Wy'East Mountain Academy
Letter from the Head Master
Greetings Parents, Friends, Students, and Family Members,
Well, it’s here, the end of our 2018-2019 school year. Graduation last week in the Raven’s Nest at Timberline Lodge was gorgeous and memorable with guest speakers, Nick Goepper and Mike Hanley speaking to a standing-room only crowd. Our graduates participated by giving a bit of themselves as well. Dave and Max gave speeches, Luke read a poem that will be published in the MEWA 2019 student anthology, and the slide show was created by Cam and Evan. Lori’s artistic skateboard deck as a senior gift was so special and the beginning of a new tradition. Thank you Lori, and thanks to all family members, former and current students, friends, and employees who were in attendance and made that day special.
Move out was smooth with many parents coming on Friday to help with the student cabin clean-up day. Thanks for that! As I write this, our employees are getting campus ready for the summer term, which begins next week. We have 12 students enrolled for the summer term, arriving at a few different points, as we are trying to be flexible for various school districts and curriculum providers. It should be a chill-out term allowing for additional credits and performance training during this beautiful season.
Great news arrived from SEVIS yesterday, and we are now able to offer an US high school diploma for international students through the F-1 Visa process! International students who want to attend our academy must be enrolled full-time on our Edgenuity platform. If you are interested, or know anyone who is, please email me or Dan so we can answer those burning questions and get them enrolled!
I want to give a huge shout out to all our employees who worked so tirelessly in making our student’s academic and athletic experience a good one this year. Working at the academy is hard, being a student at the academy is hard, and we all live the job. From the teachers, to the life coaches, medic, athletic coaches, kitchen, and all support staff, I am indebted to their sacrifices. I am looking forward to having much of our staff continue through the summer and into next year.
With that said, our snowboard coach, Tommie, has chosen to move on to another opportunity. We wish Tommie the very best for his future- will miss him dearly. Al Grogan is planning on taking over as head snowboard coach. Al has worked at the academy and summer camp for many years. We welcome Al back and look forward to seeing how he will develop students in that program.
As our mission says, life improvement through people, place, and passion. Our staff all are aligned with that mission, as I know our students are. Have a fantastic spring and we look forward to seeing you all in the future!
CONGRATS TO OUR 2019 GRADUATES!
The Backcountry & Big Mountain team ended the year with a bang! We arrived in the promise land of Mount Baker on April 1st, welcomed with terrain as far as the eye could see. We spent almost a week going back and forth between side country and resort riding, shooting photos and filming with a familiar face, Brooks Curran, who we worked with back in Jackson Hole earlier this year.
We then crossed the Canadian border and had our sights set on Revelstoke. After a few days of light snow, the sun came out, the heavens opened up, and the conditions were incredible. We had a long day of touring around the mountains that encompass the resort and found the goods. The last few days of the trip were spent in Golden, British Columbia where Hayley Houston completed her undefeated season, winning the final event at the North American Championship, taking home the Overall Champion Title, and proving that she is the best female snowboarder in the junior category of IFSA. Meanwhile, the rest of the team was exploring what was possible directly off The Powder Highway doing day trips into the backcountry.
The second half the month was full of spring park laps, skateboarding on campus, finishing up school, and ending the year with a beautiful graduation ceremony. At the ceremony, we honored Evan Bowers as he moves on to the next chapter in what I am sure will be a long and successful snowboard career. Two days before graduation, Evan and I had the opportunity to climb to the summit of Mount Hood and snowboard down from 11,500 feet, marking an incredibly successful year for the team. I couldn’t be more excited to do it again next year.
Athlete of the Month: Evan Bowers
What a final month! The skaters took a filming trip to Barcelona, Spain! We all made the most of the opportunity, soaking in local culture and going hard to film as much as possible. Everyone got tricks they are hyped on at famous spots and made more lifetime memories than will fit into one newsletter! Some standouts were: George’s kickflip down the 5, Daenen’s front shuv 50 on the out ledge, and Jip’s (2nd try) impossible down the big 3 block, all at MACBA. Herb’s was making light work of all the amazing flat ground and ledges, and Bardas got one of my personal all-time favorite photos (see below). All-in-all, a successful trip!
