It’s been an exciting week on campus with the arrival of our winter term students bringing fresh energy and anticipation of getting to ski and ride soon. Here are photos from the first week of Winter Term, including the traditional activities of Physical Testing, Mobility Testing, and the 1 Mile Run.
It was so nice to meet our new and returning Winter Term families on Saturday for Registration Day. Lots of smiling faces and Big Dogs ready to get the winter season started.
We are thrilled to welcome an additional 30 families to campus this week, bringing enrollment for the 20-21 school year to 101 student-athletes, made up of: 41 Alpine, 22 Freestyle, 20 Snowboard, 10 Ski Cross, 8 Backcountry 52% boarding, 48% day 59% Male, 41% Female 28% Middle School, 69% High School, 3% PG 101 total student-athletes
In addition to their multiple dryland sessions per week, CVA’s student-athletes who attend fall term participate once a week in a fall sport of their choosing. It’s a chance to try something new or dive deeper into an activity they enjoy. This year the options included fly fishing, trampolining, skateboarding, frisbee golf, mountain biking, hiking and golf.
Fly Fishing. The group goes out to Big Eddy on Flagstaff Lake for fly fishing. This activity has been coached by Jeff Beauregard for many years. This year he’s assisted by Ron Bonnevie, and Erin Whipple, our Director of Enrollment and also a Federation of Fly Fishing Certified Casting Instructor.
Trampolining & Skateboarding at the Anti-Gravity Complex.
Frisbee/Disc Golf. Goldy and Patrick O’Rourke compete on Sugarloaf’s course and around campus.
Mountain Biking coached by Jeni Conover, athletes explore the world-class biking trails in our region.
Hiking coached by Owen McAndrew, athletes explore the world-class hiking trails in our region.
Golf. Athletes play at nearby courses Moose Meadows or Diadema. Travis Plass & Beth Hamblet are the coaches.
Use the "Read More" link to see 14 photos taken this fall
We are so proud of our 2020 National Honors Society inductees Cameron Arner, Eli Fournier, and Noah Koenig. Advisor Ainsley McClachrie hosted the Junior class members in a ceremony last week. NHS members from the Class of 2020 also participated. Congratulations on this tremendous accomplishment, you’ve worked hard and you deserve it! More photos here
Spirit Week is in full swing at CVA with daily themes for students to earn participation points. The beginning of the week included Pajama Day, Flannel Day, Decades Day, and Twin Day. A bonfire in the field kicked the week off with a special touch, along with PSO-sponsored bowling at the Sugarbowl. Coming up is Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating on campus and then CVA Day, celebrating the wrap-up of our fall trimester.
Brighton Bradford ’20 and Sarah Krizo, Director of Marketing & Communications, spoke with Greg Powers from WSKI on campus recently. In part 1 of the interview, Greg & Sarah talk about what's happening at CVA & with the Weekend Program, opportunities for CVA’s winter camps, diversity of our enrolled students, and safety protocols on campus. In part 2 of the interview, Brighton joins Greg & Sarah to share her thoughts on her CVA experience this fall and what she's learned as a ski cross athlete. Part 1 on YouTube Part 2 on YouTube
New mini ramp on the King Cummings Campus: Big shout out to our Snowboard Program Director Todd Johnson and the snowboard families who donated funds, time, tractor, and materials to make this dream of a 4’x16’ mini ramp a reality on our campus. It’s amazing and we are so excited to provide another fun device to play on at CVA! Thanks to Anne Goodnow for this photo and to Rampage Skate Shop for your services.
A well deserved award for two CVA Alums- Two-time Olympic snowboard champion Seth Wescott '95 and U.S. Ski Team Freestyle aerialist Kristean Porter Thorpe '89. They join 3 other Big Dogs already in the Hall of Fame: Bode Miller '96, Kirsten Clark Rickenbach '95, and Julie Parisien Nuce '89. The honored members voted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame represent the highest level of national achievement in America, featuring prominent athletes and snow sport builders whose accomplishments showcase American skiing and snowboarding. Read more at https://skihall.com/current-election/
One fall afternoon. Seventy students. Eight Activities. One CVA. One glorious afternoon last week our students could be found training at water ramps, hiking up Mount Washington, surfing off the coast of Maine, golfing, swimming, skateboarding, and mountain biking in Carrabassett Valley…..and visiting bison at Bigelow Fields Thanks to our enthusiastic coaches for always facilitating experiences and making memories.
Congratulations to our newly elected student council members. We’re proud of these students for taking the opportunity to practice their public speaking skills in front of their peers, announcing their interest and stating why they should be elected.
Student Council members represent the ideas and interests of the student body by planning, promoting and hosting community based events and activities. Council members also work with school officials to represent the ideas, interests and concerns of the study body in regards to school policies and rules. The Student Council is a student run organization, meeting weekly throughout the school year.
