Covid-19 Update

March 17, 2020:  Health, wellness and a commitment to our community are cornerstones of the CVA Way. It is with these values in mind that we have suspended all in-person academic and athletic instruction. Our students have left the campus and we have transitioned to full-time distance learning. Our hope is that we will be able to bring everyone back together on campus after our spring break on April 26th.


Weekend Program: Start of a New Season

Young skiers and riders in the Alpine, Freestyle, Snowboard and Ski Cross CVA Weekend Program groups kicked off the season on December 7th. The snow conditions were great and athletes were excited to get out onto the trails with their coaches. View the Opening Day photo album.

There are currently 185 athletes in the program and registration is still open. To learn more, visit

Killington World Cup: Celebrations and Celebrity Sightings

It was so much fun to see CVA alumni, Olympians, World Champions, friends, and family at the Killington World Cup event. Thank you to the competitors for inspiring the next generation of skiers, to the Fremont-Smith family for hosting the CVA social, and to the KWCF for hosting such a well organized and exciting event! CVA Alum and Olympian Kirsten Clark-Rickenbach '95 hung out with the CVA crew throughout the weekend, taking pictures and marching in the parade with CVA. And it was so exciting when Mikaela Shiffrin stopped to pose with CVA family members Oliver Whipple & Tommy Fremont-Smith. View more photos online here, including a video shown on NBC of CVA in the parade. 

Backcountry Program In the Media

Thanks to WSKI17, the local Sugarloaf TV station, for hosting Tallie Pilsbury '20 and coach Patrick Scanlan last week. They talked about the addition of a new assistant coach to the group, Tallie’s personal and athletic growth in the program, and the upcoming joint camps with Sugarloaf’s Big Mountain program. Watch the 6 minute video 


Chasing Big Dreams at CVA 

Carrabassett Valley Academy was founded on the belief that commitment and passion to academics and athletics can fuel childhood dreams and turn them into reality. Because of your support every student-athlete who comes to CVA with a big dream will have the opportunity to chase it. Thank you for your gift, or for considering a gift, to the Annual Fund.

Click here to make your tax deductible donation before December 31st

Graduates Coming Back … And Giving Back

Seven former CVA students, who spent many of their formative years in Carrabassett Valley, have returned this season to help teach and train the next generation of Big Dogs. They're returning to the community who originally helped them follow their passion, and guiding a new generation to do the same. Shown in the photo from left to right: Kate Webber Punderson ’89 – Head of School.  Freddy McCarthy '12 – Head Snowboardcross Coach. Sean O’Rourke ‘13 - U16 Alpine Coach.  Sierra Leavitt '11 – Science and History Teacher.   Sean Sullivan '16 – U16 Alpine Coach.   Keegan Kilbride '14 – Head Freeski Coach.  Travis Plass '04 – Head U19 Women’s Alpine Coach. Go Big Dogs! 

PSO Wreath Sale Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone who supported the CVA Wreath Sale this season. Over 500 wreaths were sold, a record number that passed the goal! Special thanks to Jenn Jones for leading the effort, the success of the sale can be attributed to her energy and dedication behind the scenes, coordinating volunteers, collecting orders, picking up wreaths, delivering wreaths, promoting the sale on social media, and more. Thank you to volunteers and student-athletes who delivered and sold wreaths. And thank you Mountainside Grocers, The Rack, The Alfond Competition Center and the Kingfield Tree Festival for hosting wreath sales on December 7th. 


New Academic Offering: Dual Enrollment with UMaine

CVA is proud to partner with the University of Maine to offer dual enrollment classes. Students who complete the selected early college classes at CVA will receive 4 college credits from the University of Maine at Farmington.

Ski Camp in Maine

Athletes from Pennsylvania enjoyed training with CVA coaches at Sugarloaf last week. They focused on SL & GS fundamentals, techniques & tactics and used US Skiing's Skills Quest progressions to identify athletes individual technical needs. If you know a club who would like to coordinate a ski or snowboard camp at Sugarloaf with CVA coaches, please contact Erin Whipple at or (207) 237-4466.


CVA Alumni Holiday Party December 28th from 5-7pm at the Winterstick Factory at Sugarloaf

Reconnect with old friends and make new Big Dog connections at our annual Sugarloaf Alumni Holiday Party. Enjoy casual cocktails and lite fare. Thanks to Tom Fremont-Smith ’91 and Chris Lorenz ’89 for welcoming us all to the Winterstick factory. Tours and information on Winterstick Snowboard and West Mountain Ski Co. production will be available. The event is kid friendly - we'll have supervised indoor and outdoor activities for your kids while you enjoy the party. Be sure to bring your child's outdoor gear and a sled if you have one for sledding. FMI contact: Melissa Fogg/CVA at or 207-237-4505. RSVP encouraged, but not necessary, by December 26th.  Join us as we celebrate the holiday season and share our Big Dog spirit! 

