The Green Mountain Valley School, widely recognized simply as GMVS, has developed into a robust club program that supports everything from local development to international racing. The school’s website sums up the GMVS experience with the headline, “Powerful Results Grounded in Adventure.” Whether the team is based in the Mad River Valley, the Sud Tirol, British Columbia or anywhere else in the world you can bet there will be some sort of activity to take advantage of the local landscape and culture. In the past few years the GMVS program has found a sweet spot, balancing elite level training with providing awesome experiences for all levels of skier.
Colin Rodgers and Kat Howe joined the GMVS staff in 2016 and 2015 respectively and have since developed their program into an attractive and supportive community for current students, alumni and visiting athletes. In the past two years GMVS has formed a partnership with Frost Mountain Nordic, providing racing and training support to more athletes and allowing for collaboration among coaches. During the 2023 season, GMVS boasted four coaches on staff, including Mikaela Paluszek and 2018 alum, Elliot Ketchel.
GMVS skiers are active in both Popular Racing and the Eastern Cup Series, despite only a few masters skiers (typically coaches participating in select races), the GMVS Gumby squad placed fourth in the yearlong Club Cup Standings. At Eastern Cups the Gumby’s were a dominant force, often winning Team Scores for individual age groups in both genders and they were rarely outside the top-3 in any one category. GMVS had nine athletes qualify for Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska — who together gathered ten All-American performances — these results strong enough to be ranked seventh of all clubs in the nation.
GMVS reach in the New England community goes beyond their own students, with very popular open summer camps, participation in regional coaching staffs including U16, EHS and Junior National Championships. GMVS has played host to NENSA and U.S. Ski & Snowboard projects including the U16 National and Eastern Regional Elite Group (REG) Camp. GMVS skiers take advantage of rollerski competitions and staff have helped host and support several events, including the Maine Event and also provide invaluable storage of rollerski ramps in the off season. GMVS skiers also have access to biathlon training and competition throughout the year.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Accolades:
This spring Rodgers was selected as the 2023 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Coach of the Year and 2023 Cross Country International Coach of the Year a feat that coincided with his leadership and U18, Tabor Greenberg’s historic races in Finland.
The Sport Committee’s nomination, “Colin has now been the Nordic Director and Head Coach at the Green Mountain Valley School for many years. Under Colin’s leadership, the program has blossomed to one of the best cross-country development academies in the U.S. Colin’s extensive knowledge of the sport, his passion for developing ski racers, and his enthusiasm has been magnetic in building the GMVS roster and program. This season, Colin led the U18 Scandinavian Championships trip for the USA to Finland. The U18 Scandinavian Championships is an elite-level competition featuring the best U18s from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and the USA. As a nation, we’ve been participating in this Championships for nearly 25 years. This season, one of the GMVS athletes under Colin’s tutelage, Tabor Greenberg, won the individual distance race. This is the first time in history that a USA athlete has won the competition. The following day, the USA men’s relay team also grabbed gold – another historic first. These types of results are indicative of the extremely good work that Colin is doing each day at GMVS.”
Green Mountain Valley School was also selected to receive the 2023 Development Club of the Year Award. This honor acknowledged institutions for providing outstanding youth development programs. “Green Mountain Valley School provides exceptional programming for athletes ages 6 – 13, focused on skill development as well as age and developmentally appropriate gate training – all in the spirit of building strong skiers who have a lot of fun. To reduce barriers and encourage participation, they have a robust financial aid program and supplement equipment as needed. In addition to the outstanding alpine program, the GMVS Ski Club is deeply engaged with the local Bill Koch Youth Ski League, introducing young people to the lifelong sport of cross-country skiing with its recreational, social, fitness, and competitive opportunities.” Not of small note is how GMVS values cross country skiing as a complementary to its robust alpine program.
To top things off, alum Brian Bushey ‘21 was named to the 2023-24 Stifel U.S. Cross Country D-Team — the first cross country athlete to be named to the National Team. Bushey trained with GMVS for five years before matriculating to the University of Utah.
NENSA is fortunate to have such a strong partner in GMVS and we congratulate them on past successes and look forward to celebrating many more in the future.