Silver Springs High School students treated to ‘classroom’ on the slopes | TheUnion.com

Silver Springs High School students treated to ‘classroom’ on the slopes

Submitted to The Union

In the second of a series of field trips to Squaw Valley, a dozen Silver Springs High School students were treated to lift tickets, rental equipment, and lessons Tuesday and Wednesday.

The whole package donated by the ski resort totals more than $300 per student.

Silver Springs principal Marty Mathiesen said students who are current with their schoolwork and pose no disciplinary problems at the continuation school are selected to go on the field trips.

Some of the students have never before been skiing or snowboarding, let alone visited a ski resort that is a destination spot for people from all over the world.

"It's both a reward and a learning experience all in one," said Mathiesen. "It's a bonding time with adults who are role models and care about the kids. We ski together and spend time on one of the most picturesque mountains in the world. Not many people get to see what we see.

"It's an experience the students don't forget."

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Senior Ryan Goetchius said his time on the slopes inspires him to do well in the classroom.

"Knowing I must earn the right to go on the trips helps me stay motivated to get my school work done and graduate," said Goetchius. "I love cruising on top of the mountain, soaking in the view of Lake Tahoe and The Village. Everyone is smiling and laughing going down the hill because they're having fun, even though they may be falling."

Another student found other aspects of the trip to appreciate.

"I like the adrenaline, the speed, the skill," said Junior Ivy Gerken. "It helps with concentration and focusing skills. It confirms that when I put my mind to something, I can actually do it."

Senior Rylan Krumbein said he loves the challenge of learning new skills.

"When I first started, I tried snowboarding and it was very difficult, so I switched to skiing," said Krumbein. "I've learned persistence, to keep practicing, and trying over and over again. I've definitely learned how to overcome obstacles. Plus, I've learned listening skills, such as paying close attention to the ski instructor."

Senior Tony Kendrick went on several trips last year, and said his abilities have improved dramatically this year.

"I was able to do a Front Side 180, which is an aerial maneuver," said Kendrick. "It's challenging and my knees' worst nightmare. "I've learned how to be a leader, and direct other kids how to promote happiness."

"On the mountain, there seem to be a lot of people who don't know what they're doing, and I enjoy helping them."

Mathiesen said the core values of the school are reinforced on the slopes, such as responsibility and accountability.

"We are like a 'traveling team' when we're up there, and we all look out for each other," said Mathiesen. "These trips open the doors to their hearts, which leads to trust and loyalty."

This is the third year Silver Springs students have been making bi-monthly treks up the hill during the winter. Over the course of the ski season, several dozen students accompany the principal and chaperones to the slopes.

Mathiesen has also arranged for interested students to get jobs at Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl ski resorts.

Source: Silver Springs High School