News

2021

  • Summer Camp Recap and Photos

    Skiers & snowboarders gathered in Carrabassett Valley last week for CVA’s annual summer camp.  They had their choice of developing individual goals on the trampolines, in the skatepark, in the weight room or in the gym while enjoying a fun and supportive team environment with CVA’s world-class coaches. Over the four days, campers improved their strength, power, agility, endurance, balance and overall athleticism, the keys to long-term sporting success.  

    Mornings were dedicated to skill development within a customized focus, and afternoons were spent exploring and playing in the area around Carrabassett Valley.  Afternoon activities included swimming, biking, hiking and field games including soccer, kick ball and disc golf.

    View the camp photo album 
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  • Summer reading assignments for students

    At Carrabassett Valley Academy, student-athletes spend the summer preparing for the year ahead, creating balance by challenging their fitness with dryland training, and challenging their minds with reading.

    Summer reading assignments were sent via email in June from the Director of Academics, Karen Lanoue-Egan, which include instructions and contact information for the CVA English Teacher. Students will read, annotate, and reflect on their assigned novel, and then bring their completed work to the first day of class on August 29th. 

    📚The books on the CVA summer reading list this year include:
    📖Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt.  “The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.”
    📖Refugee by Alan Gratz, a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. This historical novel follows the stories of three children from different times and places who are forced to flee their homelands: Josef, a Jewish boy in Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl fleeing Castro’s regime; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy seeking safety from his country’s current civil war. In this exciting tale, the characters battle against various kinds of conflict and danger in their search for refuge. While they are decades and continents apart, their stories ultimately intertwine by the end of the book.
    📖Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen: Volume I. “Barefoot Gen is the powerful, tragic, autobiographical story of the bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath, seen through the eyes of the artist as a young boy growing up in Japan. The honest portrayal of emotions and experiences speaks to children and adults everywhere. Nakazawa's manga illustrates the true impact of nuclear weapons when used against a civilian population. It is vital reading for people of all ages, and especially for today's youth. By keeping this tragedy in our collective consciousness, we can strive to never repeat it and guide humanity towards a course of peace.”
    📖Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr.  “Set on four continents, Anthony Doerr's new stories are about memory, the source of meaning and coherence in our lives, the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves and to others. Every hour, says Doerr, all over the globe, an infinite number of memories disappear. Yet at the same time children, surveying territory that is entirely new to them, push back the darkness, form fresh memories, and remake the world.”
    📖Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer’s harrowing first-hand account of the 1996 Everest disaster. This is a classic work of mountaineering literature and has inspired several film adaptations, including 2015’s Everest.
    📖Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. Born during Apartheid to a white Swiss father and black Xhosa mother, Noah is the product of what was deemed a criminal act (interracial sex), hence the title of his book. Utilizing humor even amidst difficult and tragic events, his narrative outlines the complexity and repercussions of racial classification in South Africa and the many challenges he faced growing up.

    📸 Cameron Arner '22 on the Murfey Hall patio
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  • Alpine training camp at Big Snow American Dream in July

    U14 Alpine athletes took their on-snow training indoors - yes indoors - during a recent summer session at Big Snow American Dream.  This facility is North America’s first and only indoor, real-snow, year-round ski and snow resort.
    The focus of the 3-day session was to improve athletes timing of a slalom pole touch and develop the balance needed to make carved 1 ski turns. Due to the layout of the park, athletes were able to spend lots of time on-task on consistent snow surfaces, making about 20 runs in a 2 hour session, resulting in tremendous progress.  
    When they weren’t in the snow park, coaches brought athletes outside for Rollerblade training and conditioning drills.  They also enjoyed the spectacle of the incredible American Dream complex.
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  • Freestyle team trains in Mt. Hood, Oregon

    The CVA Mogul crew had a super fun and productive camp in June in Mt. Hood, Oregon! The athletes showed real positive progress across the board, and hopefully had a great time with house games, team dinners, and many afternoons at the river. Among our successes on the trip, there were a good number of notable firsts to mention!

    Kennedy Hicks ’25, First Backflip (Landed!)
    Jack Egan ’25, First Cork 1080 (Landed!)
    Trase Boudreau '25, First 720
    Dory Michaud ’23, First Landed Flatspin 360 (!)
    Lance Dolan ’22, First Back Full
    Myles Mckenzie ’22, First Back Full

    A huge thank you to our coaches Nate Mckenzie, Grace Holstein ’16, Jesse Lowell ’14, master jump builder Carter McQuinn, and builder/athlete/inspiration George McQuinn, for all their hard work and passion for freestyle skiing!
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  • Maine Boarding Schools Team Up

    In this interview with WSKI TV 17, Head of School Kate Webber Punderson '89 explains the new Maine Boarding Schools alliance.  The alliance idea was born from the need to look at new ways to come together and strengthen partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging families from out of state to better understand what Maine offers.

    From the press release:

    There are a lot of reasons to love Maine—from its prized lobsters and blueberries to celebrated authors like Stephen King and a red-hot food scene. It’s also an amazing place to go to school.

    Five of the state’s best boarding schools have collaborated to help spread the word about the advantages of living and learning Maine. Carrabassett Valley, Gould, Hebron, Hyde, and Kents Hill have formed the Maine Boarding Schools consortium and launched a new website where prospective students can learn more about the amazing opportunities available to them.

    What makes Maine boarding schools different? Their incredible locations. And students at these schools make the most of them—with programs in marine science, geology, ski patrol, fly fishing, mountain biking, world-class ski and snowboarding, and so much more.

