February K-Flash

We are entering the last part of the winter season, but the momentum has not slowed. Check out some of the highlights from KMS over this past month.


Math Jump!

Middle School Applied Math instructor Richard Morse reports that his class "did three amazing things." He writes, "First, they looked at the math behind hitting a jump at 15mph. After our analysis we found that the optimal angle is 35 to 45 degrees. Second, we built a jump with a 40

degree angle and collected lots of data. Due to terrain and slope, our speed was 11.6 mph. Third, we took all the data we collected and made a new graph of our jump trajectory. This project allowed us to make predictions, compare real world results to functions and graphs, add knowledge to activities we do a lot, and have fun." See some videos from the project below:




Academic Standout- Ella Andrews

The KMS teaching faculty are proud to present Eleanor “Ella” Andrews with an Academic Standout recognition! Ella is a Freeski athlete, who comes to KMS from Northampton, Massachusetts. Ella was nominated by several of her teachers, who recognize Ella’s resilience, drive, and dedication towards excellence within the classroom. All agree that Ella is most deserving of the title of Academic Standout!


Winter-Term Language teacher Elizabeth Cardiasmenos was the first to put for a nomination for Ella. Liz states, “Since the first day of winter term, during advising, I was immediately impressed by Ella and the way she interacted with everyone around her. She is outgoing, optimistic and conscientious. She pushes herself, asks great questions and supports her classmates in a positive and reassuring way. She is always ready to lend a helping hand, clarify information and problem-solve with her peers. Ella makes the most of her learning time and is always on task. She has seamlessly managed PT appointments, communicating them in a timely manner and has kept up with all of her assignments. Ella exemplifies respect, integrity, leadership, excellence and responsibility and is very deserving of Academic Standout.”


Student Life Coordinator and Studio Art/Graphic Design/Photography teacher Eric Kuntz seconded this nomination. Eric reflects, “have the distinct pleasure of teaching not one, but two classes to one Ella Andrews. This young lady is an outstanding academic student. Taking Graphic Design I & Sculpture, she is learning multiple Visual Art classes. While also nursing an injury, Ella has yet to miss a beat with her classes. From learning how to edit digital photos to removing blemishes within the photo to hand sculpting coil, pinch and clay minions. Ella has done nothing but keep turning in outstanding work. Her creative side keeps growing everyday, with a passion to take on new challenges and ask the important questions. While also helping her fellow classmates with struggles that might happen with assignments. Ella is a pleasure to have in the classroom.”


Social Studies Department Co-Chair and Middle School Humanities teacher Ian Groezinger agreed with Ella’s nomination and gave one of his own for her work in his classes. Ian writes, “Ella has been nothing short of sensational since she arrived at KMS for the start of Winter Term. Time and again, Ella demonstrates a thorough understanding of the subject matter at hand through both written response and discussion. Even with her recent injury setbacks, Ella continues to strive for success.”


Innovative and Math/Science/Engineering teacher Richard Morse also put in his own nomination for Ella. Richard states, “Ella starts each Math class by asking "Do you have a challenge assignment ready for me" she then focuses intently and diligently does the class work then hopes right into her challenge assignment. Injuries have not slowed her down, for every hands on lesson she finds ways of doing things with one arm, sometimes it takes longer but she does not care she seems to like the extra challenge and is happy to work through any milestone. Each and every day she stays busy; exploring, learning, helping others, projecting positivity, seeking challenges and raising the bar."



Academic Standout- Jake Labanowski

The KMS teaching faculty is excited to recognize Jake Labanowski as an Academic Standout! Jake is a U16 Men’s Alpine athlete, who comes to KMS from Ramsey, New Jersey.

Winter-Term Humanities teacher Jessica Sardelli was the first to put forth a nomination for Jake, and enthusiastically volunteered to present for him this past Monday. Jessica reflects, “Since starting winter term, Jake has demonstrated excellent communication with me regarding assignments and travel, as well as asking questions, planning for any assistance far ahead of any due dates, and always closing communication loops. His writing has been improving tremendously! I am very impressed with his ability to implement every piece of feedback I have offered to improve his skill. It is this ability to improve upon our weaker areas & become strong that is the most impressive! He is quite a joy to have in class and very respectful to peers and faculty.”

World Languages and Culture Department Co-Chair and Social Studies teacher Robert Cavanna seconded Jake’s nomination for his work in Robert’s Latin course. Robert writes, “Jake has been exceptional since joining my Latin I class. He has worked diligently and has gone above and beyond. He supplements our three weekly class meetings with an optional National Latin Exam preparatory course, which he attends remotely once a week on Tuesdays. Jake is highly deserving of this recognition. Congratulations!”

