Letter
August 23, 2017

KMS head introduces changes for school year

Dear Editor,

Many of you will recall that two years ago KMS received our first accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. As part of that accreditation process, KMS is required to submit two-and five-year reports. What they didn’t mention is how amazing everyone here is to work with, and what a fun, progressive culture we’ve created among our faculty and students.

New Faculty
I’d also like to introduce some new full-term teaching faculty members to you, as well as update you on some changes and promotions that have taken place on the administrative team: Two years ago, KMS hired Gar Trayner to perform as our director of athlete development. In addition to being a member of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Team, Gar was a seven-year veteran of the British National Alpine Ski Team, and a successful coach on the Alpine and Ski Cross World Cup circuit. This position was designed to help drive high performance of our youngest participants in our development programs, and to ensure that there was a solid link to the knowledge, skill and expertise of our full-time professional athletic faculty.

Joining our teaching faculty in the science and mathematics department, Allison Resnick was a successful competitive snowboard athlete and field hockey athlete during her high school years. A winter-term snowboarding athlete alumnae of KMS, Allison graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in mechanical engineering. During her time at Rochester she was a member and starter of the varsity field hockey team and participated in the NCAA tournament. She then completed a year of graduate work at the University of Notre Dame as a Ph.D candidate in mechanical engineering. Allison worked for three summers as a mechanical engineering intern for Green Mountain Power doing maintenance on both wind turbines and hydroelectric sites.

Antonio Tata Baker-Médard will be joining KMS as a World Languages teacher. Antonio is passionate about exploring other cultures and feels that mastering other languages is one way to contribute to that. He earned his baccalaureate in literature from the Lycée Saint François Xavier Antananarivo-Madagascar and a bachelor’s degree in public communication from the DIFP of the University of Antananarivo-Madagascar. His aim in earning these degrees was ultimately to work interactively with people from different backgrounds.

After many years of being a Killington weekender, Shayna Miller is proud to now call Vermont home. She became intrigued by the prospect of teaching at KMS after years of hearing good things from her stepson, alumnus Myles Frendel, and taught in our winter-term English Department last year. Her undergraduate degree from Purchase College (SUNY) is in English with concentrations in creative writing and psychology. Her Master’s degree is from St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York, where she obtained her licenses to teach secondary English. She has taught in public high schools in New York and New Jersey. Prior to making the switch to education, Shayna was an assistant literary agent and subsequently was a journalist.

Our three-year phased introduction to 21st Century Learning includes the introduction of a trimester grading system, and the new K-Term program for full-term students in grades 7-12. The K-Term is designed to give students a 7-8 week intensive in a cross-curricular course of study that will replace their traditional humanities classes in the heavy competition period of January and February. While students will continue with their regularly assigned science, math andlanguage courses, some of these classes will meet less frequently, and most assigned work will be able to be completed on campus vs. having to be given as take-home or on-the-road homework. While the K-Term courses have been designed to include captivating, inspirational subject matter, the skills that we are hoping to encourage are equally important.

High Performance Center
This spring, KMS was designated​ an Official US Ski and Snowboard Training Site and a US Ski and Snowboard High Performance Center. One of only six sanctioned High Performance Centers in the country, KMS is serving as a regional and national leader in sport.

Leadership from around the country and from US Ski and Snowboard gathered to start the planning process and are collaborating to elevate all disciplines at all pre-elite, or pre-US Team age levels across the United States. This collaboration will help to raise the knowledge and skill of KMS coaches and faculty, which will translate into more highly-developed programming here at home and for youth across the Northeast.

Campus Expansion
In addition to the build-out of our athletic capacity, collaborating with US Ski and Snowboard, making plans for our second year of our 21st Century Academic Initiative, planning for our role in the Killington World Cup, and planning for a new and exciting year with our students, we have been busy working on developments related to the future expansion of the KMS campus here at 2708 Killington Road.

Tao Smith, Head of School, Killington Mountain School

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