    Maine abounds in natural assets—lakes, beaches, mountains, seacoast—including 436,064 acres of state and national parks, including the 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Baxter State Park, and Acadia National Park. There are 17 million acres of forestland and 3,500 miles of indescribably beautiful coastline to enjoy as well as two internationally known ski resorts—Sugarloaf and Sunday River.

    To learn more, visit their site at MaineBoardingSchools.org or follow them on social media https://www.facebook.com/MEboardingschools or https://www.instagram.com/maineboardingschools/
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  • June E-Spillway Newsletter

    Includes recent updates about what's happening on campus with community activities, academics, and athletics.  Also alumni news, information about upcoming camps, reports from the Weekend Program, and other updates.  
    Read it here
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  • Seven new members inducted to National Honor Society

    We were thrilled to induct seven new members to the Carrabassett Valley Academy chapter of the National Honor Society in the beginning of June.  The inductees include rising Seniors Dahlia Saifee, Summer Saifee, Drew Hooker and rising Juniors Sasha Jansujwicz, Dory Michaud, Kai Glidden, and Althea Noyes.  
    These high-achieving student-athletes have pledged to uphold the ideals of the National Honor Society including scholarship, service, leadership, and character.  They are already respected role models in their community and will continue to develop their leadership skills through their NHS membership and time at CVA.  

    The ceremony was hosted at the Begin Family Community Room at the Carrabassett Valley Library by Head of School Kate Punderson, faculty advisor Ainsley McClachrie, and current NHS members Arden Velenchik ’21, Noah Koenig ’21 and Eli Fournier ’22 and Cameron Arner ’22. 

    Photo 1: (left to right) Althea Noyes, Dahlia Saifee, Summer Saifee, Kai Glidden, Sasha Jansujwicz, Drew Hooker, Dory Michaud
    Photo 2: All CVA NHS members: (back row) Arden Velenchik, Kai Glidden, Eli Fournier, Cameron Arner, Dahlia Saifee, Noah Koenig.  (Front row) Drew Hooker, Summer Saifee, Dory Michaud, Sasha Jansujwicz, Althea Noyes
    Photo 3: New members: (Back row) Drew Hooker, Kai Glidden, Dahlia Saifee, Althea Noyes. (Front row) Summer Saifee, Dory Michaud, Sasha Jansujwicz
    Photo 4: Summer Saifee receives her certificate from Ainsley McClachrie
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  • Graduation - June 5th, 2021

    Last Saturday, six student-athletes graduated from Carrabassett Valley Academy at the Richard Bell Chapel, at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. We also saluted our Winter Term Seniors Ben DiBiase, Oscar Horovitz and Gannon Stewart. Congratulations to the resilient and remarkable Class of 2021!
     
    Head of School Kate Punderson remarked during the ceremony "While the road to getting here was not the path that we had expected, nonetheless, it was an extraordinary year. There were challenges. There were obstacles. There were many moments of triumph. Today we will celebrate all of the moments that have brought us here together, with a new sense of gratitude toward this special gathering. 
     
    Thank you to the parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family and friends that have loved and supported these deserving student-athletes through their CVA journey, and especially through the difficult past year. And equally as important, I want to thank the remarkable CVA faculty and staff that have nurtured, taught, coached, and mentored all of our Big Dogs. You are all heroes in my book and I am eternally grateful.
     
    But I save my most important thank you to the Class of 2021. Thank you for your perseverance – you made this happen. In true CVA fashion you never gave up, and your love for each other, and for CVA has brought us together today. Each of you so deserve the diploma you are about to receive. Soak in this moment and be proud of your accomplishments." 
     
    The Valedictorian, Arden Velenchik and Salutatorian, Brighton Bradford addressed the class during the ceremony, along with Senior Class Choice speaker Sam Osgood and Faculty Choice speaker James Holahan.
     
    Other award recipients recognized at the ceremony:
    • Arden Velenchik, John Ritzo Headmaster's Award, for her leadership qualities and her notable contribution to the betterment of the school and the local community. 
    • Sam Osgood, David Holmes Most Improved Student Award, for showing the most growth of any senior over the course of his time at CVA.
    • Brighton Bradford, Benjamin Weisbein Award for best exemplifying those qualities that Ben possessed. He was a superb athlete and an exceptional student who always worked tirelessly to achieve his potential. Brighton, like Ben, truly represented the “CVA way:” outstanding athletics, serious scholarship, personal development and strength of character.
    • Eli Fournier, CVA Alumni Association Award, for exhibiting a strong and steady character, reliability, consistently positive attitude, and respect for others. Eli has proven a commitment to “doing his best” academically, athletically and in the school community.  
    • Drew Hooker, J. Keith Penninger Memorial Fund Award for representing CVA in terms of leadership and commitment to the CVA mission and community. 
     
    The H. King Cummings Service Award was given to Steve Sitz, Director of Finance, in honor of his seventeen year career with CVA.
     
    Benjamin Bisson ’09 inspired and celebrated the graduates as the key note speaker.

    The annual Senior Banquet was held at the Sugarloaf Base Lodge Friday night, with a reception on the Beach and dinner in the Maple Room.

    During the ceremony, The Denny Flag Award was presented to Acy Craig and Angelique Labelle in honor of their commitment to excellence and CVA. 

    The evening ended with the Senior Slideshow - a fan favorite walk down memory lane.