 Scholarship Bash, February 22, 2020 at The Bill & Joan Alfond Competition Center

The annual CVA Scholarship Bash is a not-to-be-missed event scheduled for February 22, 2020. CVA supporters turn out in numbers to support the scholarship fund and socialize with old friends and new over tasty bites and cocktails.  If you’d like to volunteer or sponsor this year’s event, contact Melissa Fogg

Student Phone-a-Thon to Support the Annual Fund

On December 5th, thirty CVA students volunteered to make calls to donors to help support the CVA Annual Fund. Together they made over 200 calls. It was so successful that late last week a smaller group of students volunteered to make some additional calls. The CVA Annual Fund supports every aspect of the CVA experience, along with providing scholarship assistance to over half of the student-athletes.


Pre-Season Training Trips: Switzerland, Austria, and Colorado

The Snowboard & Ski Cross athletes enjoyed training in Saas-Fee, Switzerland for two weeks. To keep up with school work, Ainsley, a CVA teacher, joined them and offered a daily monitored study hall. Here’s one of the notes to parents from Coach Todd Johnson near the end of the trip, noting the epic amount of snow they received: “So far the trip has been very fun, cohesive, full of experiences, culture, views and SNOW! We started off great with a few days of gate training and then the snow started to fall. 7 feet to be exact. Luckily we were able to build a start track and jumps for the days we were off hill, and then things opened up again today. Tomorrow looks amazing with sun and great visibility. We will set a course if the training area is groomed and the surface lifts open.” 

The U16 & U19 Alpine athletes trained in the Tyrol Region of the Austrian Alps for two weeks. They skied primarily on the Stubai Glacier and stayed in apartments in Patsch. Coach Jeff Beauregard reported: “Today we had a sleep in that was extended due to the snow that came in over the last 24 hours. Stubai received about 2 feet +/- and we got about 1 foot down here in Patsch. We got to the mountain after lunch, picked up tickets and got a few runs in. Everyone was happy to knock the rust off and it was obvious that the skiing improved as the session went on, typical for day one. The coaches are really excited to get in a full session tomorrow and get some real work done. Speaking of tomorrow, we'll have sunny skies over groomed trails for free skiing and drills.”

The U12 & U14 Alpine group spent a fun and productive week in Colorado for pre-season training camp. Athletes were coached in slalom & giant slalom fundamentals, along with directed free-skiing, drills, and gate-training. They stayed in luxury townhouses in Keystone and participated in daily monitored study hall with tutors. Their location provided easy access to the Loveland Pass, Winter Park and A-Basin. They made it to Breckenridge for a visit and some shopping as well. Here’s one of the mid-week notes to parents from Coach Ron Bonnevie: “It was another legendary day at A-Basin today finishing up our GS technical & tactical training. Once again we were the only team training there. It was a full day of sun and perfect temps to continue our work on turn shape and lateral balance. The weather continues to be amazing.”


Sugarloaf Charity Summit: Amos’ Army & Climb for the Cure

The 20th Annual Sugarloaf Charity Summit kicks off with the “Climb for a Cure” on December 27th. Gather in memory and in honor of loved ones touched by cancer for a fun moonlit climb, skin, or snowshoe up Tote Road to Bullwinkle's, then reenergize with treats and hot beverages before descending back down the mountain.  This is a special hike under the stars to raise a mountain of money to fight cancer. 

Amos' Army is a wonderful opportunity to help raise a mountain of money to fight cancer while also earning cool prizes and admission to exclusive events. There are exclusive prizes for people who raise $150 or more, including lift tickets, an exclusive Sugarloaf Sea Bag, first tracks with Ski Patrol and exclusive event tickets. All proceeds from the event will benefit the cancer community of Maine through three beneficiaries. Check out the full details and register online today at



Wreath Sale by the Parent-Student Organization

Beautiful balsam wreaths are made locally in Maine. Proceeds from the sale support educational, cultural, and athletic projects at CVA, all contributing to the thriving educational and athletic environment at Carrabassett Valley Academy. Order a 12" standard wreath with bow for $30.00, or with pine cones for $34. Our volunteers can also hand-deliver your wreath(s) to your Sugarloaf area home. Wreaths not being shipped/delivered can be picked up at CVA on December 7th and 8th. The order deadline is December 5, 2019.
Order online at

Winter Camps with CVA

CVA offers many camps for all winter sports disciplines. Camps range from beginning competitors to high skill levels and accommodate wide age ranges. Our camps also feature our world-class coaches and monitored study halls. Most camps are held at Sugarloaf. 

Coming up next: Pre-Holiday Camp from December 20-22 with Alpine, Snowboard or Ski Cross.