Winter-Term Boost Math and Science Teacher Hurley Cavacas also supported Jake’s nomination. Hurley states, “Jake is a dedicated student whose focus, drive and tenacity in Geometry is a breath of fresh air. He works hard to grasp difficult concepts, especially regarding proofs. He is never afraid to ask questions and look for clarification of topics he knows will be built upon. On a personal note his quiet pleasant demeanor is very enjoyable in class.”

Rounding out this amazing list of nominations is Student Life Coordinator and Studio Art/Graphic Design/Photography teacher Eric Kuntz. Eric states, “Jake has been nothing, but exceptional since joining Studio Art II winter-term class. Each week Jake comes to class ready to take on new creative challenges and learn new studio art skills that expand his already very talented imagination. Jake turns in all his work on-time or even ahead of schedule. Jake has a remarkable eye for art and it shows in everything he does. I look forward to what he will continue to create in the time he has this semester.”

Way to go, Jake! A much deserved recognition for this week! Keep up the awesome work and congratulations!


Kip goes to Europe with the US Ski Team

In January, Kip joined the Women’s World Cup team as a guest coach to help on snow and with strength and conditioning. He shares his experience below:


I caught up with the team in Austria and just before the Flachau night slalom race. The team trained at a small venue called Hinterreit--a preferred training venue because the snow is kept in better race condition and watered. We spent 4 days training slalom there, and joined forces with the Norweigian and New Zealand teams. The day before Flachau, we traveled to the race venue where athletes were able to freeski the hill to feel the terrain and the snow.


Night races always feel a little bit different. Ski racing and snow sports in general are typically early morning chasing good snow. The night race lets you sleep in and get mentally prepared for what is to come. The US has been crushing slalom as of late, and earned 9 total spots for the World Cup. The most allotted to any nation. It was awesome to see the veterans holding at the top and the young guns popping into the points. At the end of the race, the US had 3 in the points, 2 in the top 10, and 1 victory. It was really cool to see Shiffrin come home with a win.


From Flachau, we travelled to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. On the docket were 2 giant slalom races on one of the hardest venues on the circuit. The injected surface added to the difficulty. The women's circuit wasn’t supposed to race there this year and these races were a late reschedule because the planned venue at Maribor, Slovenia did not have enough snow. When we arrived in Slovenia, we were once again allowed to freeski the hill to check it out. The servicemen knew immediately to add some extra edge, and bring spare sets of skis. A pair of skis would only last one run. After freeskiing the hill, we took a little 15 minute trek back into Italy to a mountain called Tarvisio. The athletes trained giant slalom for a couple of tune-up runs before race day.


During inspection of the first run, Nina blew the edge off her ski--that is how hard the snow was! It would literally burn your bases from sliding on it. But alas, that did not affect the bada** US women and they finished with 2 in the top 15. The second race showed the prowess of the US women once again with Shiffrin winning the first run, but having a little mistake second run landing her in 4th. Nina found the leader's chair after second run for the first time in her career and ended up 15th again.


After Kransjska Gora wrapped up, we packed up and sent it over to Kronplatz, Italy. As away to keep things fair among the different nations, no one is allowed to train on the race hill within 7 days of the race, so we had the opportunity to train on the Kronplatz race hill before that window. After training, the team took a couple days off to recover which included a great spread of pizza, pasta, and croissants. After a short break, we had to go get some more training and moved to a place called Pozza di Fassa. While there, our team met up with the mens development squad. I even got to see KMS alumnus Bradshaw Underhill while we were there! With a solid 4 days of giant slalom training under our belts, it was time to head back over to Kronplatz for race day. The Kronplatz giant slalom is another very challenging hill with a fast flat section at the top, rolling over a very steep pitch, and then a big dog-leg left with a giant fall away. Also, the whole second half is in the dark all day making the visibility quite difficult. Mikeala ended up in 2nd after the first run and just off the podium in 4th after the second. Nina once again showed that she is one of the top giant slalom skiers in the world, grabbing some more points. Paula moved from 47 to 12th after the first run, but went out in the second. The women are building a very strong team. After Kronplatz, the trip ended with a flight home and a return to KMS. What a trip!


Freestyle has been on the road and dominating

It has been a busy month for the Freestyle Team with FIS events in Utah, Regional events here in the east and our largest ever Boost Freestyle Program kicking off here in Killington!


FIS Team: The Freestyle FIS team has continued their western adventure since the US Selections in late January. The team traveled from Selections to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a five day training block. They enjoyed great conditions in Steamboat as they prepared for a FIS Open event in Deer Valley.


The Deer Valley event was held on the fabled Champion Mogul course--site of the 2002 Olympic Games and multiple World Championships. Champion is one of the most challenging mogul venues in the world. The team fought hard over two days of competition with Spencer Belsky and Brinley Johnson leading the way with finals appearances on both days. The travel was fun and productive, but the team is happy to be back training in Killington after almost a month on the road.

