Headmaster’s Update – 08/25/2014

Moulton House renovation
Rolf in his renovated apartment in Moulton
Moulton House addition
New Art classroom
New Art classroom
New Art classroom
New steps on Frazier
Heib House
Woods House
New hotel at Burke Mountain is under construction

Dear Parents,

The beginning of school is quickly approaching, with most of our staff and students away at training camps prior to the official start of school. I am in Mt. Hood with the U16 and U14 athletes and the training is great! I hear all is going well in Chile too. I look forward to seeing you on Opening Day and again during Parents’ Weekend. In advance of the school year’s commencement, I wanted to be in touch about some updates.

This spring we said goodbye to several staff members who moved on to pursue new challenges beyond Burke. Athletic trainer Greg DeLuke took a position with the Buffalo Sabres organization, women’s FIS coach Libby Webster is working towards her Masters in teaching at the Upper Valley Educators Institute, French teacher Amy Ali moved to Milwaukee to teach and live in a more urban setting and U16 coach Bryna McCarty ‘02 also moved on. Jenny Bruell Fisher ‘01 is transitioning out of the development office as we complete Funding the BMA Way: A Campaign for Excellence, our most successful fundraising initiative to date.  She is now working at Proctor Academy and maintaining close ties as we wrap up the campaign. We wish them all well and hope that they will continue to stay in touch. Following these departures I am happy to introduce the new members of the BMA staff and welcome them to our community.

Our new athletic trainer is Adam Perreault, who comes to us fresh from a 6-year stint with the US Ski Team. While there, he served as athletic trainer for the men’s alpine team from 2008-2012, and most recently for the Nordic combined team. Having been to two Winter Olympics (Vancouver and Sochi), Adam brings deep experience with our sport and we are very excited to have him on board. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Kinesiology in 2004, and received his master’s degree in Athletic Training from UVA in 2007. Adam also has experience as a ski patroller, and a long history with YMCA Camp Belknap on Lake Winnipesaukee. Adam will be living in Woods House with his wife, Alex, and their daughter Mabel who was born July 22.

Ben Clarke is joining the faculty as our French teacher. Ben taught recently at Lyndon Institute and he also has extensive experience teaching French at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. Ben received his BA from Kalamazoo College in English and Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from St. Michael’s College. He is incredibly enthusiastic about language learning and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of education.

We welcome back BMA alumnus Matt McKenna ’09 as Director of Alumni Relations and assistant FIS Coach. Matt graduated from Colby with a degree in History this May where he raced for four years and was the team captain his junior and senior years. We are happy to have a recent Burke graduate on staff and anticipate Matt will have a very positive impact on the BMA community.

Former staff member Jeff Sirjane is returning as a women’s FIS coach. Jeff brings over 30 years of ski racing and ski industry experience to Burke. A BMA Junior Program coach for the last several years, he was also a coach and equipment technician at BMA from 1980-84. After leaving Burke he worked in a variety of race department positions at Salomon, providing Junior Program support as well as World Cup Service from 1984-1996. In 1996 he joined the staff at World Cup Supply working in sales and providing safety installations for World Cup Events, US Alpine Championships, X-Games and several Red Bull Projects.  Jeff and his wife Penny (BMA ’81) have two daughters and live in Thetford, Vermont where he has been a Volunteer Firefighter and EMT.

We are excited to welcome back another Burkie! Alumnus and former BMA staff member Ryan Markham returns to BMA after a lengthy stint as the head coach of Jay Peak Ski Club.  Ryan graduated from BMA in 2000, was assistant women’s FIS coach and responsible for boot fitting when he was at BMA.  His responsibilities will include coaching our U14 athletes and serving as Head Coach of the BMA Junior Race Program. Ryan will lead this program forward, further strengthening it as it has grown from thirty to over one hundred athletes during my tenure.

It has been a busy summer at BMA, here are some of the highlights and things to look forward to in the coming year:

  • The campus has seen extensive renovation thanks to Rob Johnson, our Facilities Manager and his hardworking crew. The addition to Moulton House and renovation of the old apartment there is complete, a new staff apartment in Woods House has been created, the art room moved to the newly renovated space below Moulton, both Heib and Woods houses’ exteriors were stained, new steps have been built on both Frazier entrances and a structure was erected to protect the generator outside of Frazier.
  • We launched a brand new website thanks to Jon Rice and the technology committee!
  • Every faculty member participated in professional development opportunities over the summer.
  • The NEASC committee has been busily preparing for our 10 year reaccreditation and we look forward to welcoming their visiting team to campus in October.
  • Development at Burke Mountain has begun.  The Hotel foundation is complete and they are making great progress with an anticipated December 2015 opening.
  • We are designing terrain features on the lower training hill which will include widening the trail and snowmaking improvements. The intent is to utilize snowmaking to test the terrain features this winter with excavation occurring next spring.
  • We are hosting a number of races this winter including our customary age class races, Women’s Eastern Cups, U16 Men’s State Championships and Women’s NorAm Finals.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Kirk Dwyer