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  • Big Dog Awards Ceremony: School-wide Academic and Athletic Awards

    About 250 students, family members, coaches and faculty gathered outside Murfey Hall to honor students from all grades and disciplines with academic and athletic awards at the Big Dog Awards Ceremony on June 4th. In addition to the awards, every student received a personal note card signed by CVA staff. 

    Kate Punderson offered these words: "Hello and Welcome to the 2021 Big Dog Awards Ceremony. It has been almost 2 years since we have all been together as a school community. Two years! I am so so happy that we are back together.
     
    To our Coaches, teachers, staff and parents: Thank you all for believing in CVA. For believing that kids need to be kids. And also that as a kid, time is precious and time is of the essence. The adolescent years fly by. Not a day should go by without a young person feeling loved and valued and appreciated. Everyday there should be opportunities for young people to learn and build knowledge and strength, to add tools to their social and emotional toolbox. Kids also need to be kids, to have fun, laugh, experience joy, be adventurous, and make connections. Thank you for believing that to do all that, young people need to be and feel safe - that safety is the foundation. Thank you all for joining me in these beliefs and embracing our students and their CVA experience, even when it required tremendous sacrifice.
     
    To our students - you are our inspiration. We are beyond proud of the way you responded to the opportunities you were given. Thank you students for believing in us and putting up with our many changing rules, confusing protocols and the restrictions we put on your daily activities. Your willingness to do whatever it took was amazing. David Brook’s message to the Boston College Class of 2021 sums up this time well. He said, 

    “We are all coming out of something hard….But here’s the good thing about enduring a hard thing when you are young. Forever after, you’ll now know you have the capacity to survive hard things. And you don’t need to be terrified of them.”

    Congratulations to each and every Big Dog for your many accomplishments this year!

    A list of award recipients can be found at gocva.com/news

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  • Academic Award Recipients 2020-2021

    The following students are recognized for academic achievement in the 2020-2021 school year.

    MATH:
        Arden Velenchik        Business Economics
        Gabe Landry            Math 7
        Jamie Hering            Pre-Algebra
        Boden Gerry            Honors Algebra I
        Charlie Koenig            Honors Algebra II
        Lance Dolan            Honors Algebra II
        Josie Alexander            Geometry
        Francois Meloni        Honors Geometry
        Dahlia Saifee            Honors Pre-Calc
        
    SCIENCE:
    Gabe Landry        Life Science
    Mia Bruno         Physical Science 
    Sam Krizo         Physical Science
        Chase Littlefield        Earth Science    
        Maggie Swain            Earth Science
        Kai Glidden            Env. Science    
    Noah Koenig            Honors Chemistry
    Kiernan Mann            Biology I
        Charlie Koenig            Honors Biology I
        Dahlia Saifee            Honors Biology II

    HISTORY:
        Charlie Koenig            World Cultures
        Cameron Arner              Hon. U.S. History
        Noah Koenig            Hon. U.S. History
        Dahlia Saifee            Western Civ.
        Summer Saifee            Western Civ.
        Brighton Bradford        Contemp. History
        Nya Wolfe                Psychology
    English:
        Kenadie Dickey            Humanities 7
        Skye Folger David          Humanities 8
        Francois Meloni        English Fund. Stud.
        Amy Latendresse        Honors English I
        Kai Glidden            English II
        Dahlia Saifee            Honors English II
        Cameron Arner            Honors English III
        Arden Velenchik        Honors English IV

    FRENCH:
        Sam Krizo                MS French
        Charlie Koenig            French I
        Lance Goodnow        French II
        Cameron Arner            French III
        Dahlia Saifee            French IV
        Summer Saifee            French IV
        
    SPANISH:
        Lulu Cushman            MS Spanish
        Adam Hamblet            Spanish I
        Brady Harvie            Spanish II
        Raine Amory            Spanish III
    ART:
        Emily Peck                MS Artist
        Elli Andrus            Break out Artist
        Natalie McKenzie        Artists of the Year
        Acy Craig                Artists of the Year
        Tyler Currier            Artists of the Year 
        Henry Currier            Artists of the Year 
        Angelique Labelle        Golden Apron
        Arden Velenchik        Photographer of 
                                The Year
    ACADEMIC DISTINCTION
    (Highest Academic Average in Class)
    Grade 7: Gabe Landry
    Grade 8: Sam Krizo
    Grade 9: Charlie Koenig
    Grade 10: Dahlia Saifee
    Grade 11: Cameron Arner

    St. Lawrence University Book Award 
    Cassidy Strunk

    University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Award
    Cameron Arner

    University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award
    Noah Koenig

    Clarkson University Leadership Award
    Adin Freeman

    Phi Beta Kappa Academic Achievement Award  
    Eli Fournier

    Saint Michael’s Book Award
    Drew Hooker
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  • The 2020-21 CVA Art Show is open now for virtual viewing

    The 2020-21 CVA Art Show is open now for virtual viewing, and in-person viewing in the Webber Academic Center will be open on Friday, June 4th. Thank you to Art Teacher Waylon Wolfe and our many talented Big Dog artists!
    Click here to view the Art Show online https://cvaartshow.myportfolio.com/ 
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  • CVA Alum Mike Day '89 "Alpine Team Coach of the Year" by US Ski & Snowboard

    A well deserved honor for Mike Day, CVA Class of 1989!
    Winning at the highest level requires attention to detail and anticipating every scenario. Under coach Mike Day’s leadership, Mikaela Shiffrin won four World Championship medals. Congratulations to Mike for being named Alpine Team Coach of the Year by U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
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  • CVA Alum Forest Carey ’94 promoted to U.S. Ski Team Men's Head Coach role

    Congratulations to longtime U.S. Ski Team coach and CVA Alum Forest Carey ’94 on being promoted to the men's head coach role for the upcoming season.

