SSCV Academic Staff

Annie Blakslee

Advancement Manager
Annie Blakslee

Advancement Manager

Annie was born in Vail, Colorado where some of her earliest memories include skiing on Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains, on Vail Nordic trails, and at the 10th Mountain Huts. In high school she joined the SSCV’s Nordic Comp team and learned what it meant to be a part of a team full of hardworking, kind individuals.

She graduated from Vail Mountain School and attended Bates College in Lewiston, ME where she majored in Environmental Studies and Education. She skied all four years on their Nordic Team which took her on adventures throughout the beautiful New England region and Canada. She was a writer and editor for the Bates Student newspaper, and integrated her passion for teaching by volunteering in local schools. For two summers Annie taught at Vail Mountain School’s SummerQuest program and enjoyed learning from mentor teachers and connecting with many students in our valley. Additionally, she spent time during the summers working at events for a local non-profit.

Annie comes to SSCV with an understanding and appreciation for the role of education and athletics in cultivating a well-rounded individual. She is looking forward to learning alongside both students and athletes as a new member of the Advancement team.

Sarah Delany

Lead Academic Coach
Sarah Delany

Lead Academic Coach

Sarah Delany is a recent graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, ME. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and looking forward to bringing her past experiences to Colorado. While growing up in Chicago, IL, Sarah often visited and skied at Steamboat Springs with her grandparents. Sarah graduated from Glenbard West High School, where she took AP courses in Calculus, Physics C, US and European History, Literature, Language, Macroeconomics, and US Government. Sarah graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies, and coursework in environmental science, biology, physics, philosophy, literature, and music. She was a member of the women's ultimate frisbee team, an outdoor orientation trip leader and a College Representative at Sunday River in Newry, Maine.

Most recently, Sarah was a Trail Guide and an Operations Intern at Wilderness Inquiry, an inclusive outdoor recreation nonprofit in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she led basecamping hiking trips for groups of differently abled participants, families, youth, and adults on the Superior Hiking Trail and in Glacier National Park. Prior to her work at WI, Sarah worked at the HoneyRock Outdoor Center for Leadership Development in Three Lakes, Wisconsin first instructing flatwater and whitewater canoeing to students ages 8-16, then as a counselor for a high school program.

During Sarah’s time on the women's ultimate frisbee team at Bates, she was a two-time runner up at the USA Ultimate DIII College Championship. Sarah completed a senior thesis titled "Climbing the Glass Mountain: Gender Equity in the Alpine Guiding Industry," and is passionate about increasing the diversity of the outdoors, particularly through offering opportunities to traditionally underserved communities. Additionally, Sarah is an alum of the National Outdoor Leadership School, and constantly utilizes the technical and interpersonal skills gained through that course in her professional life.

Sarah is looking forward to working with student-athletes in the classroom, and to providing the mentorship and support needed to help them develop into well-rounded individuals. She’s excited to “live and work in the excellent community that SSCV provides, and to work with motivated students who are pursuing their passion.”

Zach Gilliam

Academic Coach
Zach Gilliam

Academic Coach

Zach is a world traveler that grew up in and around Memphis, TN. His hobbies include cycling, bouldering, problem solving, playing music, spending time with his dog (Mr.Bud),and playing music. He started playing guitar in 6th grade and has served as a studio guitarist, released 4 albums, and toured the country with several artists.

He attended the University of Memphis, where he studied Education with a concentration in middle grades which prepared him to teach a variety of middle school math, science and humanities classes. During that time, he excelled in completing an entire year of residency in a 7th grade Math classroom, aced the edTPA assessment, and began working with an arts-based after school program.
After graduation, Zach moved to Nashville, TN, where he continued to teach a variety of mathematics classes for the next 5 years. He started as an assistant coach in 2014 and became the boys head basketball coach of DuPont Tyler Middle Prep in 2016.

Since then, Zach has become a published author and continues to encourage and inspire others through kindness, creativity, and relationships. Zach enjoys working with youth in personal, academic, and athletic capacities. He is beyond excited to spend time in the mountains and work with the wonderful staff and students of SSCV.

