This distinction is a testament to Gould’s top-notch coaching staff and facilities, which are the result of significant investments and forethought by Gould, its board of trustees, and its donors. The Alera Group Competition Lift and slopeside Kailey Competition Center at Sunday River, as well as Pine Hill Nordic Center, fitness center, trampoline room, and dry slope airbag all give Gould athletes a competitive edge. The newly renovated Lieblein Performance Center features Wintersteiger Easystore ski racks and boot dryers, as well as the home of Speedworks, a dedicated Wintersteiger tuning facility staffed with full-time techs from Sunday River.
Gold certification could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our on-snow coaching staff. Helmed by Athletic Director Ben Kamilewicz ’95 and On-Snow Program Manager Deb Costello, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Podium Club Certification Program requires a rigorous, mission-driven self-assessment and review of best practices in many areas of organizational performance. That exercise was greatly beneficial. Taking a deep dive into policies, procedures, and principles allowed Gould to recognize and understand where the program could be strengthened and improved.
“U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognizes the power of our program, it reaffirms that the national governing body sees great value in what we’re offering to our students,” says Kamilewicz. “Our commitment to snow sports and our athletes and coaches will continue to set the pace with the best in the country.”
The review process looked at the institution as a whole. Gould’s academic program, advisory system, and cultural enrichment opportunities continue to be peak student experiences, preparing them for a life of action and excellence beyond their competitive careers.
“Gould Academy has demonstrated excellence in all areas and is recognized as an important partner of U.S. Ski & Snowboard and a leader among ski and snowboard clubs.” says U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club Development Manager Ellen Adams. “As a Gold certified club, Gould Academy serves as a model of excellence, both organizationally and athletically, and is a valuable resource to winter sport in the U.S.”
Gould’s location in Bethel, Maine is of paramount importance to the school and factored heavily into the certification. Proximity to Sunday River Resort (six miles) is a remarkable asset, but even more significant is the unique and strong partnership between the two organizations.
“The impact Gould has on Sunday River and our local community is immeasurable.” says Sunday River Resort President Dana Bullen P’12, ’14. “It continues to be the strongest business relationship I have ever been involved in.”
Four mornings a week, Gould competitive skiers and snowboarders begin their winter school day on the hill with unmatched access to training, support from the resort, and the most reliable early-season snow in the East. Competitive Nordic athletes train year-round and enjoy 40+ kilometers of groomed trails on campus at our Pine Hill facility that features a biathlon course.
The addition of High Performance Director Trent Rosenberg ’13 also helped Gould gain the Gold. Trent has created a consistent year-round strength and conditioning program that works directly with primary coaches. The new Fellowship Program is an investment in people that aims to develop and retain young professionals as coaches while they work towards a master's degree.
Beyond the competitive on-snow programs at Gould, winter and snow are in the DNA of the school. Over eighty percent of students travel to the mountain daily in the winter. Renowned experiential programs like Ski Instruction allow students to coach local elementary school children. The Ski Patrol program at Gould is one-of-a-kind. The only high school program recognized by the National Ski Patrol, Gould students train with seasoned Sunday River patrollers and have the opportunity to become “jacketed” ski patrollers themselves after 80+ hours of work and testing at the mountain.
Winter permeates Gould’s academic curriculum as well, from snow-making science in the chemistry labs to handbuilding skis and snowboards in a dedicated workshop classroom. Gould’s signature Four Point Program includes a nine day/eight night winter camping excursion into the White Mountain National Forest. Centered on awareness of their surroundings, their classmates, and themselves, students discover their role in a group, and learn that they are capable of doing challenging things.
Current Gould families have always known about the high level of instruction and support at the school, but this certification will help bolster Gould’s reputation globally, and help set it apart from other institutions. The Gold certification will provide coaches with unique professional development opportunities and other supports that will help to advance the school.
“The Certification program gives our clubs the resources they need to assess and improve their structure and programs to meet their organizational goals and the goals of the thousands of U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes across the US.” says U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sport Education Director Gar Trayner.
One goal of the program and the certified clubs is to increase the number of high level athletes in the pipeline to represent the United States at the international level. President of the National Brotherhood of Skiers and current Gould Parent Henri Rivers P’26 further reinforces the importance of this certification for Gould.
“The National Brotherhood of Skiers is extremely excited that Gould Academy has achieved the US Ski and Snowboard Certified Club Gold designation,” he says. “This expands the pathway for our student athletes to pursue the highest level of academic and athletic performance at one of the premier academies in the country. We look forward to continuing our partnership with this remarkable institution. Congratulations! Go Huskies!”