    From the article:  "The men's team is evolving in a positive direction with Forest Carey taking on the men's head coach role. He brings great operational expertise and coaching knowledge as well as respect from the current staff and athletes to the position. Filling in his footsteps as head tech coach will be his long-standing assistant Ian Garner. Forest and Ian have been the backbone of the World Cup tech side for many years, and their knowledge and experience will be embraced by the whole men's team."

    Read the article online at https://usskiandsnowboard.org/news/us-alpine-ski-team-announces-additions-2021-22-staff?fbclid=IwAR19ZCdIum2UJb2lNmnA753iDUxFvYo9JKCwRuoMHfbjSfT6mi0gU6KXnIU 
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  • Prom - May 15th, 2021

    Prom was hosted by the Student Council on May 15th. Students from ninth to twelfth grades started with photos at the Webber Academic Center, then to the Outdoor Center for more scenic photos, and then to the Alfond Competition Center for dinner and dancing.

    Thanks to Beth Hamblet and the Student Council for organizing and decorating, Waylon Wolfe and Jack Michaud for photos, and the other staff members who helped make it a special and memorable event.

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  • Class of 2021 Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Inductees: Ginny Bousum and Scott Hoisington

    CVA wishes to congratulate the Class of 2021 Inductees to the Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame with a special shout out to Ginny Bousum and Scott Hoisington who both made a significant impact on the Academy's success over many years.

    Read the full article online here
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  • Jett Set: Racing down mountains snow much fun for Lindelof brothers

    As published by Village Soup, Mark Haskell, Apr 14, 2021

    ISLESBORO — On sea and land — or boats and skis — brothers Lake and Jett Lindelof have, for years, impressed onlookers.

    While Lake is a 17-year-old junior and Jett a 15-year-old sophomore at Islesboro Central School, the duo are perhaps better known statewide for their talents in Alpine ski racing, something they have proven a strong aptitude for since just out of diapers.

    And while the siblings attend ICS, both sharpen their skis — and talents — with other schools.
    Lake attends ICS through the fall and spring, but attends Carrabassett Valley Academy — which is a private boarding school at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain — November to March where he is enrolled in their winter term Alpine ski racing program.

    It had been a goal of Lake’s to get into CVA at a young age. After applying as a seventh-grader and going through what his mother, Tracey, called "a rigorous admissions process," he was accepted into the program and has been attending CVA in the winter months since eighth grade.
    When he was in seventh grade, Lake began to participate in Alpine training put on by CVA on Friday afternoons.

    "It was a way for kids like myself who were not enrolled at CVA to get a feel for what it was like to ski and train with them,” Lake said. “I participated in many of these training days. I would get excused from school and my mom would drive me up to Sugarloaf. After doing a couple of these training days and taking laps with the CVA kids at the time, I quickly realized that if I went to CVA and trained with them every day, I would see incredible results. I told my mom on the car ride home after one of the training sessions that I wanted to go there.”

    Through CVA, Lake has raced all over New England and also has attended preseason ski training sessions in Colorado and Austria. He also participated in an International ski racing series in Finland.

    The Lindelof family got the opportunity to see Lake on weekends — mostly if they made the trek to Sugarloaf — but “CVA has very strict COVID prevention protocols and testing in place this year,” Tracey said. There also is no standard winter break at CVA as that is the peak of the competitive racing season.

    While Jett goes to ICS full-time, he does attend CVA’s high school weekend training program, which allows flexible weekend and school vacation training options. He also practiced with the Camden Hills Regional High School Alpine ski team at the Camden Snow Bowl while he represents ICS as an independent skier.
    “We are very thankful for Camden [Hills] to allow this opportunity for Jett and that the coaches and team have welcomed him as one of their own,” said Tracey. “Jett has been excelling at nearly every race.”

    At the time Lake got in, Jett decided against applying to CVA’s winter term program and was happy to remain part of the Camden Snow Bowl middle school Alpine team, which won the state Class A middle school championship during his eighth-grade year.

    The Lindelof boys began skiing at young ages — Lake at 5 and Jett at 3 — and began weekly lessons at Hermon Mountain, which was close to the family’s Swanville home “and a great place to learn,” said Tracey.
    The Lindelofs also have a home on Islesboro.

    “We joined the Penobscot Valley Ski Club and the boys began their racing program at Hermon Mountain when Jett was 6 and Lake was 8,” said Tracey. “We are very grateful for this small, family-run mountain that provided a wonderful introduction to skiing and a solid foundation for ski racing advancement.”

    “My mom actually signed me up for lessons and that's how it all started,” said Lake. “I really liked it and picked it up super fast. Within a couple weeks of lessons, my instructor was having me demonstrate certain things to the other kids. After a couple weeks of that, my instructor told me that I should ski for the race team. He said that was the next step to get better at skiing, so that's what I did.”

    Both later transitioned to the CSB’s middle school race team when Lake was in seventh grade and Jett sixth, though they still attended some of Penobscot Valley Ski Club's practices and events.

    Shortly after that was when Lake made the transition to CVA.

    “I was in seventh grade when Lake first went to CVA,” said Jett. “I had been on the Camden Middle School ski team for the past year and I really enjoyed it. I also liked being at ICS in the winter and playing basketball.”

