2021 Stories of the Year: 60 Years of Snowsports Instruction

PSIA-AASI wishes you and your family and friends a happy 2022! Here’s the final installment in our look back at the top stories of 2021, including the celebration of PSIA’s 60th Anniversary.

See you in the New Year!

The Evolution of Snowsports Education

View this article, by Nicholas Herrin, that originally appeared in the spring 2021 issue of 32 Degrees magazine. 

PSIA-AASI celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, highlighting six decades of instructional innovation that encompass new ways of sliding on snow and shaping adventures for students with a wide variety of abilities and backgrounds. Always striving to maintain the highest standards of expertise, we continue to focus on helping members grow as educators.

In teaching lessons during this challenging season, you likely found that the people-skills component of the Learning Connection model matters now more than ever. Interpersonal skills, so critical to creating a consistently engaging and welcoming learning environment for all students, received renewed focus from PSIA-AASI’s education leaders this year. Their commitment to aligning our certification standards with the Learning Connection across all disciplines is paying off with truly consistent assessment criteria for you and your fellow instructors. That’s a win in itself, and now our common sense of purpose creates a roadmap for embracing – and achieving – a culture of consistency that can inform how we work with our guests and peers on the slopes.

Education Staff Train to the New Certification Standards

PSIA-AASI has launched the new certification standards – and education staff across the country are training to the new standards so they can help you achieve your certification goals this season.

“Years in the making, every region is now using unified assessment tools,” said PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling. “The impact is consistency like we’ve never seen before.”

The new outcome-based system is built around the fundamental skills of great snowsports instructors. As defined in the Learning Connection, instructors will now train and develop skillsets in three areas: people skills, teaching skills and technical skills.

National Team Starts the Season

The PSIA-AASI National Team hit the snow together in October to kick off the season with a clear list of objectives and outcomes to help improve your member experience.

With their four-year term shortened to three-years, due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the 2021-24 team got off to a fast start. Their goals include: helping divisions onboard the new certification standards, supporting the Learning Connection by continuing to build on the inter-disciplinary ONEteam concept, and preparing for Interski 2023 in Levi, Finland.

Team Coach Jeb Boyd said, “Our goal is to ensure we’re on point with our ONEteam discipline initiatives, can function as a high-performing team, and we’re poised to provide training support for the National Strategic Alignment initiative. It was amazing to see how excited everyone was to roll up their sleeves and start working together as a team.”

Ed on Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award

In this podcast, First Chair catches up with Ed Younglove, who was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed’s patience and commitment to continuity has helped form the long-term vision of PSIA-AASI.

Meet Ed and hear his story about his PSIA-AASI journey and what he’s learned along the way. Ed was elected to the Northwest board in 1995, he’s served as President on the Northwest Board of Directors for five years, two terms as Chair of the Presidents Council, and most recently three terms as the Chair of the National Board of Directors.

Meet Me in the Mountains: How to Support DEI

Sheria Rosenthal, Co-Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, shares her snowsports story.  

It begins around my birthday in August… sun worshippers frolic in the sultry summer breeze while others retreat to the comfort of air conditioning. What am I thinking about? Moguls. Steeps. Deep powder. Incredulous friends often ask, “It’s summer and you’re thinking about skiing?! My usual reply is something like, “Is the sun hot?”

My journey to obsessed skier and rider got off to a shaky start, circa 1996 at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin. I was 19. Never having skied before, I was taken to the top and given the “sage” advice by my boyfriend at the time to “Just do what I do.” How many of us would be rich if we had a dollar for every time one of our friends or guests told us a similar story about their first snowsports experience? Lucky for me, that first day on skis turned out to be a lot of fun and made me want to stick with it.

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