Giving Tuesday: December 3, 2019

Chances are you've heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday—the three days that kick off the holiday shopping season in a passionate fashion.

But, have you heard of #GivingTuesday? GivingTuesday is held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year on December 3, 2019. The global celebration runs for 24 hours and begins at midnight local time.

After we have our day to give thanks and three days of getting those holiday shopping deals, we now have a global day dedicated to giving back. Everyone from corporations to nonprofits, to students and individuals around the world will come together to celebrate generosity.

Stay tuned—we’ll have more information on how you can celebrate and give to CVA on December 3rd! Watch our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.

Click here to learn more about the meaning, history and purpose of #GivingTuesday and please consider giving to CVA at

Donating with AmazonSmile

When users shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation contributes 0.5 percent of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice. Especially for frequent Amazon users, this additional perk is a great way to give back to charities effortlessly. Please set-up your Amazon Smile account to benefit CVA today.

Spotlight on Coaches: Freestyle

Nate McKenzie, Program Director, returns for his 20th season and Jesse Duncan, Head Freeride Coach, returns for his 14th season. Three new coaches for this season include Keegan Kilbride, Casey Davis and Patrick Magee.

  • Keegan graduated from CVA in 2014.  He's taking a sabbatical from his highly successful professional ski career to share his knowledge and passion for skiing with our student-athletes. Dew Tour podiums and X Games starts are on his resume, along with being a featured athlete in numerous ski films.
  • Casey graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder and was the Freeskiing team’s Terrain Park Liaison there. She competed on the Dew Tour circuit as a park and street style athlete.
  • Throughout Patrick’s competitive career he was a consistent top points leader in the Rocky Mountain division for slopestyle and half pipe. Patrick began his freestyle coaching career at Steamboat Springs and most recently coached the Wachusett Mountain Comp Team.

Recent Events

Registration Day for Winter Term Students

We had so much fun welcoming our winter term student-athletes with their families on November 3rd. Check out photos from the day here 

Physical Testing - Winter Term

As a US Ski and Snowboard High Performance Center, CVA athletes participate in the Skillsquest Fitness Assessment - an important part of their ski & snowboard racing careers. More fit athletes achieve better results on snow.
The Skillsquest "score" is a way to learn about an athlete's strengths and weaknesses. Many US Ski and Snowboard projects will be asking for fitness scores prior to entry into these projects.
See more photos of the athletes in action here 

Wilderness First Aid Course

CVA’s Backcountry team, along with others from outside of CVA, participated in a SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course at Sugarloaf last weekend. It offered a basic level of first aid training for short trips with family, friends, and outdoor groups and also met the ACA guidelines. By learning a few basic skills, participants will have an opportunity to make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one, and maybe even save a life.

Eighth Grade Field Trip in Salem, Massachusetts

The eighth grade Humanities students read a book called "Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem" by Rosalyn Schanzer. It’s about the Salem witch trials, and in preparation for reading it, they visited Salem, Massachusetts. The visit provided an immersive and fun experience essential to expanding their understanding of a fascinating part of American history. They attended an interactive Salem witch trial reenactment and then wrote a reflective essay connecting the experience in Salem with the book.

Community Service with the Carrabassett Valley Library

CVA National Honor Society members (and friends) helped the Carrabassett Valley Library move 4 car-loads and 2 van-loads of books to the Sugarloaf base lodge for the library’s annual used book sale during Homecoming weekend. The book sale proceeds are shared among local food pantries and the library.

CVA Alumnus Inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame

Congratulating CVA alumnus Seth Wescott and all the 2019 Maine Ski Hall of Fame Inductees. Thank you for inspiring CVA’s past, present and future student-athletes.

Youth Olympic Game Qualifiers and Alternates Named: Eli Derrick, Aidan Steffe, Chloe Whipple

Eli Derrick '20 and Aidan Steffe '20 (Ski Cross) and Chloe Whipple '21 (SnowboardCross) will represent the USA at Youth Olympic Games in 2020.
They’re currently in Switzerland for training with CVA and they visited the Olympic Museum in Lausanne last week. What an experience for these three athletes to be able to visit this amazing place prior to the games!
Aidan, Eli and Chloe will be ready to represent the USA, their families, and the CVA Big Dogs this January in Lausanne, Switzerland. Go Big Dogs!


Registration Day

On Sunday, September 1st, we welcomed fall-term students and families to campus.  The day included moving into dorm rooms, orientation, group meetings with coaches, a gratitude ceremony, lunch in the Capricorn, team building activities in the Anti Gravity Center, and a bonfire with smores in the evening. 