    “I’m really grateful for Hermon Mountain’s Penobscot Valley Ski Club and Camden Hills’ Ragged Mountain Ski Club because without these ski clubs I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Lake.

    Currently, the Lindelofs are members of the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) through CVA and race in Maine Alpine Racing Association (MARA)-sponsored races in the state.

    By all accounts, the competition seasons for the brothers could not have gone any different.

    For Lake, there were no races until late January for CVA, which does not compete in races under the Maine Principals’ Association banner. If CVA races prior to that were scheduled, they were canceled due to COVID. Postseason races also were canceled, though Lake was able to get in several International Ski Federation (FIS) races in New Hampshire at the end of the season.

    This is Lake’s second year being part of FIS. and he was able to get in 24 races, 15 of which were FIS and nine which were USSA.

    Jett’s, by comparison, “was one of the busiest seasons I’ve ever had.”

    In addition to his high school season alongside Camden Hills skiers, he also had a handful of races in the USSA and MARA leagues with the CVA weekend program, for a total of 22 races.

    Of note, Lake finished his season lowering his FIS points to 140.02 in slalom, 112.91 in giant slalom and 182.2 in super giant slalom. Jett had a second-place finish in the glalom and seventh in the giant slalom at the KVAC championships at Black Mountain.

    Lake’s days at CVA are a far cry from the schedule of a typical high school student, though it begins the same as most, around 7 a.m., unless of course he needs his skis tuned.

    After breakfast, the vans load up at 8:15 a.m. “and if you’re late, you get left behind and have to find your own ride up the mountain.

    The lifts open at 8:30 and skiers get two warm-up runs before meeting at the training venue, where they ski until 11:45 a.m.

    After lunch, the students go to class 1:15 to 5:30 p.m. before dinner.

    “After dinner, I either go to the gym or tune skis until around 7:30 p.m., which is when study hall is,” said Lake. “You have to be in your room for study hall. There's a lot of homework at CVA, so I normally spend the rest of my night doing homework. We get checked into our rooms at 10 p.m. and we can't leave our floors after that. I normally go to bed around 11:30 p.m. When you're a student at CVA, you miss a lot of school due to competitions so you complete a lot of assignments and school on the road without being in a classroom. It’s a rigorous schedule that teaches a lot about time management and how to handle a heavy academic and athletic workload.”

    While the brothers ski for teams roughly 100 miles apart, off the mountain, they could not be closer.
    The duo share their own lobster boat and are student-licensed lobster fishermen, who are completing the necessary requirements to become commercial lobster fishermen after high school.

    Jett said he first got the opportunity to go out with a commercial fisherman as the third man on the boat “when I was 11 or 12” and enjoyed it so much, “The next summer I got myself a smaller lobster boat and went out with my dad accompanying me.”

    Later that summer Lake expressed interest and joined Jett aboard the Jett Set and the two began fishing themselves.

    Tracey said the boys have fished through the summer and fall four years and “have earned respect from most of the Islesboro fishermen, which is quite a feat.”

    “They are quite close,” said Tracey. “They have a good brotherly relationship and have a natural ability and love of skiing and being on the water. Their most frequent disagreement seems to be who's going to drive the boat to their first string of traps.”

    Lake added “lobstering is a ton of fun for me” and "it doesn’t even feel like work.”

    “Being a high schooler and running a lobster boat with my brother certainly creates people’s interest,” said Lake. “We’re asked a lot of questions, some of which we answer, and some we don’t. People are amazed when we pull up to the dock. Taking on such a venture as a high schooler has taught me what it's like to run a business in the real world. I love it.”

    The boys enjoy “basically everything outside,” said Lake, including wake boarding, sailing and soccer. Lake also is a certified lifeguard and has participated in the annual Islesboro Crossing for Lifeflight — an event that has participants endure a three-mile swim across Penobscot Bay to Islesboro — on three occasions.

    Tracey said, “I think Lake, and possibly Jett also, will continue organized skiing beyond their high school years."

    -The entire article, along with photos and captions, can be found online at https://knox.villagesoup.com/p/jett-set-racing-down-mountains-snow-much-fun-for-lindelof-brothers/1887558
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  • Drew Hooker ’22 talks with WSKI about her experience at CVA, a summary of her competitive season, and what lies ahead

    Watch Drew Hooker ’22 as she talks with WSKI about her experience at CVA, a summary of her competitive season, and what lies ahead. Well done Drew, we’re your biggest fans! 
    Watch here
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  • Photo album: Mountain cleanup

    Participating in 'Mountain Work Day' has been a part of CVA's community service tradition for over 35 years. Academy students and coaches gathered to help clean up the mountain on Thursday, and the U12’s from the Weekend Program helped out last Sunday, too.  Here are the photos we took in a Google Photo album https://photos.app.goo.gl/9cHpsv9kRnzZC7Rx5 
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  • April E-Spillway Newsletter

    Includes recent updates about what's happening on campus with community activities, academics, athletics (Alpine, Freestyle, Snowboard, Ski Cross, and Backcountry programs).  Also alumni news, information about upcoming camps, reports from the weekend program, and fundraising updates.  
    Read it here
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  • Alumna Nessa Dziemian ’12 Wins 2021 Moguls Freestyle National Championships

    As reported by U.S. Ski and Snowboard - U.S. Ski Team athletes Nessa Dziemian and Nick Page each skied to career firsts as they were crowned National Champions on Thursday. For the first time in 25 years, the nation’s best mogul skiers descended on Snowbird for the 2021 Moguls Freestyle National Championships. Athletes were treated to two beautiful Utah-bluebird days of training ahead of the moguls competition, which had light snowfall throughout the day and kept the course interesting.