We returned from Barcelona to some beautiful weather. We’ve had an amazing final two weeks with some bittersweet farewell skate sessions. A huge congratulations to Max Daenen for graduating! We are all going to miss you and Jip (who is also moving on to University), and we wish you all the best. Huge thank you to all the students and families and everyone who helped out to make this year happen!
Skater of the Month: Max Daenen
We had a great second semester on the Freeski team. During early April, the majority of the team got to train and compete in Colorado at Breckenridge and Copper for USASA Nationals. We had some nice results and caught a solid patch of weather to get some big jump training in. Those that competed did an awesome job, and we walked away with three gold medals in both a rail jam and two slopestyle events!
The remaining team members rallied to Switzerland to compete in the Swiss World Cup and had a radical cultural experience. There, they competed against high-level athletes and Olympians, getting their feet wet as to what it's like in the "big leagues".
Following our trips, we finished the year at the all-time Timberline spring park. We we had countless perfect weather days with soft, forgiving snow and EVERYONE leveled up and ended the year with new tricks! Looking forward to picking right back up with those who are attending our Summer School semester!!!
-Topher (& Breeze)
Skier of the Month: Angus Falconer
I can't believe this Academy year has already come to an end! I was glad I had the chance to talk to many families at graduation, but for those that I have not seen recently, I want to start by saying thank you for sharing your children with us this year! I was cleaning off the attendance list on my whiteboard yesterday, and thinking about how it has been a pleasure to get to know our students on a personal level as their teacher. Each and every one of them has unique gifts and personalities, and I am excited for what the future holds for them.
On an academic level, I am also incredibly proud of everything our students have accomplished this year. Balancing the responsibilities of being both full-time athletes and students is something that would be a challenge for most adults, let alone teens who are also living away from home for the first time, and I applaud them for all the learning and growing they have done. Throughout the year, I emphasized the importance of being independent learners, and hope that I have equipped our students to succeed in the future, wherever they may land.
Thank you again everyone!
Matthew couldn't have said it better. It was such an incredible experience to work in the classroom this year and see the amazing transformations in our students. New the academy and to online education, I was impressed by the autonomy the students learned in their short time here. These past few weeks, we made it through anxious spring afternoons in the classroom and testing hall (aka rec. room), helped send off our graduates to college and the big world beyond, and assisted our underclassmen and women in finishing up their classes. There is much to celebrate!
Final grades, along with SAT and PSAT scores should be arriving soon. We will keep parents and students posted as soon as we hear anything from the College Board.
Thanks to all who stuck with us through our learning curve year, and for all of the kind words I received during my pregnancy. I hope to be seeing you all again soon, baby girl in tow, on campus or on the slopes!
Student of the Month: Konnor Ralph
Earlier this month the snowboarders competed at the world's largest snowboard competition. The experience from USASA Nationals was one we will never forget. Each athlete learned something new and enjoyed the experiences of sunny weather and progressive snowboard parks.
After Nationals, we headed back to Mount Hood for more fun cloudless days and park riding. The kids enjoyed skating, snowboarding, and enjoying all the things the Academy campus has to offer. It's sad to see the snowboard season and semester come to an end, but looking back on the season, it was incredible. The snowboard team had a blast traveling to Washington, Colorado twice, Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, and Canada, maturing and learning some important life lessons along the way.
Thanks parents and riders for an amazing year!
Rider of the Month: Veda Hallen
Life Coach Wrap-Up:
It has been a wild couple of months on the life coach front with the end of competition/travel season and the wrapping up of the school year. Nationals were a great success overall, with great opportunities to watch the kids go all out in rail jams and competitions (in many cases coming away with medals!), and to meet their lovely parents. Our fearless medic and life coach, Doug, became a world traveler during this time as well, diving head first into deep powder in Canada with the Big Mountain team, and then soaking up the old-world sights and sounds of Barcelona with the Skate team.
And in the blink of an eye, the end of the year was upon us.
Luckily, there was plenty of time, outside of finishing classwork, for the kids to fit in fun skate sessions in the concrete jungle and take part in end of the year activities like go-karting. Graduation was an emotional time for the life coaches, as it was time to say goodbye to all of the students, and especially the seniors. But, it was a blast reminiscing on all of the great times we’d had with the kids throughout their time at the Academy and our excitement for the coming year grows every day!