person commencement ceremony. The virtual athletic challenge was one of many ways the GMVS community is working to ensure the Class of 2020 is celebrated in special, yet unique ways adapted to today’s socially distant world.

Top 5 Individual Contributions:
1. Colin Rodgers, Nordic Program Director: 132.61 mi, 12,351 ft, 8:46:30
2. Sofija Novoselic, U16 Girls’ Coach: 77.93 mi, 2,547 ft, 4:51:39
3. Cristian Riis, Class of 2020: 67.42 mi, 5,648 ft, 4:41:22
4. Charlotte Brown, Class of 2020: 65.1 mi, 2,080 ft, 4:53:45
5. Trey Jones, Class of 2023: 56.1 mi, 5,576 ft, 3:40:00

Check out our 2019-2020 Closing Assembly and celebrate the Class of 2020.

We are thrilled to announce our new G7 leader Grif Edwards who will be taking on the role of G7 Program Director.Grif joined the GMVS faculty in 2019 teaching upper school history classes and supporting our learning services program. Prior to GMVS, Grif taught in a variety of independent and charter school settings with students in both middle and high school. In his first year with us, he gained invaluable insight into the entire GMVS experience by dipping his toes into all aspects of school life, including traveling to Colorado in November with the U14s.

We know Grif’s thoughtful approach to working with students and families will make him a great fit in leading the G7 program in a positive direction.

We are delighted to announce that GMVS’s 2020 musical is Godspell, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John-Michael Tebelak. The musical originally opened in 1971 Off-Broadway and has been widely produced around the world, having its Broadway debut in 2011, with Schwartz creating new and exciting musical arrangements that include pop and rock.

In the words of Theater Director, Paul Tines, “It’s just great and fun music.”

Godspell was the first major musical from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz who went on to produce other top hits including Wicked, Pippin, and Children of Eden.

One of the many themes of Godspell involves young people coming together as a community to learn from each other through words and deeds — a remarkably relevant message given what we’re all facing in the world today. The show is composed of various parables from The Gospel According to Matthew. This is an amazing ensemble show that will give all student actors and technicians the opportunity to be highlighted on and off stage.

Ashley, Alicia, and Paul are looking forward to collaborating once again with the GMVS community on this exciting show. Auditions are scheduled for later in the spring or at the very beginning of the school year.