    Dziemian sustained a season-ending injury in November 2019 that kept her off of the competition circuit - until now. In her first contest back in twenty-four months (her last being the 2019 National Championships in Waterville Valley), Dziemian stomped it out for the win. This is Dziemian’s second National Championship title, but first win in singles.

    “I feel very emotional about the whole thing,” said Dziemian of her feat in the finish area. “There were definitely a lot of challenges along the way. I battled a knee injury, I battled depression and anxiety... I just did not think i was going to come back from it at all, it was the hardest thing. My knee was constantly hurting and I just felt like I was at the lowest of lows. At this moment, it just feels like all of that hard work has finally paid off.”

    Results aside, Dziemian was at a loss for words in describing how proud she was of her performance. Her cork mute to cork grab finals run was the highest degree of difficulty for any woman in the field and was a goal she has had in mind for herself for a long time. “I wasn't even going to do it right before the comp run. But for some reason I just pushed out of the gate and said to myself ‘I’m doing it, I’m going to achieve my goal today.’ So even though with all of the practice runs I had where it was not working, having it just work out on the one run where I needed it to was an absolute gift, and I am very thankful for it.”

    Dziemian also finished 2nd in the Duals competition the following day. We are so proud of you Nessa!
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  • Kirk Dwyer to join Carrabassett Valley Academy’s leadership and alpine staff 

    Carrabassett Valley Academy’s Head of School Kate Webber Punderson has announced the upcoming addition of Kirk Dwyer to CVA’s senior administration and coaching team. 

    Kirk is currently the Executive Director and Alpine Program Director at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV). In this role he oversees Alpine, Snowboard, Freestyle and Nordic as well as all the areas needed to support those programs. Over his five-year tenure Kirk had an immediate and significant impact on SSCV. In partnership with the Vail community he built the Golden Peak Expansion and constructed their new clubhouse, while strengthening their coaching staff and increasing the quality of their athletic programs.  
    Prior to arriving at Vail, Kirk served as Headmaster at Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) for 16 years. During his time at BMA, in addition to ensuring the smooth operations of the Academy, he served as President of Burke Mountain Ski Area and coached alpine athletes. Notably, Kirk was Mikaela Shiffrin’s primary coach during her time at BMA. Kirk began his coaching and school administration career at Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS). In his 25 years at GMVS he coached men and women, was a classroom teacher and Assistant Headmaster. Kirk grew up in Maine and has a home in South Harpswell. He and his wife Robin are looking forward to moving to the area this spring and getting to know everyone in the community.

    Punderson stated, “Kirk brings a nearly unmatched level of experience, professionalism and achievement to CVA programs already on the rise. His role here will be focused on advancing our strategic initiatives in the area of athletics. In the immediate future, and in partnership with Sugarloaf, he will lead the efforts to increase training volume on the mountain through the addition of a surface lift. He will also serve as Alpine Technical Director and on-hill coach. Sean Chatellard, our Alpine Program Director, will work in partnership with Kirk and our strong team of alpine coaches to set the bar even higher with a long-term and competitive vision.”

    Chatellard added, "Kirk's addition to our team is very exciting news for the direction CVA Alpine is currently headed, Kirk's world class expertise and extended experience in the ski racing industry will not only solidify all the hard work the Alpine staff has put into our program these past few years, but will also help propel us forward into new horizons. Exciting things are happening in our community and I very much look forward to working closely with Kirk and taking things to the next level."

    Kirk Dwyer shared, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to join the CVA community. I grew up in Maine and despite my years of working in Vermont I have always considered myself a Maine native. I have spent considerable time at Sugarloaf over the years and understand the strong history of snowsports based on a great mountain as the foundation. There are great opportunities at CVA and Sugarloaf. The highest goal for a program, athlete, or coach is to be the best we can be. I look forward to working with all of you with this aspiration.”
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  • February Email Newsletter

    Includes recent updates about what's happening on campus with community activities, academics, athletics (Alpine, Freestyle, Snowboard, Ski Cross, and Backcountry programs).  Also alumni news, information about upcoming camps, reports from the weekend program, and fundraising updates.
    Read it here
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  • CVA Scholarship Bash Fundraiser: A record-breaking event

    A record-breaking show of support was demonstrated at Carrabassett Valley Academy’s annual Scholarship Bash held Saturday, Feb. 20.

    The event, held for the first time virtually, brought the community together in a tremendous show of support, contributing over $180,000 to assist CVA student-athletes with scholarship funds.

    CVA’s Head of School Kate Webber Punderson says the support for this event, in its new format, was amazing. “From those who signed on as sponsors, bought raffle tickets, donated cash during the live stream event, volunteered on the event committee, donated raffle prizes and auction items, bid on items or simply watched the event online, we hope every person involved takes great pride in knowing what a tremendous difference your support has made. Over half of CVA student-athletes receive financial assistance. Truly, our students would not have the CVA opportunity without all of you.”

    Professional auctioneer Carrie Ervin, a CVA alumna and Sugarloafer originally from Waterville now living and working at Christie’s New York, did a masterful job of getting the crowd to donate generously during the cash call.

    Congratulations to Fred Wetmore from Madawaska, Maine, grandfather of Dev Thomas ‘16 and Lulu Cushman ’26, the lucky winner of the $10,000 cash prize.
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  • World Cup speed skier Jenny Piot joins CVA alpine coaching staff

    Please join us in welcoming Jenny Piot, a recently retired World Cup speed skier from the French National Team (FFS), into our CVA family as she spends the rest of the winter with us.
     
