Letter from the Head Master
What a year so far. Starting off with an action-packed camping trip to the Oregon Coast, our students got to bond over skate and surf sessions and s'mores by the campfire. The last few weeks, students have settled in and found a happy balance between school work, training, exploring the Mt. Hood area, and trips to places like Utah, Jackson Hole, and California.
Read on for updates from our amazing teachers and coaches!
-Ann Scott, Head Master
Greetings parents, siblings, and friends of the Academy students! The Big Mountain program is well on its way to an action packed, successful season and the snow hasn’t even started to fall yet. We kicked off the year with an incredible trip to Jackson Hole where we were fortunate enough to be a part of the Teton Gravity
Research world premiere of their latest film “Far Out” as well as their Hall-of-Fame induction. Our very own Ellie Snow Armstrong’s father, Rick Armstrong, was honorably inducted into the Hall-of-Fame for his extensive career in pioneering big mountain skiing and continuously setting the bar for what is possible in the sport.
During our time in Jackson Hole, the team got to sit down with living snowboard legend, Jeremy Jones, and get some insightful advice on what it takes to be at the top of your sport. What a humbling experience to sit down with someone of that caliber on an informal level and hear his take on being the best.
After the Jackson Hole trip we’ve been busy getting out hiking in the mountains here, visiting some local skate parks, spending time on the trampolines, and taking advantage of the beautiful weather September has provided for us! As a team, we’ve also gotten gym memberships at the Mount Hood Athletic Club in Sandy where we work on core strength, cardio, and different isolated muscle groups twice a week. Their facility is a wonderful resource being 12 minutes away and includes a pool, steam room, sauna, and two hot tubs for self-care and stretching after our workouts. This momentum is going to carry us into winter to start in the right mindset and physical shape as I’m already seeing results!
-Brandon Sorel, Head Backcountry Coach
During our first month in the classroom the kids have been working diligently as they settle into their routine as both athletes and students. We have both been happy and impressed with the way our returning students have demonstrated strong independent learning skills and with how our new students have quickly adjusted to the challenges of being in online classes. Overall, the students seem to be excelling in their schoolwork and are learning to be organized, dedicated, and independent learners - skills that will take them far in their sport and careers!
To start off the school year we met with each student individually along with their athletic coach to get to know their learning style, academic aspirations, and to help them write academic goals for the year ahead. We felt it was important to include the athletic coaches in this process so both parties could understand what our student athletes are working towards both in school and on the hill or in the park! We will be monitoring these goals, revisiting them with the students throughout the year, and teaching our students to be goal oriented learners.
In addition to their online classes, we are excited to be starting some new activities with our students including an art class led by Lori (Miss L). We are also planning an art and science field trip to the Wildwood Recreation Site to identify native species of the Mt. Hood National Forest and document them in species sketches and drawings. We are hoping to incorporate other activities into our curriculum in the future including trips to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Art Museum.
Our students are off to a great start- we are looking forward to the rest of the year with them!
Mr. Matthew & Miss L
Greetings families and friends! The first month of the school year is in the books, and it’s been a blast! The skaters and I have taken advantage of the beautiful warm fall weather by skating as many parks as possible before the winter rains move in. We managed to cram in almost 30 parks in 3 weeks! Everyone is getting in the groove and adjusting well to what for some is a very new school and living situation. I’m beyond hyped on the skate students attitudes and desire to progress. We are looking to keep the good vibes rolling as we load up the skate van and head south on our first trip of the year to California!
-Donovan Lawler, Head Skateboard Coach
We have had a great month and a solid start to the year on the freeski side of things. From daily workouts and dry land training consisting of upper and lower body strengthening the boys are well on their way to being prepped for the hill. We balance our work out time with trampoline training, helping each student individually to learn new and polish old tricks to bring to competition. With our competition season around the corner we have had the privilege of visiting the Utah Olympic Park twice this month. Each trip everyone has shown great progression and have had breakthroughs within their bag of tricks. Having access to the Olympic Park allows us to use their trampolines prior to the landing bag sessions which has proved to be very effective in getting the most out of each day there.
Keeping the athletes on track academically has been a breeze with our new teaching staff. We receive daily progress reports from the teachers outlining any and all that may be falling behind. Evening school sessions on the road has been effective and kept everyone caught up or ahead in their classes. During our first trip to Utah we got to take an industry tour of the Saga Warehouse guided by the owner. The kids were shown first-hand how to hot press logos onto hoodies, and even make their own. They finished the tour with a meet and greet with the brands’ head designer who showed them some of the steps in prepping a clothing line a year in advance. As a whole, the team is blending well together and there is nothing but good times ahead! Look out for progress reports and the first update on our winter competition schedule.
-Brian McCarthy, Head Ski Coach & Topher Newett, Assistant Ski Coach
Over the last month the snowboard program has had a great start to the semester. The snowboard team has incorporated skateboarding, trampoline, fitness, dry-slope trainings and we even started a Vlog.
Every Monday, the kids and I release a YouTube video on the adventures of the week. The Vlog has been well received by the kids and also gives them an inside look on the film aspect of the snowboard industry. The kids are learning to set up cameras and lights, host interviews, edit videos and most important overcoming the challenges of being in front of the camera.
The team and I have changed our weekly athletic schedule to have 3 morning and 2 afternoon training sessions. This new schedule helps find a balance between training and getting off campus. On Thursdays, we head off campus and drive to a local skatepark or go for a hike.
This season has been amazing!
-Tommie Bennett, Head Snowboard Coach