12th Grade: Arden Velenchik, Brighton Bradford, Angelique Labelle, Acy Craig 11th Grade: Cassidy Strunk, Adin Freeman 10th Grade: Dory Michaud, Addison McDermott 9th Grade: Charlie Koenig, Max Krizo 8th Grade: Mia Bruno 7th Grade: Kenadie Dickey
Participating in 'Mountain Work Day' has been a part of CVA's community service tradition for over 35 years. It’s one way we show our gratitude to the community who does so much to support us throughout the year. From Karl Strand, President & General Manager of Sugarloaf “You all did an amazing job yesterday on resort-clean-up-duty. Thanks so much for your hard work and dedication to our community; you make us proud in multiple ways. Have a great season and I’ll look forward to seeing you on the slopes soon.”
On September 11th the first floor of the Webber Academic Center was transformed to remember and honor those who lost their lives on 9/11. Art students from middle to high school contributed pieces to the exhibit titled Never Forget: 9/11 Tribute Exhibit. The exhibit featured a variety of multimedia pieces, along with an audio recording of the reading of the names of those who died in the attack. Those who experienced it agreed it was a beautiful and powerful exhibit that inspired visitors to pause, reflect, and feel grateful. Thank you art students and art teacher Waylon Wolfe for your beautiful and thought provoking work.
CVA’s Middle School kicked off the fall with an orientation overnight to Maine Huts and Trails’ Stratton Brook Hut. The 7th and 8th Graders got to know each other while hiking, playing games, sharing meals, and enjoying a classic Maine campfire complete with s’mores. The Bigelows were a perfect backdrop for an adventure in our own backyard. View the photo album
The Class of 2024 started their freshman year with hiking, swimming, campfire games and screen-free bonding at the local Poplar Stream Hut. Thank you to Maine Huts and Trails for sharing your beautiful space and trails with us. View the photo album
Last weekend CVA Sophomores enjoyed two days of rock climbing and a night of camping in NH’s White Mountains. Finding a new level of trust in their classmates, our student athletes belayed each other up challenging climbs with stunning views and perfect weather. Awesome job Sophomores, we are looking forward to an amazing year. Thanks to @emsguides for the tailored instruction to our athletes. View the photo album
Fall orientation trips are about getting out of your comfort zone and getting to know your classmates. This year our Juniors joined the staff at Adventure Bound for fun and leadership training on their High Ropes Course and for Whitewater Rafting on the Kennebec in The Forks. View the photo album
The Class of 2021 started their senior year with our longest-running fall orientation trip tradition, canoeing and camping on Moosehead Lake with Maine guide and CVA coaching legend Chip Cochrane. As usual, the trip did not disappoint and our Seniors are ready to lead our school through the 2020-21 year. Go Big Dogs! View the photo album
Today our student-athletes wrapped up day 3 of Physical Testing with a timed mile run around the track at Fremont-Smith Field. The Big Dogs gave it their all while being cheered on by their teammates, coaches and the High Performance staff. Day 1 and day 2 included comprehensive physical assessments guided by the SkillsQuest program. SkillsQuest is a cornerstone program of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Training Systems. It’s designed to motivate and reward athletes in working toward and improving abilities in the key areas of emphasis. As its name implies, it represents a quest, or journey, toward success in competitive skiing and snowboarding, by focusing on skills, the critical components that make up a high-performing athlete. We are so proud of all our athletes as they learn to push their own limits and pursue their performance goals. View photos online
The first day of classes and athletics for our Big Dogs looked a bit different than first days of the past, but everyone seems to be adjusting quickly to the new routine. Thanks to the beautiful weather, several classes met outside, and we were also able to create a new, physically distanced, outdoor format for our all-school meeting. In the afternoon High Performance Director Shelby Downing reported that returning and new student-athletes alike showed a high level of athletic maturity as they took on the first movement screening of the fall with attention and commitment. Photo album link
The Big Dogs are back. Our fall term student-athletes arrived on campus yesterday and got right to it, moving into their dorm rooms, getting their schedules, and participating in orientation activities. Teachers and coaches covered a variety of topics including introductions to health and safety protocols, academics, and athletics. Students signed their CVA United social contract, committing to keeping our community safe. Proof of a very recent negative COVID-19 test result was required for every student and for every parent entering a campus building. This morning all employees and students will undergo another COVID-19 test before programming begins. We’re off and running! View photos from the day here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/C7tWpg9xodcbdjXF6
The CVA Board of Trustees has elected a new Chair, Lindy MacKinnon Gruen. Lindy has taken the reins from Kevin Burns who led the Board tirelessly for many years. Kevin is staying on the Board in the capacity of Development Committee Chair. Please join us in thanking Kevin for his dedicated leadership.
Lindy becomes the first alumna to lead the Board of Trustees as Chair and CVA is fortunate to have Lindy in this leadership role. A graduate of the CVA Class of 1992, she is currently the Director of Administrative and Strategic Affairs at The Fessenden School in MA. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from the private school sector. Lindy was also a scholarship recipient student while attending CVA and is passionate in her belief of the CVA mission.
The Slate of Officers listed below provides CVA a strong leadership team with the skills and passion to meet the strategic goals ahead.