    Jenny grew up in the small mountain village of Bourg d’Oisans, in the high alps near Grenoble. She started skiing at the young age of 2. Her Mom was a ski instructor and Dad was a ski patroller. At 10 years old she joined the ski club in L’Alp d’Huez, one of the many local ski resorts in the area, famous as a regular stage of the Tour de France in summer. By 15, she had enough success to be selected to the Ski Academy (Ski Etude) Pôle France in Albertville, which only accepts the top 15yr. olds in France. At age 16, she was selected into the French C Team. Jenny skied in her first World Cup at the age of 17 in SG. The next year she was moved up to the B team after her first podium finishes in Europa Cup (one step down from the World Cup) events.
     
    By the age of 20, Jenny made the French A team, and that year, in 2013, won the Downhill at the World Junior Championships at Le Massif, Quebec. At 22 she was selected to compete in the World Championships in Beaver Creek, CO, where she scored her first top 15 result in World Cup events. A few years later, at 25 she qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. She continued to ski at the World Cup level in DH, SG, GS, AC & Parallel events until January of this season, when she decided to retire from World Cup racing.
     
    Upon retirement, Jenny expressed interest in traveling to the states to gain experience in the American ski racing scene and further develop her ability to speak English. One of her coaches, Alberto Senigagliesi, the Alpine Director for the French National Team Women’s Europa Cup and World Cup teams, sent her our way. Way to go Alberto!
     
    Alberto followed a similar path back in 2000 when he retired from the World Cup. His father, a former World Cup coach of the Italian and Spanish National Teams, is a good friend of Ron Bonnevie’s and connected Alberto with Ron many years ago. As such, Alberto came to Sugarloaf where he coached at CVA for 3 years with the FIS Men’s group, mentoring many of the best in those years.
     
    Jenny will be skiing with our Weekend Program groups at different times through the February vacation week and on various weekends when she is not racing at FIS events. She will also be providing a World Class example to our full-time academy athletes midweek until she returns to France April 15. Finally, a huge shout out to the Sevigny family for graciously hosting Jenny in their Reddington home. It certainly takes a village, and we have one of the best here at Carrabassett Valley Academy!
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  • CVA alum Forest Carey '94 reflects on his long-time athlete Ted Ligety’s retirement

    Aside from arching turns like no one else has, Ted Ligety’s vast experience, wealth of knowledge and willingness to mentor younger teammates cannot be overstated, according to U.S. Ski Team men’s technical coach Forest Carey.
    “It’s invaluable, you can’t measure it – just the respect that he has from the guys is enormous,” Carey tells Ski Racing Media about Ligety.
    Read the article online
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  • Alumni spotlight: Eli McDermott ’20

    Alumni spotlight: Eli McDermott ’20 demos Winterstick’s Weasel snowboard at Copper Mountain. Thanks for keeping the stoke high Eli!
    Watch the video on YouTube
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  • New program, The Body Project, offered through the National Eating Disorders Association

    Shelby Downing, High Performance Director, and Brenna Huckaby Clegg, Dorm Parent, have teamed up to facilitate a new program for CVA's female student-athletes. The Body Project, offered through the National Eating Disorders Association, is a group-based intervention that provides a forum for high school girls and college aged women to confront unrealistic appearance ideals and develop healthy body image and self-esteem. It has repeatedly been shown to effectively reduce body dissatisfaction, negative mood, unhealthy dieting and disordered eating.
     
    Shelby and Brenna introduced the program to all students, both male and female, during advisory last week. Topics related to body positivity and self-esteem were discussed in an attempt to better understand the pressures and struggles that many of us face and become a stronger more supportive community together.
     
    We are grateful to have Brenna as a member of our community this year. She's a humble Two-Time Paralympic Gold medalist, cancer survivor, and passionate disability inclusion advocate. Brenna is married to snowboard coach Tristan and lives with their two daughters in a faculty apartment in Murfey Hall.
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  • January Student Recognition Awards

    “Student of the Month” is awarded to a student who has shown strong commitment to their academics, is intellectually curious, and pushes themselves to grow and learn.
     
    “Athlete of the Month” is awarded to the student who has shown strong commitment to their athletic training and achieved new levels of success for themselves. 

    “Community Member of the Month” is awarded to a student who has gone above and beyond to lift others up, encourage school spirit and teamwork and help to maintain a positive and family-like community.  

    Thank you D’Ellies for your support of CVA and these awards.
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  • Drew Hooker '22 competes in Big Mountain West Futures Tour Park City

    Drew Hooker '22 recently competed in the Big Mountain West Futures Tour Park City, a regional competition in an open style format for ages 13 to adult.  Her freeski run consisted of a difficult rail section up top followed by a 540 to unnatural switch 540 to 360 tail to 720, earning her a 6th place finish! 
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  • Dory Michaud '23 competes at US Selections in Winter Park

    Dory Michaud '23 skied in her first FIS level mogul event at US Selections in Winter Park, CO. Coach Jesse Lowell '14 reported, “Her comp runs were both clean top to bottoms with a 360 on top air and big back X on bottom air (giving her near excellent scores), earning her a 21st and 29th place out of 56 women for the 2 comp days. Her 21st place finish meant she missed qualifying for finals by only 4 points! It is notable that this is a high level event, the top 5-7 athletes are US Ski Team members, and the event hosts the top 60(ish) male/female athletes in North America. Lots of talent there and Dory did great! Her results also qualified her for the NorAm events which is awesome!”
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  • Saddleback trip for the Backcountry team

