Okemo Mountain School's Wendy Neal has been head of school since its beginning in the winter of 1991-92. She has been affiliated with Okemo Mountain Resort for more than 20 years. Neal recently tendered her resignation to the OMS board of directors but plans to stay on through the search for a qualified candidate and transition of her replacement.
"It will be business as usual for Okemo Mountain School," Neal said. "It's hard for me to leave, but it's time for a change. I hope that some new energy will benefit the school and take it to the next level."
Neal's husband, John Neal, has accepted a new position with Hunt Hollow Ski Club, in Naples, N.Y. She plans to pursue her passion for food and cooking through the expansion of her catering company called A Catered Affair.
Neal also plans to stay active with the resort's race program on a part-time basis after her OMS departure. "I don't intend to be fully out of skiing. It's a lifetime commitment," she said.
Many athletes have trained on the slopes of Okemo Mountain Resort as students at Okemo Mountain School. OMS students are motivated individuals and the school addresses the needs of these talented skiers and snowboarders, grades 7 through 12, by providing them with an opportunity to train daily and work toward their competitive athletic goals while maintaining high academic standards.
Academics are a priority during the full-time training and competition schedule. Instructional time is designed with a low student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to excel at subjects they might otherwise find challenging.