More photos from Registration Day

Physical Testing

Several leaders from the Center of Excellence US Ski and Snowboard High Performance department were on campus this week observing, helping and validating the testing with us at the Anti Gravity Complex. As a US Ski and Snowboard High Performance Center, athletes participate in the Skillsquest Fitness Assessment - an important part of an athlete’s ski & snowboard career. Many US Ski and Snowboard projects will be asking for fitness scores prior to entry into these projects. The Skillsquest "score" is also a way to learn about an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses and develop appropriate goals.

More Photos from Physical Testing


Did you know CVA offers about 40 camps throughout the year? A camp is a great opportunity for an athlete to give CVA a try without committing to a whole term or every weekend.  Use the Camps page on our website to get updates about the camps offered in Alpine, Snowboarding, Skicross, Backcountry, and Freestyle.

In August, CVA coaches hosted a camp at Corralco Mountain & Ski Resort in Chile. Athletes and several parents stayed at the resort for 2 weeks, enjoying the mid-winter conditions there. Overall, athletes found dry, well-groomed snow with lots of soft powder off-piste, and on the third day, a 24 hour snowstorm brought over 2 feet of fresh wind-blown powder to the already impressive base. Athletes experienced world class skiing, with their time on snow balanced between directed free ski skills and gate training. They trained side by side with a U14/16 French team from the Pyrenees for several days. Meals were nothing less than a 4 star level of quality. The group also spent a day with a guide in Temuco learning about Chilean culture, crafts and history.

New Teachers

Jennifer Simmons, Spanish. Jennifer holds a B.A in Spanish from the University of Maine at Orono with continuing education credits in both Spanish and German. She is state certified in Spanish and brings nine years of teaching experience to CVA. Her most recent position was at Shead High School in Eastport, ME.

Kristen Davis, Humanities, Western Civilization, and English. She holds a BS in Psychology and an MA in Literature from Old Dominion University as well as a PhD in English from West Virginia University. She has taught writing, literature, and interdisciplinary courses since 2004, most recently at the University of Maine, Orono. A native Mainer, she is excited to reside near the mountain she skied and hiked in her youth. Outside of class, she especially enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, nature photography, dogs, and spending time with family.

Sierra Leavitt, World Cultures, Physical Science, and 7th Grade Humanities. After graduating from CVA in 2011, Sierra attended Colby College where she got a BA in English while being a member of their Alpine Ski Team (of which she was the captain in 2015-2016). As a high level alpine racer herself, Sierra will be an invaluable resource to help guide her students and advisees through the demands of the busy winter months at CVA. Sierra has spent the last three winter seasons coaching young racers in Big Sky, Montana.

New Coaches

Keegan Kilbride, Head Freeski Coach. A native of Portland, Maine, Keegan graduated from CVA in 2014. His accomplishments include FIS, NorAm, and World Junior level in slopestyle, as well as Dew Tour podiums and X Games starts. He has been a featured athlete in numerous ski films and won many accolades throughout the Freeski industry.

Freddy McCarthy, Head Snowboardcross Coach. Throughout his competitive snowboard career at CVA, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Sierra Nevada College Freddy established himself as a dominant SBX racer earning Junior Worlds nods and a World Cup Start. Freddy is a well-rounded rider who won multiple USCSA titles in multiple snowboard disciplines while attending Sierra Nevada College in Tahoe. For the past three seasons Freddy has served as the Head Snowboard Coach at his alma mater. Freddy graduated from CVA in the Class fo 2012.

Sean Sullivan, Alpine Coach. Sean graduated from CVA in 2016. He is an accomplished racer and spent the past few seasons coaching at Eldora Mountain in Colorado in the U14 and U16 programs. Sean‘s first hand experience and youth will bring great energy and spark to the U16 program.

Patrick MaGee, Freestyle Coach. Patrick began his freestyle coaching career at Steamboat and most recently coached the Waschusett Mountain Comp Team. 

Dylan Deconzo, Snowboard Coach. Dylan grew up in Auburn, Maine.  He has a passion for filming and his snowboarding films have placed first and 2nd in multiple snowboard film competitions. Dylan joined the CVA Snowboard Weekend Program coaching staff during the 2018-19 season and joins the Academy staff as a Winter Term coach this year. 

Owen McAndrew, Backcountry Assistant Coach. Owen is a recent graduate of Northern Vermont University’s Outdoor Recreation Management program where he built his foundation in backcountry ski guiding, avalanche education, and general experiential education. After college, he went on to patrol at Solitude Mountain Resort where he gained experience in avalanche mitigation and emergency medicine. He has been an instructor for the White Mountain School Climbing Camp and a guide for Bearhouse Mountain Guides. 


Link to the current year schedule

It was exciting to welcome students to campus for registration day on September 1 and for the first day of classes on September 2. For your reference, the school calendar can be found on our website here.