    Program Director Patrick Scanlan reports a "Glorious trip to Saddleback today. They have done an amazing job at embracing the constantly growing ski touring community by cutting a dedicated, scenic uphill trail in the woods and have started running programs for guests who want to get into the sport. What an awesome place to start! ⁣Our hat is off to you all - we will be back!! For us, we enjoyed a well cut trail, got in a few thousand vert, and had some surprisingly good tree skiing."
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  • CVA wishes the best to all the athletes training and competing virtually in the Special Olympic Maine Winter Games

    One of CVA’s most treasured and long-standing traditions is volunteering at the Special Olympic Maine Winter Games held annually at Sugarloaf. Due to the pandemic the Games have been canceled this year but that doesn’t mean we aren’t thinking of the amazing Special Olympians we meet each year. 

    CVA wishes the best to all the athletes training and competing virtually in the Special Olympics programming this year. We’ll miss our opportunity to cheer you on in person, but know we’ll be supporting you from afar, and we can’t wait to see you at Sugarloaf next year! Please enjoy this heartfelt video that CVA student-athletes contributed to, and CVA National Honor Society members put together for you.

    Watch the video here
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  • Annual alumni reunion held online

    Approximately fifty former students and staff attended the annual CVA Alumni Reunion on January 14th. It was the first time we’ve held the event in an online video format. A special thank you to our former Head of School John Ritzo, and former art teacher Patty, for joining us and sharing the memories of funny stories with alums near and far.
     
    Six countries were represented at the event: Canada, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States.
    Three Canadian provinces: British Columbia, New Brunswick and Quebec
    Sixteen states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington DC, Wyoming
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  • Backcountry Team Trains in the White Mountains

    Backcountry: The team recently enjoyed a great trip to the White Mountains. Program Director Patrick Scanlan says “Without much snow, we got creative and were able to have a crash course in ski mountaineering this week. We took lots of time to work on skills in some epic locations, and even got to accomplish some pretty big objectives. Kudos to the backcountry athletes who embraced the snow conditions and dove in head first to learning new skills and going the extra miles to find some snow.”
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  • We’re racing! U16 and U19 Alpine athletes competed at Sunday River in Maine Alpine Racing Association’s (MARA) “Turkey Chase”

    Alpine: We’re racing! U16 and U19 alpine Academy and Weekend Program athletes competed at Sunday River on January 11th in Maine Alpine Racing Association’s (MARA) “Turkey Chase”. Due to Covid-19 the flow of the day and the racing scene looked and felt a bit different but the athletes and coaches quickly adapted to the changes. No spectators were allowed to gather at the finish line but a new web cam facing the race trail, Monday Mourning, broadcasted the races online. The traditional in-person awards ceremony was replaced with results published online. 
     
    The slalom course was a great venue for our athletes to rid themselves of their early season jitters. Several top finishes were earned; the U16 Men went 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, the U16 Women had two top 10 finishes with 7th and 8th, and the U19 Women had 3 top 10 finishes with 7th, 8th and 10th.
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  • Liam Moffatt '15 earns the 2020/2021 Neil Daffern Award for Excellence

    Liam Moffatt '15 of Truro, NS is one of three recipients of the 2020/2021 Neil Daffern Award for Excellence. The Award, named in honor of the legacy of Neil Daffern, aims to recognize and provide financial assistance to Canadian riders who have the potential to be among the World’s best in their respective disciplines.

    A pioneer in snowboarding, Neil Daffern co-designed the first twin-tip snowboard under the BARFOOT name, which paved the way for progression of freestyle snowboarding as we know it today. His legacy has lived on and through his charity has helped numerous Canadian athletes achieve their goals.
    Moffatt is no stranger to the contest scene or podium on the Nor-Am Cup Tour. He’s one of Canada’s top snowboardcross riders and is looking to make his mark on the World Cup Tour.

    “I am so honored to receive this award. There is a long list of athletes that have received this award that have gone on to do amazing things in the snowboard world and I’m really excited to not only have the help from this award for this tough season ahead but also be added to this list to go try and make my mark.” – Liam Moffatt '15
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  • New role and staff member: Patrick D'Amboise LCPC has joined CVA as school counselor.

    New role and staff member: Patrick D'Amboise LCPC has joined CVA as our new part-time school counselor. With a B.S. in education and a M.S. in counseling, Pat has over 37 years of experience in counseling, with a focus on youth. As a father of CVA alum Sean D’Amboise, Class of 2004, and through his additional passion as an outdoor educator (he worked for Outward Bound and founded Project Quest, an outdoor education program for teens), he is uniquely positioned to connect with, guide and support CVA students and staff.

    Pat’s role will be to assess the impact of the students’ mental health needs on learning and school participation, provide on-call duties, and collaborate with the health care team to promote health and wellbeing of the student body. Pat’s role will be to assess the impact of the students’ mental health needs on learning and school participation, provide on-call duties, and collaborate with the health care team to promote health and wellbeing of the student body. Pat will provide confidential emotional support to our students including short-term, solution-focused therapy, crisis intervention, advocacy, and referral, when necessary. He will be providing support on campus in the form of pre-scheduled meetings and drop in office hours, as well as conduct group work and activities. His services will augment the Community Clinical Services Outpatient Counseling our students currently access through telemedicine.
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