A lot has happened during the first quarter at KMS. Enjoy the updates and stories below!
Join us at the Top and #senditforKMS Next Week
KMS is a place where you can achieve your personal best in academics and athletics without compromise. Anchored by a close-knit community of driven peers and supportive faculty and coaches, KMS helps student-athletes make it to the top.
We will keep the celebration going 11/28-12/2 with our Join us at the Top alumni interview series. Each night at 7pm EST, we will be having fun conversations with our incredible alumni who are at the top of their game--in school, in sport and in life--as we raise money for our annual fund. We hope that you will join us for some memories and to learn more about how KMS' personalized educational approach to academics and athletics has prepared our students to follow their passions and achieve great things.
You can #senditforKMS this year by making a contribution to our annual fund here. Your donations Make dreams happen and bridge the gap between revenue and the true cost of operating a year-round center of excellence.
Check out the slate of conversations here. Directions on how to watch will be sent daily via email and our social channels.
Join us at the top next week!
Cartoonists Daryl Seitchik and Dan Nott Visit Senior English Classes
In Shayna Miller’s senior English classes, students have been learning about visual literacy and graphic novels from the inside out. Visiting artists Daryl Seitchik and Dan Nott—award winning cartoonists and faculty members at Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies—have been teaching KMS seniors about the mechanics of visual storytelling to assist in the creation of their own cartoon e-zine. The seniors have also been reading Marjane Satrapi’s classic graphic memoir, Persepolis, connecting Satrapi’s experience of growing up during the Islamic Revolution of 1979 to the current protests in Iran regarding the oppression of women.
KMS STEAM and Applied Physics Students Elevate KMS Golf Tournament
Experience the Modern and the Ancient!
Have an absolute BLAST and feel the extreme RUSH!
Try: “The Golden Gun” and “Thee Mythical Slinger”
The 18th hole fundraiser at the 34th Annual KMS Golf Tournament had a new look at this year. After watching golfers delight in launching golf balls with a pressurized air cannon at last year's tournament, KMS STEAM students wanted a piece of the action. Guided by faculty member Richard Morse, students worked tirelessly through all of the variables of creating an air cannon that could launch a golf ball the distance of the 18th hole: air pressure, chamber size, barrel length, and gate valves. When Richard’s applied physics class caught wind of the Golden Gun, named for its gold spray painted exterior, they began to incubate their own offering for hole 18--we are a competitive bunch! Thee Mythical Slinger, an adaptation of famed backyard toy, the slingshot, was born and rivaled the distance of the Golden Gun, using take off angle and rubber band stretch to achieve the best trajectory. Both inventions required several trips to the Killington Recreation Fields for testing and refinement before their debut at the October 7 tournament. The proof is in the photos! Golfers had a blast and students are already working on ideas for next year.
The Annual Golf tournament is a major fundraising event for the KMS Annual Fund. As you know, our community offers a variety of mountain sports programs for athletes over a broad range of ages, skill sets and disciplines. We could not provide this world-class programming without the generous involvement and enthusiasm from supporters like you. From maintaining our training venues to purchasing equipment, your donations help bridge the gap between revenue and the cost of operating a center of excellence.
This year, we were lucky to have peak foliage and dodged most of the showers during play. The Killington Golf Club successfully hosted all 26 of our teams and we absolutely loved the enthusiasm and engagement of our supporters throughout the day. We grossed over $22,000 this year and on behalf of our athletes, students and staff, we thank you for supporting our passions and pursuit of success.
We can’t wait to see you back on the course with us Friday October 6, 2023!
Academic Standout: Spencer Claffey
Student Name: Spencer Claffey House Team: Skye Peak Date of Presentation: October 3rd, 2021 Faculty Presenter: Courtney O’Keefe
The KMS Teaching faculty is proud to recognize Spencer Claffey as our first Academic Standout for the 2022-2023 academic year! Spencer is an 8th Grade Freeski athlete, who comes to KMS from Mendon, Vermont. This young academic continues to impress our faculty with his steadfast dedication to his academics, his amazing contributions to classroom discussions, and his generous and kind nature. He is a true asset to both our classrooms and our overall learning community. We can think of no better student to recognize as our first Academic Standout of the year!