CVA Past, Present and Future Summer Social

Thank you to everyone who attended our summer social on July 20th in Falmouth. We had a great time! 60 people including alumni, weekend program, and academy families enjoyed the hot summer day in style at the Portland Yacht Club. Food, drinks, trivia, door prizes and a short presentation by Kate rounded out the fun. The venue was beautiful and everyone seemed to have a good time, we hope to do it again next summer! Thank you Pine Capital, LLC and Hallett, Whipple & Weyrens, P.A. for your generous sponsorship of CVA's summer social.

More Photos from the Portland Yacht Club

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who donated to CVA this year. With your help, we achieved our fundraising goal! $357,500 was raised in this year's annual giving campaigns and events - all directly supporting CVA's programs and scholarship fund.


Trampoline and Skateboarding Camp, Summer 2020

We know many of you want to mark your calendars for next summer's trampoline and skateboarding camp. The dates are set: Session 1 will start July 5, and session 2 is July 12, 2020. For those who haven't attended yet, it's a fun week of summer camp packed with trampoline and skateboard action, designed for skiers and snowboarders who want to sharpen their skills during the off-season and have fun doing it!


Rolling enrollment

CVA is still taking applications for Winter Term, a 5-month season for 7-12th graders in our fully integrated and balanced academic and athletic community. For more information, contact Erin Whipple, Director of Enrollment, at or (207) 237-4466. 


Weekend Program

The Carrabassett Valley Academy Weekend Program is designed for skiers and snowboarders from ages 7-19 who, like you, love to ski or ride. Athletes ski or snowboard on weekends and vacation weeks with a Weekend Program coach from December - April.

Join us this winter and follow the footsteps of former Olympians: Seth Wescott, Kirsten Clark, and Emily Cook; US Team members: Sam Morse, and Jeremy Cota; and former X-Game athletes Alex Tuttle and Dan Marion. Like them, you'll make great friends with kids who love to ski or ride.

To learn more, click on the “Weekend Program” links on, where you'll find the calendar and registration links when you're ready.  You can also see us during Family Weekend at Sugarloaf October 12-13, the early bird sign up deadline is October 14th.  

For additional questions, contact Venise Fournier at or call 237-4459.

Social Event in Rhode Island This Saturday

CVA alumnus Derek Luke '93, co-founder of Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co., is welcoming all of us for a casual "south of Maine" CVA Meet-Up at the pavilion at Newport Craft, this Saturday, September 14, 3-6 p.m. Spouses, significant others, children, and leashed dogs are all welcome! We hope you can join us! Derek will also treat us Big Dogs to a behind the scenes tour of the facility, and due to his experience, he offers a unique lens into the industry. The brewery opened 20 years ago when there were less than 700 in the US. Now the industry is exploding and there are almost 7,000 with 2,000 in planning stages. Newport was also one of the early craft distilling pioneers in 2006 when there were only 75 in the country. Currently there are more than 1,500.

We look forward to reconnecting with our CVA friends and to meeting new ones at this fun CVA event!

 Newport Craft Pavillion 

News about summer reading

At Carrabassett Valley Academy, there is no off-season, true for both athletics and academics.  Students recently received their summer reading assignments, to be completed by the first day of classes on September 2nd.  The English teachers have chosen novels they believe will capture the interest of their outdoors-loving students, and have included comments below about why they chose the books they did.  


8th grade Humanities with Kristen J. Davis

Enrique’s Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother (Adapted for Young People) (2013) by Sonia Nazario, a Pulitzer Prize winner. A modern-day “odyssey” of a teen in search of familial love and a place to call “home,” this text will serve as an introduction to our course’s focus on the successes, failures, and continuing challenges of various groups of people who have existed on the North American continent.

From Kristen: “This is a popular, effective, fun, exciting text told from the perspective of a 15 year old boy.  The immigration issue is very relevant now. There’s a website for updates and pictures for Enrique’s family, the story feels immediate, relevant, and real.  This book is part of a larger theme for Humanities focused on American History including native Americans, civic/US history, and Salem witch trials.”

9th grade English with Ainsley McClachrie

Michael Finkel’s The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit. The biography tells the story of Christopher Knight, the ‘North Pond Hermit’, who lived in the Maine woods for 27 years without any human contact. 

From Ainsley: “This recent best seller will be a great way for students who aren’t originally from Maine  to get to know more about our state and its rural nature. It’s well written and well researched, a good model for curiosity and thoroughness.  It will be challenging for 9th graders, but will be followed by another challenging text: Romeo & Juliet. The book will be interesting enough to grab kids attention during the summer, and then get them in the right mindset for the beginning of the school year.”

10th Grade English with Lucas Milliken

Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

From Lucas: “This book is beautifully written and fun to read.  It’s about college athletes on a rowing team, achieving their goals and working hard.  It’s also about surviving depression, Nazi Germany, and cultural prejudice, all woven together into a story that feels good in the end.”

