Perfecting the craft of ski racing takes grit to push through the coldest of days for one more run; hard work to make every run count on race day and in training; and dedication to take care of the mind and body on and off the hill, in and out of season. It takes time to tune skis and maintain equipment, planning to schedule out-of-season camps, and it takes money every step of the way. From gear to lift tickets, travel, hotels, and race entries, the cost of pursuing the sport of ski racing is expensive.  

One might think that when an athlete is named to a National Team that they’ve made it big, and in many ways they have – they are an inspiration to those who know and love the sport and they are ranked among the absolute best in the world. Yet even racing on a National Team comes at a cost. Sponsors offset those costs, but it takes time to find the connections and build those relationships, yet another challenge to an already challenging sport.

In an effort to support those athletes who come to GMVS with a dream to stand atop the Olympic podium and continue their pursuit after graduation, GMVS launched the Athlete Sponsorship Program in the spring of 2020. The donor-supported initiative provides some financial support to GMVS alumni who are pursuing elite ski racing by racing on National Teams or on the World Cup. 

After great success in its first two years, GMVS is now closing in on its third year of the pilot program. Managed independently from the School’s Annual Fund which helps support the school’s programming throughout the year, the Athlete Sponsorship Program is funded by donors who specifically designate their gifts to support elite alumni who are pursuing racing beyond GMVS. This year’s group of recipients is comprised of the following six athletes from six unique teams, representing four different countries. 


AJ Ginnis ’11, GRE Ski

AJ Ginnis is a Greek-American who moved to Vermont at the age of 15. A Dartmouth graduate, AJ races for Greece with coaching support from his fellow GMVS classmate, Sandy Vietze ‘11. AJ recently placed second in the World Championship slalom event in Courchevel, France and is hungry to top the podium again.


Ali Nullmeyer ’16, Canadian National Team

Ali Nullmeyer was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, and currently races on the Canadian National Team. While pursuing racing on the World Cup, Ali continues to balance her pursuit of high-level athletics with academics, studying economics at Middlebury College. Ali was one of 13 alpine skiers nominated by the Canadian Olympic Committee to compete in the 2022 Winter Games, and in her Olympic debut, she secured a solid 21st place finish in the women’s slalom. 


Ben Ritchie ’19, U.S. Ski Team

A member of the U.S. Ski Team, Ben Ritchie hails from Waitsfield, Vermont just down the road from the GMVS campus. Ben’s top three athletic accomplishments so far are winning the World Juniors Slalom in Bansko, Bulgaria in 2021, a thirteenth place finish at the 2021 World Championships in Cortina, Italy, and two 2nd place finishes at World Juniors 2019. 


Brian McLaughlin ’12, Team Global Racing

Brian McLaughin races with Global Racing, a team founded by GMVS Graduate Paul Epstein ‘00. Brian’s path to success started as a junior in high school at GMVS where he proceeded to qualify for the USST Development Team the following year. He raced four years for Dartmouth College and during his senior season, he earned a World Cup start. This year, Brian kicked off the season strong with a 19th-place finish in Val d’Isere GS in October. 


Charlie Raposo ’14, British Alpine Ski Team

Charlie is a five-time British Champion and has been the best-ranked Giant Slalom skier from Great Britain for the last eight years. Charlie moved to Vermont to attend GMVS at the age of 14 which became a major stepping stone in his rise to becoming one of the best junior racers in the world for his age. This year, Charlie secured a 17th-place finish in the World Championship GS in Courchevel Meribel.


Jimmy Krupka ’16, U.S. Ski Team Nor Am Team

Jimmy Krupka qualified for the U.S. Development Team at the end of his senior year at GMVS. Upon graduating, he raced and trained with the team for two years, skied for Dartmouth College for a year and then re-qualified for the U.S. Team, with whom he has been skiing ever since. In addition to continuing to pursue courses at Dartmouth and elite racing, Jimmy plays host to his own podcast, Arc City, which has gained the following of racing enthusiasts across generations.


As the program closes in on the end of its third year, it is clear that this donor support has positively impacted the lives, and results, of these six athletes. With several up and coming elite athletes, GMVS is hopeful that the program will continue.


Publishing the GMVS yearbook has been an annual tradition since 1980. Written on the first pages of that yearbook, Al Hobart captures the momentous “first” for the school. 

“This yearbook is another ‘first’ for GMVS, the latest of a long string of ‘firsts’ which all began eight years ago with Bill, Ashley, John Schultz, and I began with great optimism to plan a tutorial school. Of course, when you start something from scratch, nearly everything you do is a ‘first’. Still, one first yearbook is a pretty good example of the kind of effort needed to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and almost every ‘first’ requires some pretty unusual effort from one or from all. Yearbooks are nostalgic items. This one triggers all sorts of memories, not only of our successes, which are many, but also of our traumas and the special efforts that made a difference not only from faculty, but also from students.”