Putting forth the first nomination for Spencer is Social Studies Department Co-Chair and Middle School Humanities teacher Ian Groezinger. Ian writes, “Last year Spencer came to KMS and managed to set a rather lofty bar for himself. To say that he has hit the ground running is an understatement. Over the past month, Spencer has been a standout in class from turning in high-level work and volunteering to read out loud in class, to offering meaningful insight in class discussions; especially as it relates to our unit on the Patriot Act and its effect on modern day social media.
In addition to what he has done in class, Spencer has also sought out the additional challenge and responsibility that comes with joining our Student Council. Spencer took the lead with other students in setting up the Bake Sale fundraiser for our new KMS Golf Team. In the end, it is clear this student is looking to challenge himself this year, raising the bar to new heights. Please join me in congratulating this week’s Academic Standout: Spencer Claffey!”
Seconding Spencer’s nomination is Full-Term Spanish Teacher Ana Araguas. Ana reflects, “I am excited to nominate Spencer for academic standout this week. I nominated him for his high level of academic discipline, as well as his persistence in everything that he does within the classroom. Spencer is kind and compassionate to his classmates, and always has a smile when answering the questions. Overall, he is a thoughtful as well as responsible young man, and is an example for everyone in the classroom.”
Also supporting Spencer’s nomination is Academic Director April Hayden. April states, “I was able to see Spencer in action while substituting in his Earth Science Course at the start of this year. Spencer stood out to me as respectful, attentive, and engaged learning within this class. For example, he was quick to answer questions about how Earth systems affect one another.” And lastly, rounding out this list of nominations is Social Studies Department Co-Chair and Advisory Coordinator Courtney O’Keefe. Courtney writes, “I do not have Spencer as a student this year, but he is one student that I hear about constantly from our teaching faculty as being one of the best examples of academic dedication and persistence we find within our small community. To be held in such high regard by many of our amazing teaching faculty speaks volumes of this young man, and his qualities and skills as a learner. From his thoughtful contributions to whole class discussions, to his selfless dedication towards helping out his peers, to his polished work products- Spencer is a student that many are proud to have within their classroom. Teachers such as myself, who have not had him grace our classrooms as of yet, are excited to count him amongst our students in the future. I look forward to hearing more about this young academic as the year progresses. Congratulations on this recognition, Spencer!”
Way to start the year off on a strong note, Spencer! We are proud of you!
KMS Faculty and Students Engage in Wellness Programing
Organized by our Wellness Committee, KMS faculty engaged in a number of professional development opportunities this fall aiming to build their skills and understanding of critical topics in education. The KMS Wellness Committee, led by Jess Sardelli, Wellness Coordinator, works to identify needs and interesting programming for our faculty and students to improve our collective focus on holistic health at KMS. This year, the Committee selected speakers and workshops centered on sports nutrition and eating disorder education; Anti-bullying strategies; concussion education; positive discipline and group management; self-defense level 2 and the intersection of Social Emotional and Universal Design Learning.
KMS Gravity Mountain Bike Team Dominates the 2022 Season
The gravity team spent the 2022 winter training hard in the gym in preparation for the season ahead. Kicking off with a trip to Windrock, Tennessee, the riders built on their strong foundation achieving numerous podiums and overall titles in the Eastern States Cup Series (See overall ESC results below), securing the Women’s DH National Championship (Riley Miller ‘23) and competing at the highest level of DH racing; the UCI World Cup (Riley Miller ‘23 and Evan Tighe ‘22).
Gravity Head Coach and Program Director Dylan Conte remarks, “These kids love to ride their bikes!” A professional rider and winner of the 2022 ESC Pro Class overall title, Conte holds that the most important attribute of a successful rider is their passion for the sport. He shares, “A good coach can teach anything, except for the love of the sport; and without that love a good coach is not very effective. Our kids on the KMS Gravity Team have loads of love for riding and racing their bikes.” This is something Conte looks forward to building on as the team enters their preparation period for the 2023 season.