11th Grade English with Ainsley McClachrie

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer 

From Ainsley: “This story is relatable for students at our ski academy, and is an interesting portrayal of nature in American literature.  I’m passionate about mountaineering and can recommend many other books to students and people who enjoy this one. This book will lead us into further exploration of Puritans, the American West, and the concept of mountains, oceans, and caves as the final frontier.”


12th Grade English with Kristen J. Davis

Little Brother (2008) by Canadian author Cory Doctorow. The novel is set in contemporary San Francisco and follows teen tech whiz Marcus through a terrorist attack, interrogation, and hacktivist subversion of the newly established police state.

From Kristen: “This book is exciting and current, fast paced adventure, a good summer read.  The dystopian theme is very relevant right now. When I’ve taught it in the past, it sparked debate & students liked it.  This text will lead us into issues about privacy, security, government overreach, constitutional rights, and how young people can play a role in activism even if they’re not old enough to vote.  We’ll discuss central questions like what is justice, what makes a happy or unhappy society, with a world focus.”


CVA is still taking applications for Winter Term, a 5-month season for 7-12th graders in our fully integrated and balanced academic and athletic community. FMI contact Erin Whipple, Director of Enrollment, at or (207) 237-4466.




Under a sunny blue sky at the base of Sugarloaf mountain, 17 seniors graduated from Carrabassett Valley Academy on Saturday, June 1st. Learn more about the events of the day, and see photos on our website

"Big Dog" Awards Luncheon

About 250 students, family members, coaches and faculty gathered in the gym of the Anti-Gravity Center (AGC) to honor students from all grades and disciplines with academic and athletic awards at the annual awards ceremony.  A delicious buffet lunch was served and every student received a personal note card signed by CVA staff. Many awards were given, see a list of recipients and view photos online

Senior Banquet

The annual senior banquet was held at the Sugarloaf Base Lodge, with the reception on the Beach and dinner in the King Pine Room. The Denny Flag Award was presented, students spoke, and a toast was given. The evening ended with the annual Senior Slideshow - a fan favorite walk down memory lane.

Future Plans for Graduates

This year’s senior class has big plans for attending college, and many will continue skiing or snowboarding as part of their college experience. Learn more about where these Big Dogs are headed next!


A Selection of Recent Athletic Highlights: Alpine, Freestyle, Snowboarding, and Backcountry


Congrats to Ella Spear '19 for being invited to this summer's U.S. Ski and Snowboard Eastern Region Alpine UNI and FIS project in La Parva, Chile. Only the top 10 collegiate skiers and top 10 JR skiers in the region got the invite!



Congratulations to Freeride team members Ben Malone '19 and Osten Duncan '22! Out of more than 2000 Freeride competitors Ben and Osten were invited to compete at this year's North American Freeride Championship at Kicking Horse Resort. Every year this competition brings together the top 1% of IFSA competitors from across North America, to test their skills on one of North America's most challenging faces. This year was no different - Ben and Osten competed on the Ozone face, the same course as this year's Freeride World Tour. The face drops 384 meters at an average pitch of 44 degrees. Cliffs from only a few feet to over a 100 stripe the face. The face is a favorite venue of the riders on the FWT for the variety of terrain, the steepness and the challenge.


Snowboarding / Skicross

Congratulations to the following athletes who earned a spot at the 2019 Project Gold Snowboardcross / Skicross Camp, on Mt. Hood in Oregon: Snowboardcross - Emma Downing '19, Theo McLemore '21 and Zachary Stewart '19. Skicross - Brighton Bradford '21, Eli Derrick '20, and Weekend Program athletes Gannon Stewart and Stuart Whittier.  Project Gold athlete selections include top finishers from the HoleShot, USASA Nationals, and select other athletes who had outstanding performances this season. Project Gold athletes are invited to train with the U.S. Snowboarding Team, along with the best coaches from across the country.



The Backcountry team traveled to La Grave in February.  It's a village nestled underneath the north face of the 13,000-foot-tall La Meije, seemingly unchanged by skiing’s modern amenities. Without towering hotels, chain restaurants, modern chairlifts, or large grocery stores, La Grave has kept the feel of old France while offering some of the best lift-accessed big mountain and backcountry skiing in the world. For more about the trip, and photos of their steep lines, deep powder and ski adventures, visit the Backcountry Facebook page.

For more season highlights:

Check out the “CVA Wrap Up” in the most recent edition of the Sugarloaf Ski Club newsletter



Race Administrator and Chief of Timing Laurel Lashar is the latest recipient of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Thelma Hoessler True North Award! CVA is so grateful for Laurel and all she does for our athletes, coaches and resort. Congratulations Laurel on this well-deserved award! 