Since publishing the first yearbook, the look and feel has evolved but the essence of capturing memories from throughout the year remains the same. In the early years, pages were filled with black and white photocopied photos of students and staff, and events from throughout the year. Reflections were written by hand and others were typed on what could have been a typewriter. Over time a soft cover has transitioned to hardcover, black and white photos have come to life in color, and writing by hand is only done in digital form. Yet one thing remains the same every year: every yearbook captures the moments that bind us together as a GMVS family for life.


Adam Verrier ‘87 is no stranger to tough workouts. As GMVS’s sole male Nordic Olympian, he’s put his body through its fair share of challenges. One particular experience from his days at GMVS has stuck with him through the years, and had a lasting impact on his athletic career. 

“We Nordies did a training camp in West Yellowstone, Montana around Thanksgiving of 1986. We had a big week of training scheduled, and on one particular day (perhaps it was Thanksgiving) our coach Muffy Ritz had an ‘overdistance’ workout on the schedule for us. This type of training session is long, but at low intensity; typically at least two and a half hours, but sometimes much longer. We decided to ski from our motel into Yellowstone National Park on the park road, which is closed to cars and open to snowmobile traffic during the winter. We started in the morning and skied for quite a distance into the park, and I think we all had the thought in the back of our minds that we probably ought to be turning around soon or we were going to get so far into the park that we might run out of energy and face a death march back to town again. But every turn in the park road revealed a new view and we kept saying, ‘We’ll just go to the end of this straight away and then we’ll turn around…’ But our curiosity about what was around the next bend kept getting the better of us, and we kept going and going, further and further into the park. Finally, the way I remember it (and the other Nordies from the ’87 team can tell me if I’m wrong), we arrived at Fountain Paint Pots, 22 miles from our motel. Finally, we’d reached a good turnaround spot. It was at that very moment that I realized I was starting to bonk.

‘Bonking’ is when you deplete the glycogen stored in your body, and you start running out of energy – quickly. We started skiing back toward home, but it soon started getting difficult for me to keep up with the group. I started falling farther and farther behind, and my bonk was just getting deeper and deeper with every mile. Eventually, the team couldn’t wait for me any longer and they went on ahead toward home. Meanwhile, I was going slower and slower as the afternoon wore on, but I kept pushing forward, and getting closer to town, ever so slowly. The final straightaway on the road into town is a very long one, and I could see the lights of West Yellowstone in the distance. It was beginning to get dark, and I was eager to get back, but I’d bonked so hard that I was reduced to skiing about 100 meters at a time, then stopping and sitting down in the snowbank beside the road for a minute or two until I could gather enough energy to ski another 100 meters before sitting down again. Eventually, I stumbled all the way back into town. When I stopped to sit down and rest for a moment on the sidewalk before taking off my skis to walk the two blocks to our motel, I saw Coach Muffy and my teammate Jason Tillinghast ‘87 walking toward me, wearing headlamps and carrying their skis. They were on their way back out to look for me. They’d been back a long time, and had showered and eaten, but after I’d failed to appear back at the motel, and with darkness falling, they figured they’d better put their ski clothes on and go back out to find me.

This was one extreme example, but my year at GMVS was full of boundary-pushing experiences, due mostly to the fact that Muffy Ritz was our coach. From Muffy, all us Nordies learned that we could do a lot more, and ski a lot faster than we thought we could, and that our limits were considerably beyond where we had previously assumed they were. 

My year at GMVS changed the direction of my life at a critical moment, and I’ll always appreciate that.”

Adam reflected on this lesson and more in his article for Faster Skier, titled “Letters to My Younger Self”. You can check out the full story here:


GMVS Graduate AJ Ginnis Wins First-Ever World Medal for Greece in Any Winter Sport

 AJ Ginnis, a Greek-American who moved to Vermont at the age of 15, placed second in the World Championship slalom event in Courchevel, France. Ginnis came to Vermont to attend Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS), a ski academy located in the heart of the Mad River Valley, to pursue his dreams of becoming an elite ski racer. It was in the World Championship event when he proved to the world, and perhaps to himself, that he is one of the World’s fastest ski racers. 

Ginnis’ path to success has never been linear nor has it been all podium glory. After graduating from GMVS in 2011, Ginnis attended Dartmouth College and was a seven-year member of the U.S. Ski team. He represented Team USA at the World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 2017, though battled injuries and was eventually cut when the American men’s slalom squad was cut in 2018. 

