What Do I See?

Division Directors' Blog
Posted on October 24, 2013
by Travis Aldrich, Upper School Director

As the Upper School Director, I have the opportunity to see VMS through a unique lens. No two days are the same, and I am sure that if I had my own reality TV crew following me around, we could tell some great stories. I’m also new to the community, and many of the defining traditions and daily occurrences that are old hat to VMS veterans still blow me away.

Much like Scout turning around and reminiscing from the Radley porch, I want to take this opportunity to share some of the images that have stuck with me after my first few months at VMS.

• I’ve seen seen a freshman and a senior in a duckie drenched in water and laughing hysterically as they attempted to avoid a deluge from water guns on their rafting trip.

• I’ve seen hard-working, dedicated teachers, come together as one to focus on a common goal during faculty work week.

• I’ve seen lower school students look up at me expectantly as I read to their Kindergarten class each week.

• I’ve seen the same Kindergarten class laugh as they confuse me with K.C. Lasher–again.

• I’ve seen a community come together over tragedy and show what support and love really means.

• I’ve seen a serendipitous double rainbow over the school when all the parents were in the building for Back to School Night that could be nothing other than a good omen.

• I’ve seen new juniors arrive for their first day knowing no one and leave eight hours later feeling accepted and welcomed into an already tight peer group.

• I’ve seen two teammates advance the ball up the field together and score knowing that the assist is just as important as the shot.

• I’ve seen a faculty member who was a high school student in New York City in 2001 give a touching tribute to 9/11.

• I’ve seen students laugh uncontrollably in a class using improv performance to teach creative writing.

• I’ve seen parents laugh as they get lost trying to find classrooms on Back to School night.

• I’ve seen the seniors reflect on how they will be immortalized in the yearbook and realize that the year is passing quickly, and soon, they will be in college.

• I’ve seen a new high school teacher take a kindergartner’s hand and help her find her mother in carpool.

• I’ve seen deeply caring upper school teachers lead informative, personal ninth grade conferences.

• I’ve seen a fifth grader do a happy dance after winning tickets to a Broncos game at the Raffle drawing.

• I’ve seen the volleyball team work in unison and celebrate in unison–both unfolding as if they were planned.

• I’ve seen an Upper School student continually ask his art class, “What did the fox say?”

• I’ve seen a senior and a kindergarten student who share the same name also share a story as book buddies.

I see, VMS.

About Vail Mountain School

Founded in 1962, Vail Mountain School is a K-12, coed, independent school in Vail, Colorado. Our philosophy is to provide a demanding, college preparatory, liberal arts education in an atmosphere of mutual respect between faculty and students, where nurturing a healthy self-concept and stimulating academic inquiry are parallel objectives. Intentionally designed cross-age programs promote role modeling, responsibility, self confidence, and a sense of community. Our location in the Rocky Mountains allows us to integrate the outdoors into the academic and cultural fabric of the school through hut trips, all-school Ski Fridays, and other experiential learning opportunities. The result: our graduates possess a quiet confidence that serves them well in college and in life—confidence to assert themselves in their first college level essays; to raise their hand in a class of hundreds; to live on their own for the first time, to meet with and engage their professors; and to lead among their peers.