Trampoline & Skateboarding Camp

Come and see what all the fun is about at CVA’S 2019 summer trampoline and skate camps.  Join CVA's Director of Snowboarding, Todd Johnson, Former U.S. Halfpipe team rider, Michael ‘Goldy” Goldschmidt, and guest coach - CVA’s Director of Freestyle, Nate McKenzie - for some fun filled weeks of summer camp packed with trampoline and skateboard action!  





Community Service Activities

Students participated in three community events this spring: Mountain Clean-Up, Route 27 Roadside Clean-Up, and Marathon Water Stop.  Community service has been CVA's tradition for over 35 years!

Annual Fund

The June drive kicked off with an online Day of Giving (DoG) on June 1st, celebrating the graduates with videos throughout the early morning, commencement updates and a Facebook Live session showing graduates celebrating with their family and friends.


Your gift to the CVA Annual Fund directly benefits student-athletes by expanding our scholarship program, funding the athletic and academic programs, and supporting our talented coaches and teachers. Please make your tax deductible gift by June 30 to be included in the 2018/19 fiscal year. FMI contact Melissa Fogg at or visit

"Past, Present, and Future" Summer Event

Save the Date! CVA is hosting past, present and future CVA athletes and their families at the Portland Yacht Club on July 20th.  Join us for an afternoon of food, drinks, boats, ocean air, games and fun, more details coming soon!

Carrabassett Valley Academy brings on new Snowboard Program Director 


July 2, 2018 – Carrabassett Valley, Maine. Carrabassett Valley Academy is excited to announce the hiring of Todd Johnson as the new Snowboard Program Director. Johnson will take over responsibilities from current Snowboard Program Director, Alex Tuttle, as he moves on to a new role as Head Coach of the U.S. Adaptive Boardercross team.

Many familiar with the CVA Snowboard program will recognize Todd’s name, as he spent several years as a coach at the Academy. Todd then expanded his coaching experience as Head Coach with Team Utah Snowboarding, Head Coach of the Belgium Paralympic Snowboard Team, and more recently as the Head Snowboard Coach at Hebron Academy in Maine. Todd is also a U.S. Army veteran and USSA/USASA Level 300 coach. 

CVA Head of School, Kate Punderson said of Todd’s return, “Todd began his coaching career under the guidance and mentorship of former CVA Snowboard Program Director, Mike Mallon. He has also worked closely with outgoing Director, Alex Tuttle over the past few years. Todd shares both Mike’s and Alex’s coaching philosophy on long-term athlete development and personal growth. He will seamlessly pick up the reigns of the program and build of the tradition of success of CVA Snowboard and Ski Cross programs.”

Todd will begin transitioning to his new role immediately.


New partnership marks exciting chapter for CVA and Sugarloaf

CVA and Sugarloaf receive US Ski & Snowboard Team High Performance Center and Team Development Site designation



CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine – Through a recent partnership with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA) and Sugarloaf have been designated as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Development Site and Team High Performance Center. U.S. Ski & Snowboard serves as the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding and the parent organization of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboard Team and U.S. Freeski Team. 

This collaboration, with the ongoing support of the Sugarloaf Ski Club and the Town of Carrabassett Valley, marks the beginning of a new era for the winter sports academy and resort, located in the mountains of Western Maine.

“This begins an exciting new chapter in the school’s storied evolution. The partnership lays the foundation for providing our student-athletes with an unmatched level of training support and opportunity for success within their disciplines,” said Head of School, Kate Punderson.

Athletes will have access to exceptional on-hill training at Sugarloaf, and dry-land training thanks to the generosity of the town [of Carrabassett Valley], which will provide free access to the Anti-Gravity Complex.

“Since the FIS World Cup in 1971, Sugarloaf has been a proving ground for the nation’s top skiers and snowboarders,” said Sugarloaf General Manager, Karl Strand. “From Bode Miller to Kirsten Clark and Seth Wescott, many of the country’s greatest athletes have cut their teeth right here in Carrabassett Valley, and we are honored to open our doors to the next generation of competitive snowsport athletes as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Development Site and High Performance Center.” 

As a High Performance Center, CVA will collaborate with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Park City-based Center of Excellence and other high performance centers to share best practices in strength and conditioning, sport science and sports medicine and serve as a site to host training and education sessions for  clubs in the region. As a U.S. Ski  &  Snowboard Team Development Site, Sugarloaf will provide on-hill training days for regional and national development projects, as well as access for U.S. Ski Team athletes.

“These partnership programs have provided hundreds of our regional and national athletes with the training opportunities they need to take their performance to the next level,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “The facilities at CVA and Sugarloaf will be invaluable resources for our national teams and local clubs as we prepare for the Olympic season and beyond.”