CVA 2020 / 2021 Slate of Officers Lindy MacKinnon Gruen '92, Chair Sean Dundon, Vice Chair Paul Fritzson, Vice Chair Gilly Hitchcock, Secretary Peter C. Smith ’08, Treasurer
After months of careful planning and in consultation with medical professionals, the Maine Department of Education, the Maine CDC and local public health officials, Carrabassett Valley Academy is pleased to open its campus this fall. On August 30 we will welcome 65 student athletes, about half of whom are boarding students, for full-time in person academic and athletic programming.
There is no greater priority than the health and safety of our students, staff, and local community. Stringent health and safety measures have been put in place to ensure a safe repopulation of campus, mitigation of Covid-19 risk and virus containment, if needed.
In the weeks leading up to the beginning of school, all students and employees have engaged in self quarantine and will be tested for Covid-19. Proof of a negative Covid-19 test is required in order to enter campus. In addition, all community members will be tested on the first day of school and again on the 10th day of school.
Protocols have been developed for mitigating risk, controlling our environment and caring for ill community members. There will be daily health checks, and face coverings, physical distancing, and hand hygiene will be emphasized. Indoor spaces have been adjusted to allow for social distancing in classrooms, dining areas and common rooms. Outdoor classrooms and training spaces have been created to encourage outdoor learning, meeting, and training. Food service has shifted to single serve and served items and kitchen areas have been outfitted with Plexiglas. Steps have been taken to increase ventilation in all indoor spaces and cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas will be increased.
Plans for two traditional activities related to the first week of school have also been addressed. We’re redesigning the registration day experience to eliminate indoor programming for parents, several of the topics will be covered electronically or at a later date. Staff is also ensuring our student orientation trips can be held with social distancing among ourselves and with little or no mixing with the public population.
With our aggressive testing plan, conscientious behavior including mask wearing, social distancing, and hand hygiene, and restricted movements, we have every reason to believe we will begin the school year with a healthy population and maintain it throughout the fall.
CVA’s Weekend Programs are now open for registration. We offer competitive athletes ages 7 to 19 an opportunity to train with a coach weekends and vacation weeks from December to April. There are programs for alpine, freestyle, snowboard and ski cross.
Sugarloaf is working hard to plan for a variety of different possible scenarios next winter, it is too early to say definitively what the policies & best practices will be for all of the specific areas around the resort. There are many things still to be confirmed, including what kinds of guidance and mandates there may have from health authorities in regards to resort operations. Karl Strand has shared that, “The safety of our guests, staff, and community is our foremost concern. We are diligent in complying with all of the latest guidelines from health authorities in our current summer operations, and the same will be true this winter.
We were pleased to host the Class of 2020 Graduation on August 1st. The ceremony was a blend of traditions and reflective of today’s circumstances. Ten graduates and their immediate family attended in person, following CDC guidelines, at the Richard Bell Chapel at Sugarloaf Mountain. Five graduates and their families, plus all faculty, staff, undergraduate students, and extended family members attended simultaneously through Zoom. An inspiring speech was made by freestyle skier Sabrina Shankman from the Class of 2001.
The long-anticipated day is nearly here. We are pleased to announce the Class of 2020 Graduation 🎓 is planned for August 1st. The ceremony will be a blend of traditions and reflective of today’s circumstances. Ten graduates and their immediate family will attend in person at the Richard Bell Chapel at Sugarloaf Mountain. 🗻 Five graduates and their families, plus all faculty, staff, undergraduate students, and extended family members will attend simultaneously through Zoom. 💻 Sugarloaf-based participants will strictly follow "Keep Maine Healthy" travel rules and the ceremony will meet all Maine Dept. of Ed. regulations. We are so looking forward to celebrating this amazing class! 🎉
Summer is for reading. Our English teachers have chosen this summer’s reading selections. Students will be reading, annotating and reflecting on these great reads. Each student/family was sent an email by Karen Lanoue-Egan in June about their specific summer reading assignment, contact Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions. Enjoy!
Thank you to everyone that joined us on May 29th for our virtual Big Dog Awards and Class of 2020 Celebration. If you missed it you can watch a recording here awards ceremony video, and read below for Kate Punderson’s remarks. Well Done Big Dogs!
"Hello and welcome to the annual Big Dog Awards celebration - today held virtually for the first time. I so wish we could all be together in the AGC, having just finished a tasty lunch. But we need to be apart, and even though we are apart, our hearts are together and we are here to celebrate each and every CVA Big Dog.
The Carrabassett Valley Academy community would like to congratulate the Class of 2020 on their college acceptances. We are so proud of you! Your hard work and perseverance will continue to open doors of opportunity next year and for years to come. Here's a complete list of colleges and universities to which our 15 Seniors have been accepted so far:
Full-time synchronous distance learning and training resumed this week after our spring break. Megan, student council president, continued her role in hosting our virtual all-school meeting. Go Dogs Go!
Congratulations to CVA alumni who qualified to represent their schools at the 2020 U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard National Championships in Lake Placid, NY. Even though the event was cancelled in the middle due to Covid-19, your CVA community is proud of you, your accomplishments and hard work. Great job Big Dogs!