The Gravity Team plans to dig in for some work in the gym this preparation period and will target frequent trips to warmer areas for time on the bike. In December, the team will travel to Ray’s, an indoor bike park in Cleveland, Ohio boasting endless jump lines, "wooden trails," skate park, foam pit, skinnys and more. Conte describes the facility as “a massive mountain bike paradise inside of a warehouse.” From Ohio, the team will load-up and travel down to the Wheelmill in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to continue their training. Other training trips on the docket include a trip to Windrock, Tennessee for some technical and steep riding prior to the Tennessee National competition and a February trip to Costa Rica planned around the Pan-Am DH Championships.
KMS Gravity Team Eastern States Cup Downhill Series overall results:
Male Expert 15-18
Henry Mix, 5th place overall finish
Luca Catalano, 9th place overall finish
Gabe Johnson 16th place overall finish
Male Amateur 15-18
Liam Attebury, 1st place overall finish
Female Amateur 15-18
Lenci Bogdan, 1st place overall finish
Female GT 15U
Sarah Hamlin, 1st place overall finish
Lucy Attebury, 2nd place overall finish
*Victoria Johnson, 6th place overall finish
Male GT 15U
*Andrew ODonnell, 6th place overall finish
*Jacob Manning, 9th place place overall finish
Toren Gleiman 16th place overall finish
Nick Price 24th place overall finish
Jack Kiedaisch 25th place overall finish
James McLaughlin, 26th place overall finish
*Gavin Sullivan, 29nd place overall finish
Tim Wilson, 43rd place overall finish
Simon Miller 65th place overall finish
Kate's Kids U12
*Robert Coletta, 8th place overall finish
*Fisher Lillie 15th place overall finish
*Joey Pimentel 17th place overall finish
(* Winter Term and Summer Session KMS athletes)
KMS Endurance Enters the Winter Season
It was an incredibly successful fall season for our endurance cycling team. The team focused mainly on cyclocross and found personal bests at a number of races including, but not limited to those listed below. Take a look at the results in these links and join us in celebrating the hard work this team put in this fall.
In December, the team is looking forward to CX Nationals in Hartford, CT.
KMS Alpine Program Sets Sights on the Season Ahead
The KMS Alpine Program started a long preparation period for the 2022-2023 season back in May with a fundamentals project at Arapahoe Basin. During this Phase I period, athletes focused on low intensity and endurance training on and off the hill. Things began to ramp up June-July in Phase II with medium intensity dryland training. It was awesome to see so many athletes in the KMS gym this summer working through their programs while our younger U14s and U12s tackled a productive camp in Mt. Hood. In August, all athletes spent 3.5 weeks on snow in Saas Fee, Switzerland again drilling fundamentals and moving into gate progression. The fall period marked the beginning of Phase III high intensity training with all athletes building considerable strength and pushing the limits of their endurance capacity. Coaches organized two trips to “the Fridge” at Big Snow American Dream in New Jersey for movement recall and continued the variable training with time on the bike, hiking and a number of trips to the ice rink for skating. The U16 women even took a mountain bike camping trip to a yurt in Rochester, VT and report that this is a must do again! KMS has placed a large emphasis on SkillsQuest Testing, a program designed by US Ski and Snowboard, to inform our programming and the progress each individual athlete is showing has been very rewarding, producing valuable data for athletes and their training plans.
Fall on snow training continues with the U18 group recently returned from a trip in Stubai, Austria bringing a focus on GS training to their next project in Colorado (Copper and Loveland) that will take them through the Thanksgiving holiday. This group made it a priority to watch the World Cup season opener in Solden and will take that inspiration into the season ahead. Our U16s will also be heading out to Copper, CO over the holiday for a speed project with USSS and some quality GS training at Vail. Our U14s were targeting some quality in snow time through a USSS tech project scheduled at Sunday River, ME, but weather caused a cancellation and the team is working hard on skills at home with Killington’s opening and are keeping an eye on more on-snow opportunities as needed in Early December. We cannot wait to start racing across age groups and look forward to welcoming Winter Term and BOOST athletes after the Heroic Killington Cup!