Carrabassett Valley Academy is one of just 8 recently named programs in the United States that has been identified for partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s high performance team. The partnership opens the door for members of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Teams to train at CVA athletic facilities. It will also provide CVA with the unique opportunity to collaborate with other clubs who have received the partnership status, as well as U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s high performance team, to establish age-appropriate training progressions and fitness benchmarks designed to help young snow sport athletes reach their maximum potential.   

“U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s High Performance Team will be an invaluable resource for the school,” notes CVA High Performance Director, Shelby Downing. She continues, “It is a great advantage, not to mention huge inspiration, to be able to see U.S. team members in action, in the gym, and on the fields.”

Carrabassett Valley Academy's training facility, the Anti-Gravity Complex, boasts strength training venues, trampolines, an indoor skate park, basketball court, spin and yoga room, and climbing wall.  Outdoor training sites on campus include additional trampolines, a soccer field, track, and slack line area. 

CVA students and U.S. team members will also have the opportunity to experience world class mountain biking, white water rafting, canoeing, hiking along the incomparable Appalachian Trail, as well as sea and white-water kayaking.  All of these resources provide outstanding dryland training opportunities.



CVA and Sugarloaf announce new, on-hill training enhancement


As Sugarloaf and Carrabassett Valley Academy continue to improve their athletic training and competition facilities, the two organizations are working together to add a mid-station load ramp on the Double Runner West chairlift. 

The mid-station load ramp will allow athletes skip the run out to the bottom of the mountain, thereby reducing their time on the lift and increasing their time on the snow. Coaches will benefit from additional vantage spots and the ability to view their athletes runs as they ride the DRC West. The mid-station ramp will also significantly decrease wait time at the Super Quad Chair and the Skyline Chair for the teams. The new mid-station load ramp will be available to all resort guests with a valid lift ticket or season pass. 

“The new mid-station load on DRC is another example of Sugarloaf’s commitment to providing our athletes and coaches exceptional training and racing venues,” Kate Punderson, CVA Head of School said. “The short lift ride will give our coaches the ability to have eyes on their athletes while maintaining the quality and safety of training. Our athletes will have more turns in less time with quicker feedback on their runs.”

“Our partnership with CVA is very important to us and we’re pleased to work together on projects like this that provide benefits for both organizations,” Sugarloaf General Manager Karl Strand said. 


New name for CVA's ALPS program - Same incredible experience for athletes

A message from CVA Backcountry (formerly known as ALPS) Program Director, Patrick Scanlan. 

Hello CVA Community, 

I am excited to announce that the CVA ALPS Team (Alpine Leadership Pursuits for Skiers and Snowboarders) will now be known as CVA Backcountry.  This change comes during an exciting time for our program, as the backcountry skiing and riding discipline continues to expand through a growing user base, revolutionary ski touring technology, and a passionate and ambitious community.   

The Backcountry program at CVA offers experiential programming for high school skiers and snowboarders who are committed to developing a skill set that is specific to managing risk and making decisions in backcountry ski terrain. The program trains athletes to become proficient at skiing and riding in all types of ungroomed terrain in a variety of locations, from steep couloirs in France, to variable East coast snow in tight trees, to powder in the Tetons. These experiences are paired with individualized athletic conditioning specific to the mountain environment, world-class instruction from partnerships with outdoor educators and certified ski and mountain guides, and the ability for athletes to earn industry-specific credentials such as Wilderness First Aid through SOLO Schools, and avalanche education through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).  

When students graduate from the program, whether they have been enrolled for one year or four, they represent the next generation of ambassadors in the backcountry skiing community who have a passionate sense of adventure, while also understanding the importance of continued education, training, and respect for the natural environment. They leave with a skill set that reaches far beyond big mountain adventures.  The leadership skills taught in the CVA Backcountry Program are focused on being efficient and safe in the mountains. Skills like communication, teamwork, decision making, risk management, and respect represent the core elements of backcountry skiing and are also transferrable to almost any career or university program.  

Additionally, we are excited to have recently created the new Freeride Development Team.  This program focuses on giving younger athletes, in 7th or 8th grade, specific coaching in all-mountain and freeride skiing while also exposing them to competitive freeride events, as well as backcountry ski touring.  The goal of this new program is to help young athletes find a sense of direction to help them decide whether they want to concentrate on competing (CVA Freeride) or further developing a backcountry skill set (CVA Backcountry).  

The CVA Backcountry Program will stay true to the spirit of the ALPS acronym, which was coined at the program’s inception in 2001, and after 16 years of evolution of the sport, this name change offers a clear representation of what we do and how it is relevant in the world of free skiing. I am proud of the many alumni who have shaped this unique program, and excited about the bright future and the talented and passionate student-athletes that it will continue to attract. 


Patrick Scanlan

CVA Backcountry Program Director





3197 Carrabassett Drive
Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947


Fax: 207.237.2213