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VHS students will join ski school as mentors this year
By SARAH LOW
Now entering its 66th year, the Vashon Ski School, in partnership with Vashon High School, is gearing up for the ski season with a new mentorship program.
“Starting this year, we’re going to build opportunities for high school students to grow beyond their abilities on the snow,” said Robert Henry, a ski school board member and father of a ski school student.
In partnership with VHS, the ski school has developed a program where high school students can earn their community service credits.
Vashon Ski School (VSS) offers seven chaperoned Saturdays of ski or snowboard lessons and transportation to and from the mountain, from Jan. 4 to Feb. 22, for Vashon and commuting students.
While the majority of participating students tend to be middle school age, Henry said that some younger students have come with their parents, but they don’t usually have very many high schoolers.
“They are heading up the mountain on their own at this point,” he said.
Looking to enhance the program this year, ski school organizers approached VHS with the idea of mentorship opportunities for high schoolers. Now, experienced high school snowboarders and skiers can accrue their community service hours by buddying up with a younger VSS student. They will be supervised by adults while on the mountain, a requirement of the high school’s community service program. Henry said the adults would acts as senior mentors.
“We are really hoping to build a greater community and encourage ownership,” Henry said of the new collaboration.
Vashon Ski School offers ski and snowboard lessons through Ski Masters Ski School at Summit West at Snoqualmie Pass, with chaperoned bus transportation from the VHS parking lot to the mountain and back on designated Saturdays in January and February. Skill levels from beginner to expert can be accommodated, and scholarships are available.
The registration deadline for this season’s ski school is Nov. 15, though some extensions may be possible.
The Vashon Ski School will hold a ski swap and potluck on Saturday, Nov. 16. The swap to buy, sell or trade used gear and apparel will take place in the parking lot between Spider’s Ski and Sports and Saucy Sisters Pizza from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and an informational potluck will take place in the multipurpose room at McMurray Middle School at 7 p.m. For more information regarding either event, email k2powers@