Instructors Share Praise for Educational Excellence Award-Winner Dave Schuiling

PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling was awarded the Educational Excellence Award at National Academies in Big Sky, Montana, last month, at the annual Awards & Recognition Night, honoring excellence in instruction.

The Educational Excellence Award recognizes members who authored or helped develop educational materials or resources related to teaching snowsports or the snowsports industry.

In accepting the award, Dave said he felt the award honored the hard work, insight, “and collaboration of everyone in the room,” adding how grateful he is to be a part of the snowsports instruction community.

Snowsports instruction leaders who nominated Dave for the honor, including PSIA-AASI CEO Peggy Hiller, Interski International President Eric Sheckleton, and International Association of Education and Science in Snowsports President Dr. Dieter Bubeck, all spoke of his ability to create, guide, and achieve common goals for the benefit of snowsports instructors.

Here are just a few highlights from the nomination letters for Dave Schuiling:

“I have had the pleasure of working with Dave in many roles since 2016. The main role has been in the alignment project, which has involved working across all disciplines and all regions to garner conceptualization, creation of, and agreement on, the National Standards, all of which have been re-worked and re-structured. In addition to this work, which I expect many committee members will be familiar with, Dave has also pioneered the development of Performance Guides and the use of Unified Assessment Forms in addition to supporting resources and e-learning courses. Further, he has pioneered the collaboration with Penn State University, which, in addition to the already mentioned alignment project components, includes the development of a Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) system and online courses that will lead to opportunities for university credits for members.”

— Pete Allison, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Values and Experiential Learning, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Penn State University

“Dave was with Rocky Mountain until 2014 when he accepted a position as the Director of Education for the national office. While I was sad to see him go, I was thrilled that he would have the opportunity to have an impact across all regions. I knew that he would quickly create the very connections and build the trust necessary to evoke changes in our credentialing system, which was long needed. Under Dave’s guidance, Rocky Mountain began the examiner exchange program. For years, we had watched the unintended consequence of the inconsistencies across the country negatively impact staff and members alike. However, under the current structure there was no easy way to address this, as everyone has an equal say, and everyone was quite enamored by their system. It was with a delicate touch, building trust under a non-assuming humble leader such as Dave, that we saw huge successes in the program. It is that very program that is now, 12 years later, known as QAE. Our country has long struggled to align in all areas of our business; however, with commitment, vision, and perseverance under the guidance of Dave, our educational group has achieved its goal toward QAE.”

Dana Forbes, CEO, PSIA-AASI Rocky Mountain

“Dave has been a masterful conductor of a huge divergent group. During his tenure, all our educational focus, direction, materials, etc., have constantly been evolving and challenged to make sure we are as current and innovative as possible. As an organization, we’ve received strong endorsements both internationally and domestically for our educational material and cutting-edge thought. Even with this amount of recognition and success, Dave is still challenging our organization to keep being innovative and progressive.”

Mike Porter, Past National Demo Team Member and Coach