Pavel Stastny Assumes Alpine Program Director Role
In November, famed coach and leader in alpine sport, Pavel Stastny assumed the role of Alpine Program Director at KMS. Having led our renowned Alpine PG Program for the past several years, KMS is thrilled to continue to benefit from Stastny's vast experience and program direction.
Stastny brings more than 40 years of world-class experience to KMS and an impressive track record of helping athletes reach the highest level of sport. Prior to joining KMS, he served as head coach for the Alpine Canada Men's Europa Cup Team and Alpine Program Director at Stratton Mountain School where he coached and placed numerous athletes on various national teams, junior national teams and Olympic teams. Stastny has mentored many coaches who hold esteemed positions at several ski academies and within many national team organizations. He values sport education and has a doctorate in sport training from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia and was a professor of sport science at the University.
Stastny has already begun essential strategic planning with our alpine coaches to continue and augment the quality and success of our historic alpine program as we strive for new program heights. Please join us in welcoming Stastny to this role!
KMS Freestyle is Ready to Compete
KMS Freestyle Program Director Kris Pepe holds that, “fall training projects are some of the most crucially important to our year round periodization.” After a busy summer of air bagging, water ramps and on snow training in Whistler, the KMS Freestyle Team designed an on snow project in Idre Fjall, Sweden to continue their preparation for the upcoming season. Idre Fjall, a staple venue in the World Cup circuit, provides a full-length mogul course with real winter conditions. The lap times are highly efficient and last year, made up 26.9% of the total runs taken by the team over the course of the season. Pepe notes that the Idre project is intentionally scheduled in the early fall to allow for continued technical diagnostic so that upon return to Killington for flats training, athletes can focus on refining their movements and skills prior to working in a course again.
During the nine days on snow, KMS coaches Collin Campbell and Glenn Eddy were impressed with the athletes' fitness at camp and saw the payoff from all of the program’s summer training as many athletes landed first-time tricks on snow. The team was wowed by reindeer stampedes and enjoyed some Norwegian culture on the way home with a stop in Oslo. Upon return, the team refocused on their strength and conditioning and continued to hit the bag and trampolines to keep recall fresh. Paired with scenic yet grueling gravel rides, the freestyle team worked hard in the gym, showing great progress in Skills Quest Testing results and were able to get some flats skiing in with Killington’s opening prior to Thanksgiving break.
Next, the team prepares to head to Apex, British Columbia in Early December for eight days on snow. Freestyle Program Director Kris Pepe notes that, “December trips are always a great way to start the winter. It energizes and unites the team, giving them momentum toward the season ahead.” With more Winter Term students joining the team for the Apex trip, the Freestyle team is ready to compete this season!
Snowboard and Freeski Hit Banger Park and Hintertux
The Snowboard and Freeski teams spent 10 days on snow in HIntertux, Austria this October perfecting their tricks for the upcoming competition season. Hintertux offers amazing parks with a progression of jumps and rails. The teams were able to do some work on the landing bag at Banger Park and utilized the progression park in Hintertux to bring their work to the snow. Skating in Innsbruck was also a huge trip highlight. The teams are looking forward to seeing what Woordward will do at Killington this season and early laps suggest that the season will be epic!
Golf Team Season Recap
Under the stewardship of coaches Eric Kuntz and Ian Groezinger, the KMS golf team put forth an exceptional inaugural season. The school’s newest team is part of the Vermont Southern League (VSL) Division II, sanctioned by the Vermont Principals Association. Student athletes competed against schools across Southern Vermont such as Bellows Falls, Woodstock, Brattleboro and Burr and Burton. The team practiced four days a week, Monday-Thursday, two of them on the Killington resort’s golf course and one day at the Green Mountain National Golf Course’s driving range. Every fourth day the team traveled to a match to compete against other schools. Many kids had good enough scores to qualify for the Vermont State Championship qualifier tournament, but as a first year team we elected to sit this year out. However, next year we plan to send our up and coming golfers to next year's tournament. Looking forward to a bright future and increased interest in the KMS Golf Team.