Telluride Mountain School Offers Ski Academy Option
by Watch Staff
Sep 07, 2012 | 1487 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

TELLURIDE – Burke Mountain Academy. Carrabassett Valley Academy. Green Mountain Valley Academy.

Now Telluride can boast of a ski academy in the valley. Beginning this winter, the Telluride Mountain School (TMS) is partnering with the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club (TSSC) to offer student athletes the kind of rigorous academics and intensive on-snow training that has traditionally been a path to U.S. Ski Team, and NCAA, glory.

“This is a winning combination for our local athletes and athletes who come to Telluride from a distance to participate in our program”, said TMS upper school humanities teacher Jesse James McTigue, in a release. McTigue left Telluride as a high school student in the 1990s to attend a ski academy on the east coast.  

Now, in the local program’s first year, the Mountain School hopes to recruit two to five dedicated winter athletes to train and go to school in Telluride. According to Academy Program Director, Jenny Page, TMS “has added new programmatic elements to its high school curriculum geared specifically toward the student/athlete.”

Promising snow riders will benefit from the Mountain School’s ability to accommodate student/athletes by creating an individualized academic plan during the winter season, so they can focus on their sport and travel, yet still receive the appropriate high school credits and engage in compelling academic classes.

On the mountain, TSSC has long provided world-class coaching to Telluride kids. It has a history of placing athletes on the U.S. Ski Team, including current Freestyle Program Director Caleb Martin and former coach Harold Ehnbom. Presently, Telluride is represented on the U.S. Team by mogul skier Joe Discoe, snowboarder and former Telluride Mountain School student, Hagan Kearney, and freeride competitor Gus Kenworthy.

In the past five years TMS has had a number of students competing at an international level in skiing or snowboarding. While at the Mountain School, these students have had the opportunity to excel in their sport while being supported to meet the standards of a rigorous high school curriculum.

They train and travel to competition extensively during the school year and are simultaneously entrusted and challenged by TMS faculty and administration to maintain an excellent course of academics. As these exceptional winter athletes moved through the program, TMS organically became accustomed to creating individual student/athlete academic programs to accommodate them.

One such student is 17-year-old mogul skier Keaton McCargo, who finished 3rd at U.S. Nationals last season. Keaton’s mother, Jenny Page, began asking, “Why not offer this program, combined with the world-class coaching of TSSC, to more young athletes?”

Now the academy idea has become reality.

TMS’s small class size and low student-teacher ratios allow for maximum flexibility in scheduling classes, assignments, assessments, papers and projects. Doing schoolwork from the road, while young athletes are traveling and competing, is never easy. But TMS employs a multitude of technological instruments that allow for productive interaction while students are on the road.

Many young athletes around the world find themselves in a situation where they must choose between their athletic passion or high school success, Page said. The only option they have is to go to high school on their computers. On-line classes certainly have a place, but to rely on this form of education for completing curricular requirements, creates a sterile, lonely and unsupported high school experience.  

TMS allows student/athletes to compete at the highest levels without missing out on high school. It’s the biggest win/win these elite winter athletes will ever experience.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ski Academy at TMS please call or email Academy Program Director, Jenny Page.  970-729-0913,

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