Winter Academy for Alpine, Freeskiing and Snowboarding

Student Life at MSA

Student life at Mount Snow Academy is busy and lots of fun. The academic and residential programs have undergone an enormous transition this year as the school moved its base to the Matterhorn Building on Route 100 where boarding students enjoy comfortable rooms (each with a private bathroom), and delicious, healthy meals cooked by chefs Brandon Ruble and Chris Fratkin. Day and boarding students alike share the common areas to sit by the fire, do homework, meet with teachers or just hang out.

The Great Room is the center of student life. Here a wood stove surrounded by sofas is watched over by the giant camel, Humphrey. This comfortable, homey room is representative of the atmosphere at MSA. It is cozy and busy at the same time. Students, teachers and coaches are constantly passing through on their way to meals, classes and training sessions. There is even a weekly Yoga class held in the Great Room, and occasional musical performances.

Boarding at MSA is both fun and challenging. Students are expected to act as working members of the community. The house parent works with the students to create a safe, comfortable atmosphere where students feel cared for and at the same time learn self-sufficiency in a group living environment. The students have chores, after breakfast and dinner, and study hours are strictly enforced on school nights. After study hours the students often hang out in the Great Room or in the basement where they can play ping pong, watch TV or watch movies on a big screen. Lights out is at 10:30.

MSA emphasizes a comprehensive lifestyle conducive to personal, intellectual, and athletic growth. If you are up to the challenge of counting yourself among serious student/athletes who love what they do— MSA could be your home too.

Amanda DeMaria: house parent
BA and Secondary School English Teaching Certificate

When I was six years old my family went to the Island of Mallorca for the second time. My father had organized a year abroad writing program for college students. It was 1969 and Franco was dictator of Spain. The students were full-blown, crazy, flower-children looking for hippie heaven, and I think they found it. However, what I remember the most was our little school at the bottom of the village. Our parents had brought a teacher with us. She was also a college student, but she was no hippie. She needed to do student teaching hours to complete her certification. Her name was Wendy and I adored her. Wendy’s influence led me to teaching, but my crazy family sparked my wanderlust. As a result I have traveled a lot and taught in many places.

I started young in my home town, Orient Point at the end of Long Island, and went on to participate in an internship program at Hobart William Smith College. Later I found myself drawn to school settings in Denmark during study abroad, Kenya where I was in the Peace Corps, Ibiza, Mallorca, and Mexico. Finally I completed the requirements for teacher certification and went to work at The Hoosac in Hoosic, NY. After two years at Hoosac my son Tygre was born and I paused for a year, but then found myself back at it in the American International School of Mallorca. When I decided it was time for Tygre to return to the States, I went to the Stony Brook School on Long Island and finally to the Marvelwood School in Kent, CT where I stayed for seventeen years.

When I left Marvelwood School last spring I wrote a letter that started like this, “Before coming to Marvelwood, I had never spent more than a year (or maybe two) in any one place. I lived in different countries, on different continents, in cities and villages, and I had a penchant for small islands everywhere. I was a true nomad with an advanced case of wanderlust. Now, after seventeen delightful years on Skiff Mountain, the call of the wild beckons again, and it is time for new adventures.” I posted this letter and got on a plane for the island of Mallorca.

Little did I know that on the other side of the ocean, a tiny ski school was gearing up to make a big transition and would need a Director of Student Life to help shape the next stage of its existence. From my living room in Spain, I spoke to Todd Ormiston by SKYPE (a medium I prefer to leave to the kids) and that is how I ended up here.

Amanda’s House Rules

  • Thou shall respect thy neighbor as thy family, and refrain from unkind or covetous behavior. (Thou shalt not foul the air with unkind blasphemies and other dirty words.)
  • Thou shall keep thy room reasonably tidy. (Thou shalt not obstruct thy walk space with unwashed vestments nor allow strange cultures to fester beneath thy unruly possessions.)
  • Thou shall maintain cheerful aspect when put upon to participate constructively in the community. (Thou shalt not shirk thy responsibility to thy fellow man (and woman) by sneaking off before thy task is complete.)
  • Thou shall observe most wholesome behavior in the realm of sustenance preparation and consumption. (Thou shalt not tread unshod upon the holy ground of these delicious areas even if your name is Pete, nor shall thou partake of food nor drink upon pristine cinereal sofas.)
  • Thou shall observe peace and grave academic demeanor between the hours of 7 and 9 pm. (Thou shalt not scream. Thou shalt not scream. Thou shalt not scream… nor giggle uncontrollably in the face of algebra, world history, quantum physics and so on.)
  • Thou shall observe the hours of repose to prepare thyself for peak slope-side performance.

If thou art unable by virtue of some calamitous spirit to maintain these sane and comfortable standards thou shall be deprived of sleep and dignity. Thou shall rise upon the first crowing to sweat and grimace with me as we prepare the morning meal or scrub icky goo off the kitchen radiators. Should thee refuse, thou shalt not ski nor snowboard during a full rotation of the earth as it sails gently about the heat yielding bless-ed orb.