Winter Sports School has new Leader |

Winter Sports School has new Leader

By Cole Fullmer, The Park Record Staff

The Winter Sports School’s board of trustees has named Dave Kaufman, currently serving as Assistant Head of School, as Head of School. The change was implemented after Rob Clayton recently accepted the position of Executive Director at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

"The board members and the entire Winter Sports School community are grateful to Rob for his 11 years of leadership," said Tim Gaylord, WSS Board chair. "He has been very successful in growing the school, increasing its academic rigor, and refining its policies to best serve and educate young developing winter athletes. We now look to Dave to lead the school through the next phase of its evolution."

Part of the "next phase" is the completion of the recent initiative to become a Charter School within the state of Utah. The school has been recommended for approval by the Utah State Charter Board.

According to Kaufman, the school is now en route for final approval by the Utah State Office of Education, which should be determined by early April. If approved, raising the necessary funds to build a new facility, capable of meeting the anticipated growth as a tuition-free state school would follow.

"We’ve cleared the first hurdle," said Kaufman. "If we, the state of Utah and the Park City community come together to make those things happen, we’ll create an institution in the public interest the likes of which has never before been seen in the United States. I am tremendously excited to be part of that effort."

Kaufman has been with the WSS for the past five years. He was a marketing manager at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, Calif. for ten years prior to moving to the Park City community in 2007 with his wife Melinda and two children.

The WSS will begin its 20th year of classes on April 15.

"There are spots left for a few more students this year," said Kaufman. "I encourage interested families with dedicated and driven high school winter athletes to apply."

According to a press release, The Winter Sports School in Park City first opened its doors in 1994, and provides a college preparatory academic program for grades 9 through 12. Classes are held mid-April through mid-November, giving students time during the winter months to train and compete at the highest possible level in winter sports disciplines.

Notable alums in athletics include Steven Holcomb ’97, Julia Mancuso ’00, Ted Ligety ’02, Andrew Weibrecht ’03, Bryan Fletcher ’04, Alex Schlopy ’09, and Sarah Hendrickson ’12. The release also states recent graduates have enrolled at such institutions as Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Williams College, and Middlebury College. More information about the school is available at

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