Burke Mountain Academy
Address: East Burke, Vermont
Head of School: Willy Booker, ’96
Sports: Alpine Ski Racing
Grades: 8th – PG
Category: Full year traditional ski academy, Full year school with 8th-grade winter term option
- Applications are open from September 1-April 15.
- We accept applications after April 15, though decisions are made on a space-available basis after this date.
Staff/Student Ratio: 1:3. 69 students. 8 winter term students, 1 day student
Full Time Boarding Cost: $57,891
Winter Term Cost: $40,839
Financial aid: Need-based financial aid
Academic Approach: BMA’s academic program is college-preparatory in nature, but our objectives encompass a large vision and a broader horizon, stretching beyond the traditional classroom and into one’s fuller, later life. All members of the community strive to instill and support the confidence to take intellectual risks, to value hard work, and to be driven to pursue individual intellectual growth. Certain distinguishing characteristics of our program both reflect and reaffirm our educational philosophy. Since its founding, BMA has never given grades to mark the completion of courses in our curriculum. Indeed, we believe that the primary motivation for academic work must come from within our students. Working toward some arbitrary measure of performance can undermine a central community value of BMA: learning for learning’s sake. We think that, all too often, grades may cause students to work for the wrong reasons. Instead, what we strive to foster is an atmosphere best described by the idea of students having true dialogues with teachers, both in and out of our classrooms. The academic component of Burke’s educational philosophy seeks to develop a personal commitment to life-long learning. Three fundamental principles define the core of our academic program: 1. Stimulating intellectual curiosity 2. Developing critical skills 3. Building content and conceptual understanding In lieu of grades, at the conclusion of each semester, our teaching faculty writes comprehensive evaluations of each student’s progress in every course. This process of assessment encourages students to recognize individual challenges and opportunities and to work toward self-improvement – which is, in our eyes, the real purpose of education. We are convinced that continuing growth is always possible. There are three components to Comprehensive Evaluations: Intellectual Character traits, Course-Specific Narratives, and Course-Specific Subject Competencies.
Athletic Approach: The athletic life of a Burke student is an integral part of Burke’s overall philosophy of striving for excellence. We pride ourselves on being a community of leaders in both the athletic arena and in academic life. Burkies are united as a community of unique and talented individuals who together create a common personality with hard work at the center of everything we do. The focus is consistent across our program on the effort and the process. BMA's athletic program is structured around the High-Performance Model, embracing all the nodes of performance to immerse our students in an elite athletic lifestyle: this means consistently working to improve our on-snow venue, mental training, nutrition, and equipment; implementing current research into youth athletic development, physical conditioning and sport science and delivering a comprehensive year-round program. Burke athletes typically experience a dramatic growth in self-esteem, confidence, coordination and conditioning. Part of becoming a Burke athlete is switching from a part-time competitor to a year-round program of regular training, including a variety of sports, and specific rest periods. It takes time to learn how to make both the physical and psychological commitment required to reach one’s goals. Nevertheless, the sooner one begins to develop the necessary self-discipline, work habits, and love of training, the better.
Notable Coaches: Brad Wall ‘97, Athletic Director; JP Daigneault, Head Men’s FIS; Kyle Darling, Head Women’s FIS; Jake Fisher, Head U16 Women; Bryna Mccarty, U16 Women; Jeff Sirjane, FIS Men; Kraig Sourbeer ‘83, FIS Women; Jimmy Whiteley, FIS Women; Ali Spencer, FIS Women; Thomas Woolson, FIS Men; Peter Ostroski, FIS Men; Christine Booker, U14 coach; Garrett Quimby, U14 coach
Notable Alumni: Mikaela Shiffrin ‘13, Nolan Kasper ’07, Liz Stephen ‘05 (Nordic), Ida Sargent ‘06 (Nordic), Tommy Biesemeyer ‘08, Nina O’Brien ’14, Ronnie Berlack ’12, Erik Schlopy ‘90, Jesse Hunt ‘83, Chip Knight ‘93, Diann Roffe ‘85, Julie Parisien Nuce ‘89, Bryna McCarty ‘02 Thomas Grandi ‘90, Eric Villiard ‘89
Our alumni network stretches across a vast global expanse and wide variety of professions. Burke graduates possess skills that serve them well as entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and avant-garde thinkers.
Although never relinquishing their passion for skiing, Burkies are empowered to seek new challenges in an ever-expanding array after leaving our campus behind.
• Gregg Brockway ’84 – Founder of Hotwire and TripIt
• Alex Cranmer ’93 – Film and television actor
• Billy Kawaja ’96 – President of Culinary Capers Beijing
• Corinne Prevot ’09 – Founder and President of Skida Headwear
Training Facilities: Burke Mountain Academy is on the side of Burke Mountain, and our students can walk to the base of our training hill. BMA and the ski area have partnered to invest $2M in enhancing what has already been widely regarded as one of the best training venues in the USA. Enhancements include a new high-speed T-bar, top of the line snowmaking upgrades and site work to excavate and widen our primary training venue. In addition, BMA’s agreement with Burke Mountain is one of our greatest strengths and a prime differentiator. BMA has unfettered access to training through the entire winter on a variety of trails, including but not limited to Warren’s Way, site of 2017 Women’s tech Nor-Ams, and Dippers, where we hosted men’s Eastern FIS Super G and GS series in March of 2018. Off snow, our athletes train in the Ronnie Berlack Center, the first of the US Ski Team’s designated High Performance Centers. The RBC is a 14,000 sq’ center for conditioning, sport science, research, athletic training and, most importantly: fun and games! We’re also proud to announce a recent upgrade to our equipment facilities in the form of reinvestment in the Glover Tech Center, home to a Montana Saphir automated stone grinder and full-time technician and equipment manager.
Additional Information: Along with academics and athletics, the Burke community is the very core of the school. To be part of a community requires that certain sacrifices are made for the good of all and in turn many rewards are gained. Burke was founded on the premise that adults and teenagers alike could share and commit to a common set of values, morals and goals. Every member of the Burke community becomes an integral working part of a tradition of striving for the very best in the human spirit. Through both pain and joy, the community shares the complex and difficult tasks of education, athletics, and personal growth.
Burke Mountain Academy Mission Statement: Burke Mountain Academy Mission Statement: Burke Mountain Academy provides passionate ski racers the opportunity to pursue their limitless academic and athletic potential in a community based on trust. We embrace an ethos in which hard work is held in the highest esteem, and believe risking failure and learning from success are exceptional preparation for life beyond Burke.