History of GMVS
The Green Mountain Valley School was started in 1973 as a winter term tutorial school by three Mad River Glen Ski Area coaches (Al Hobart, Bill Moore and John Schultz), Ashley Cadwell, a Vermont elementary school teacher, and Jane Hobart, Al's wife. Al, who has an MBA from Dartmouth, became Headmaster. Moore and Cadwell are Middlebury graduates, Schultz is from MIT, and Jane Hobart, a Master's graduate from Wellesley and Brown. This well-educated staff could see from the success of two other ski academies, that ski racing was like any other sport: to succeed, athletes need regular training. To provide regular training meant creating a school at a ski area. They wanted to develop world-class ski racers in a responsible way by providing thorough academic as well as athletic training. The school began with eleven students living at Al and Jane's house and a nearby chalet. Students came for the winter, bringing their assignments from their home high schools.
The school proved to be a success!
Partly as a result of the success of GMVS student Doug Powell, who became the top downhill racer on the U.S. Team, the school continued to grow. In 1976, it developed its own curriculum and became a full-time school. In 1978, the school moved to its present site. Dorms and an academic/dining room building designed by Yale architect, Turner Brooks, were built around a corn field which became a soccer field. The original farmhouse became the administration and science lab building.
Two years later, a gymnasium, with a main floor for tennis and basketball, a weight training area and video space, was built. The next year the school erected its own Poma lift at Sugarbush North, cementing its link to Sugarbush Ski Area. In 1981 a cross-country program was added under the direction of Jim Fredericks, and in 1986, the school added a five classroom academic building with lab. The school had 65 students, including students enrolled in the Post Graduate program.
In 1979 Ashley Cadwell became Headmaster, leaving in 1984 and Ashley's brother, Jared, another long-time staff member, took over as Headmaster. Werner Margreiter, ex-Austrian Woman's Team head coach and U.S. Team coach, was hired as GMVS head coach in 1986. He arranged the first exchange program between U.S. and European ski racing academies, an exchange with Stams ¬ the finest ski racing academy in Austria.
In 1989 Dave Gavett returned to GMVS from the US. World Cup Speed Team as Headmaster and the School has gradually increased enrollment to 84 students, including winter term students and students enrolled in the Post Graduate Program. The size of the staff has increased accordingly to 28 full-time and 5 part-time members, and the general program has been enhanced in many ways.
GMVS Keeps Expanding
In 1997, GMVS purchased a facility in Kössen, Austria in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps. From this home base, just 19 miles from Kitzbühel and 60 miles from Innsbruck, and with the direction of Mike Loidl, the school's European Program Coordinator, GMVS athletes are provided the best training and racing opportunities in the world. They often train side-by-side with national team members and Olympic champions. The school's European base also affords access to extensive educational and cultural opportunities. Trips to Venice, Salzburg, Munich, and the Dachau Concentration Camp provide windows through which GMVS students learn about language, culture and history.
Back in the States, the improvements continued with the Doug Parker Sports Center, an 18,000 square foot world-class training facility built and equipped to satisfy the needs of the elite athlete. Several years later, the construction continued with the Farmhouse expansion to accommodate a new library and day student center.
The purpose of the school has remained unchanged since its founding in 1973. The School has grown in enrollment, staff, and in its physical plant, but the vision of the School's founders is still the guiding light behind GMVS.