Being cut from the U.S. Team provided an opportunity for a new approach. Greece picked him up and he brought with him former GMVS classmate, teammate and friend, Sandy Vietze. Sandy grew up racing at Mad River Glen and also attended Green Mountain Valley School for the inaugural 7th grade program. After graduating from GMVS in 2011, he continued to pursue his passion, traveling the world with the U.S. Ski Team, then racing for The University of Vermont, and the Redneck Racing Team. In 2021 Sandy and AJ navigated the challenging race season together, and developed a new coach-athlete relationship that laid a strong foundation for his success to date.

Last year during early season training Ginnis was sidelined by injury after tearing his ACL. While recovering from surgery, Ginnis focused on gaining back his strength and finishing off his degree at Dartmouth, while Vietze assisted the University of Vermont ski team. While it wasn’t the year Ginnis or Vietze were planning for, it is part of the journey that led to his silver medal. 


For years GMVS has been at the forefront of providing ski racers with access to a world class training and racing venue by partnering closely with Sugarbush Resort to continually improve and enhance terrain and accessibility. At Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen, the Inverness chair has provided top to bottom access of GMVS’s training venue, on the Inverness and Brambles trails, for years. In addition to the chairlift, a Poma lift located on the upper portion of Inverness offered quick laps on the upper section of the Inverness trail.  

GMVS installed the Poma up the skiers’ right of Inverness in 1982 and set the standard for training venues throughout the United States. For several years, GMVS teachers and coaches ran the lift each day. It served the Academy well for 37 years but was showing its age and didn’t run all the way to the bottom or top. The lift has since been removed and replaced by a high-speed, top to bottom Leitner-Poma T-bar; the marquee project in a series of transformations to the Kelly Brush Race Arena.

It was in the spring of 2020 when a vision to robustly expand training options by replacing the Poma with a new T-bar was brought to life. GMVS partnered closely with Leitner Poma to deconstruct the old Poma, pour new tower foundations, and fly in new T-bar towers by helicopter. Over the following months the cable went up and the T’s went on and February 2021 marked the grand opening of the new lift. 

The collaborative effort between GMVS and Sugarbush is a long-term investment in the development of GMVS athletes. Compared to the 12.5-minute chairlift ride on the long-standing Inverness lift, the new T-bar cuts uphill travel in half, moves 1,000 people per hour, and provides access to 4,000 feet of skiable terrain. Athletes now double the number of turns in the same amount of time, and with a mid-station unload, the full-length T-bar provides a variety of options for GS or slalom training on Inverness and the adjacent Brambles trails.


Tuning skis and maintaining equipment is an integral part of ski racing. Today’s student-athletes utilize state-of-the art equipment and technology located in the Racing Performance Center (RPC), but the current offerings haven’t always been available. Up until we moved tuning to the RPC, each dorm basement had student tuning areas which are now used for storage. 

The professional space, where ski mounting and boot work is done has moved many times. Between 1977 and 1980 the old Farmhouse garage housed a small room where ski and boot work was done. The “professional space” moved to the basement of the Farmhouse in 1980 and remained there for a number of years until it moved to the basement under the faculty apartment in Witch’s Hat. In 1996, the space returned to the basement of the newly built library until 2002 when it moved to the DPC basement, and eventually was moved to the old gym weight room (now the current art room). 

Since 2016, GMVS’s Service Center and expert technicians have been based out of the RPC and offer premier ski services to GMVS students and the community at large. Within the Service Center lives a state-of-the-art Wintersteiger Jupiter tuning machine which provides students with World Cup level ski preparation including the perfect base grind, sidewall prep, and setting edges to a high level of precision. Also located in the space is a custom boot fitting room where athletes can work hand in hand with a GMVS technician to fine tune their boots for ultimate performance.

Adjacent to the Ski Service Center is a highly functional student tuning room that provides athletes with space to tune their own skis, collaborate with one another, and get hands-on instruction from our expert team of technicians. Downdraft tables help filter vapors from waxing and also remove metal particulates out of the air from hand-held edge machines that are becoming more common. 

Conveniently located a few steps down the hall from the tuning room are two equipment storage rooms with ski racks and boot dryers for optimal organization and functionality, a significant improvement from storing skis and poles in the dorm basement and drying ski boots in individual dorm rooms.



Are you an alum who remembers the good ol’ days of keeping in touch with family and friends from home by mailing letters and picking up the phone? The phone in Witch’s Hat was in the dorm entry, while Clark, Poundcake, and even New Dorm had a corded phone in a small closet available for incoming and outgoing calls. When the phone rang with a parent, friend from afar, or even a boarder from another dorm, on the other end, a student or two (or three or more) ran to answer. Others ran away or simply ignored the loud, repetitive ring. Frequently students were often found curled up in the small closet with the receiver to their ear, talking for what felt like hours to those who were patiently waiting in line.

The days of the corded phone were long before the evolution of cellular technology; now every student-athlete has a mobile device. Around 2003 corded phones became obsolete and they have since been removed from the small closets. But if you’re ever looking for a little throwback nostalgia, the phone in Witch’s Hat remains hanging on the wall.


