Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers (BBTS) is proud of its student-athletes, and evidence of that could be found everywhere at the December 18th ribbon-cutting for the new addition at Waterville Valley Academy (WVA). Students greeted community members as they walked through the doors and promptly offered to take them on a tour of the addition as well as Pickering Hall, an existing classroom space. Guests were welcomed to the new community meeting room lined with over 35 student projects ranging anywhere from artwork to written work to math and science projects. A designated section was in place for the works of the first-ever 8th grade Middle School Classroom Program, which follows a curriculum written by WVA Faculty.
As part of a brief presentation, CEO and Executive Director, Peter Stokloza, thanked the community members for opening their arms up to BBTS and how grateful the organization is to be a part of the Waterville Valley community.
The Chair of the Selectmen, Joan Sweeney, then spoke about how exciting it was for the town to have the new addition and of the importance of WVA and BBTS to the town of Waterville Valley. Most importantly, Sweeney reminded the crowd of what BBTS is so proud of: the organization does not just create good athletes; it creates good people.
WVA senior, Leslie Stratton, proved Sweeney’s statement to be right. Stratton spoke to the crowd of about 100 as to the impact the academy has had on her life. At just 18, she spoke to the townspeople with poise, as she had spoken to a crowd of 400 on December 5th at BBTS Coaches Night, its season opening celebration. Stratton’s voice sliced through the room as she told the community four key ways WVA has influenced her life. It has created for her a sense of belonging, self-confidence, self-realization and personal responsibility.
To wrap up the presentation, Sweeney, Tom Day General Manager of Waterville Valley Ski Area, Donald Jasinski, head of the Planning Board and Robert Mann, WVBBTS Chairman of the Board joined Stokloza at the front of the room for the traditional cutting of the ribbon.
As one last special surprise, a group of WVA students put together a musical performance for the crowd with the guidance of Susan Hancock, the Director of Residential Life, who played the acoustic guitar and inspired the kids to play together. The group played a delightful rendition of the song “Satellite” by Guster, earning themselves an enthusiastic applause from everyone in attendance.
WVA had the opportunity to showcase many of its student-athletes Friday evening and demonstrate to the community why the organization is so confident in them. Between the tours, works, speakers and performances, BBTS has every reason to be proud.
Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers Ski Educational Foundation operates Waterville Valley Academy, a full time five month college preparatory academic and snowsports training academy for alpine racers, freestyle skiers and snowboarders in Waterville Valley, NH.