Carlie Harrison

RSES/SSCV Cooperative Program Coordinator
Carlie Harrison

RSES/SSCV Cooperative Program Coordinator

Carlie was born and raised in the Vail Valley, attended Vail Mountain School, and grew up skiing on Vail Mountain. After graduating from VMS, she went to the University of Denver where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Integrated Sciences and Spanish. At DU, Carlie was the president of her student organization DU Service and Change, was a coxswain for the DU Rowing Team, and wrote a culminating Honors Thesis for her Spanish major.

After college, Carlie moved back home to Eagle County to work as a ski instructor and most recently, as part of a trail crew working on the fourteener peaks across the state. In addition to teaching skiing, Carlie also previously coached gymnastics in Vail. She loves working with kids and held various positions in Denver as an environmental educator for summer camps and programs. She is super excited to be working with RSES/SSCV student athletes and help lead them to success in finding their balance between athletics and academics!

Mary-Kate Litchfield

Academic Coach
Mary-Kate Litchfield

Academic Coach

Mary-Kate Litchfield is a former Fort Wayne, IN native who has been living in Colorado for the last five years. And while there might not be any mountains in Indiana, Mary-Kate learned to ski at the age of 26 right here in Vail and has been hooked ever since. A long-time educator and coach, she has worked at various schools around the country and has been working in the valley for over three years. Before arriving at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy for the 2020-21 school year, Mary-Kate spent three years teaching 7th-grade math at Berry Creek Middle School in addition to serving as a track coach at Battle Mountain High School for the last two spring seasons. 

When asked what she is looking forward to the most about being an academic coach, Mary-Kate stated, “As someone who has always had a passion for serving others, I am thrilled to have this opportunity. Over the next year, I hope to continue to build relationships with students and staff that foster academic growth and success.”

Owen Marsh

Academic Coach
Owen Marsh

Academic Coach

Owen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Westchester County, New York, and grew up skiing in the Catskill Mountains of New York and White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine. He recently graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont, where he majored in Political Science and took various courses in Economics, Mathematics, and History. His senior year, he completed his thesis on the political theory of criminal punishment, a full year project. Outside of the classroom, Owen sang in The Dissipated Eight, the college's oldest a capella group. Taking over as president his junior year, Owen was responsible for coordinating and planning performances, maintaining a client schedule, organizing and running rehearsals, and effectively publicizing the group. Over the summers, Owen has worked in multiple digital marketing positions in greater New York, as well Camp Dudley in the Adirondacks, at which Owen was responsible for a division of campers and cabin leadership. In high school, Owen took AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP US History, AP Spanish, AP English, and AP Macroeconomics, and worked for an SAT tutoring company during his senior year. After growing up on the East Coast, Owen is excited to move out west to start his career teaching, skiing, and helping others along the way.

Sharon Schmidt

Director of Advancement
Sharon Schmidt

Director of Advancement

Sharon joined SSCV in 2013. In her role as Director of Advancement, Sharon is responsible for overseeing all SSCV development initiatives (including the Annual Campaign, Academic Fund in support of Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy students, off-snow special events and sponsorships), full-time admissions, communications, alumni relations and academics (the Academic Coach program which supports Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy athletes and the SSCV/Red Sandstone Elementary School Cooperative Arrangement which supports full-time four day a week athletes attending RSES).

Sharon brings with her an in-depth knowledge of one of SSCV’s academic partners, Vail Mountain School, where she was the Director of Development for three years. Sharon is also no stranger to ski and snowboard club and academy life. For 6+ years she served as Director of Development and Communications, along with performing a variety of other tasks, at Waterville Valley Academy and the BBTS Snowsports Club in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Prior to that, Sharon made use of her business skills and law degree from Cornell Law School as an attorney at a large Boston law firm followed by in-house corporate roles in the real estate development and high tech industries.

Sharon is the parent of an SSCV and NCAA Division 1 ski racer alumnus.

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