Photo by: Shea Belsky


Eastern Regional Team: The Eastern Regional series got underway in Bristol, New York. The regional opener provided athletes with a total of five competitions held over three days. The KMS team showed strong with top fifteen finishes from Gabe Johnson, Manuella Passaretta, Mike and Conner Dinn, as well as Eveyln Perkins (moving up to the A level this year). Jessica Duda led the team with podiums in every event including three overall victories.


KMS BOOST Program:

We have a great group of BOOST athletes. Their enthusiasm is infectious both on and off of the hill. They had their first competitions this week with Owen Ciaglo and Victoria Johnson in Waterville for their official move up to the Eastern Championship or “A” Series. Victoria finished top twenty both day and Owen finished top forty and won his first round of duals both days!

In Stratton, Eden Kruger and Jack Covell took the overall victories. Additionally we had top ten finishes from Maya Grogean (2nd), Maggie Pierce (7th), Colby Rieszer (3rd), Parker Sweeny (5th) and Dexter Namking (6th). We look forward to another competition in Stratton on February 26 and two more weeks of BOOST!


U16 women continue to charge!

February 1st the U16 women had a GS race at Smugglers Notch on a challenging hill with a difficult pitch in the middle section. Shelby Graves found her first podium of the season with a 2nd place finish, Megan Bianchi finished the day in 18th place, and Eileen Moon rounded out the top 30, to finish in 28th place.


On February 4th there was another GS race at Okemo Resort. The conditions were soft, the course set was direct and the sun was shining. Shelby Graves had a smoking first run with a 2nd place finish and Rhi Lubaszewski put two solid runs together to finish the day in 11th. Megan Bianchi found more speed finishing just out of the top 15, Chanah Katz made an impressive move from 78th to finish 17th and Eva Young also made improvements finishing 23rd.


The women then headed to GMVS for two GS races in one day. This proved to be a long day with tough conditions alongside new snow falling throughout both races. Everyone had positive attitudes and worked as a team. In race 1 we had 4 girls in the top 20. Eva Young 20th, Chanah Katz 14th, Rhi Lubaszewski 12th, and Shelby Graves with another podium place finish in 2nd. Maddy Wickless and Lenci Bogdan made good improvements on their starting positions finishing 44th and 47th respectively. In race 2 Shelby proved she belongs on the podium with a 3rd place finish. Rhi made mistakes in both runs, but grabbed another top 15 finish. The team will head back to Smugglers Notch for 2 SLs on March 1st.



95 Days until the Killington Bike Park opens for the season

Is anyone else counting? Jason DiDomenico, Downhill Mountain Biking Program Director is and he had this to say about the upcomign season:


"Many of the downhill athletes are participating in snow sports and touching base with our cycling coaches on a regular basis. Our downhill specific athletes are working incredibly hard during this off season, and anticipation is growing as we look forward to being on our bikes. Our competition calendar has not been released and that is also something we continue to look forward to. Matthew Krimmel will be moving up and racing in the Expert 16-18 class. He has taken this challenge very seriously and has been very focused on strength gains in the gym. Lucy Attebury has also made incredible gains in gym, but I am most excited to see how her positive attitude pays off this season in the women's amateur division."


Gooba Hats are taking off!

KMS snowboard and downhill mountain bike athletes, Jamie Hamlin and Owen Crossmon, have been busy with not only their academics, training, and competitions, but have also been busy building their own business. Jamie and Owen have spent the past few months working on, and perfecting, their line of Gooba Hats. What started as a fun, independent hobby for the boys, has now turned into a full fledged business. Thanks to a partnership with Darkside Snowboards, the “Gooba Gang” grows daily, and you can see people wearing Gooba hats throughout Vermont! Check out the video below to see how Gooba Hats are made, and follow them on instagram (@Gooba_hats) for the next release of hats. Snag one before they are all gone!


Alumni on the world stage

US Ski Team and KMS alumni Hannah Soar and Alex Leiws have been selected to represent the US at the 2021 FIS Freestyle World Championships in Kazakhstan March 8-11. Read more about the event and the team selection here. Hannah and Alex are not the only former KMS Black Bears representing the US in a big way. Alumnus and US Ski Team member Bradshaw Underhill was also chosen for the 2021 FIS Alpine World Junior Championship team. Bradshaw will be competing at the event in Bansko, Bulgaria on March 3-10. Read this team's annoucement here.


College acceptances continue to grow

Alfred University

Boston University

Castleton University

Clarkson University

Colby College

Colby-Sawyer College

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Montana State University

Mount Saint Mary College

Sierra Nevada University

University of Calgary

University of Boulder

University of Denver

University of New Hampshire

University of Utah

University of Vermont


Virtual Winter Term Awards will be on Saturday, April 3 @6pm

Invitations to the virtual event will be sent in the next couple of weeks!



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