Congratulations to the five alumni and current students who were named to U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Junior Eastern Team for the 2022-2023 season based on their performances during the 2022 season.

  • Sebastian Segre ’21, Middlebury College, ’26
  • Walker Henyon ’22
  • Sawyer Reed ‘23
  • Samantha Trudeau ’20, Dartmouth College ’26
  • Carly Elsinger ’21, Dartmouth College ’25

In addition to the Eastern Region Team selections, seven alumni and current athletes qualified for the FIS Junior World Alpine Championship. The nine-day event, held in Anton, Austria is an opportunity for the world’s top junior alpine athletes to compete in all disciplines.

  • Tomas Barata ’21 – Spanish World Junior Team
  • James Gatcliffe PG ’21 – Trinidad and Tobago World Junior Team
  • Mack Wood ’20 – Canadian World Junior Team
  • Oscar Preisler ’22, PG ’23- Danish World Junior Team
  • Cristian Marcus Riis ’20 – Danish World Junior Team

Two additional athletes also participated at the European Youth Olympic Festival, January 21-28, hosted by the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

  • Alvar Calvo Santos ’23 – Andorran Team, European Youth Olympic Festival
  • Albert Preisler ’24 – Danish Team, European Youth Olympic Festival

It’s an unbelievable honor and opportunity for these athletes – Congratulations!


In 2009 when the addition to the Farmhouse Building was completed and renamed The Library, GMVS made a bold statement about its commitment to the environment. The roughly 6,000-square-foot structure boasts a number of features that lessens its impact on the environment, and as a result, was awarded LEED Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USCBC). At the time of completion, the GMVS Library was 1 of only 16 buildings certified in the state of Vermont, and GMVS had the only LEED certified educational building.

Choosing to build green was in part about making environmentally sound decisions, but also a construction project used as a curriculum component for our students. The LEED process helped GMVS create a hands-on application for environmental concepts like carbon footprints, recycling, water-use reduction and energy efficiency. The building mobilized teachers to find ways to incorporate environmental education into their particular disciplines.

The entire GMVS community was invested in the process: Students, parents and staff all contributed to researching and making decisions that impacted green building choices, and all of our contractors were committed to honoring those choices and thinking creatively about any challenges we faced. Two alumni parents were critical to our success: In addition to Mac Rood P’06 who designed the building for us, John Stetson P‘07, of Engleberth Construction, worked tirelessly as a consultant for us throughout the process.

The building was designed by Mac Rood of Bast and Rood Architects, Hinesburg, to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

LEED certification of the GMVS library was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features included:

  • Commitment to maintaining vegetated open space equivalent to nearly half the project’s site area
  • Water use reduction through the inclusion of water-efficient bathroom fixtures
  • Commitment to using renewable energy
  • Reuse of 95 percent of the existing building structure within the renovation and new construction, made possible by careful demolition and exhaustive recycling efforts from contractors
  • Commitment to Indoor Environmental Quality

For GMVS, this meant a host of innovations.

  • Bathrooms boast toilets with two flush options to reduce water consumption, especially important for a school that depends on wells for its water supply.
  • Lights using high-efficiency bulbs operate on sensors and huge windows overlooking athletic fields take advantage of daylight, cutting down further on electricity consumption.
  • A wraparound porch features decking made of recycled material; a durable fiber cement siding is used on the exterior of the new building.
  • Maple harvested from property owned by former GMVS headmaster Dave Gavett was used in study carrels, window moldings, and other places.
  • The maple was milled on-site which reduced trucking and made use of wood that otherwise might not be considered viable for construction.
  • Low VOC paints and materials cut down on the noxious fumes visitors breathe.
  • A high-efficiency propane boiler provides heat and is controlled through a software program that allows careful monitoring of temperature throughout the building. Spray foam insulation reduces heat loss.
  • Carbon dioxide monitors and an air circulation system keep indoor air quality high.
  • Outside, native plants and stone walkways, were used for landscaping, instead of asphalt.

The building, which was officially dedicated by Governor Jim Douglas in May 2007 remains the cornerstone of the GMVs academic program with classrooms, offices and study areas.


Originally drafted on the back of a napkin in the early 80’s, the GMVS logo was developed by Dave Schneider, father of three GMVS alumni (Dave ’82, Drew ’85, and Todd ’86). In the early 80’s Dave coached in the Sugarbush/GMVS Ski Club and is responsible for some of the best talent to come through GMVS during that time, including U.S. Ski Team members Todd Schneider ’86, Anouk Patty ’86, Polly Reiss ’87 and Sally Knight ’87. Dave played an integral role in the early development of the school, was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees and former Chair of the Board. Since Dave’s original drawing, the GMVS logo has been minimally modernized and remains relatively unchanged.