Although I wasn’t offered the director’s position, I happily took a job as assistant director. When the director resigned seven years later, I moved into that position and have been managing the Snow Sports School at Gore Mountain ever since. I also started working as the Region 6 represen- tative for PSIA-AASI’s Snowsports School Management Committee, and was actively involved in presenting sessions each year at our annual Eastern Snowsports School Management Seminar. This past spring, 2018, I was appointed chair of the Snows- ports School Management Committee. While working in management, my MBA gave me a broader perspective of the business world, which I applied to my organization and daily operations of the school.

Author Gail Setlock and Jimmer Hayes, an Eastern Division Adaptive examiner, stop to take a selfie.

My early days at Greek Peak, where I was surrounded by so many successful PSIA instructors, provided the experience to propel me into the ski industry so I could become the snowsorts professional I am today.

and then made it to examiner status. Seeing this I thought, “I want to be an examiner too someday.” After graduating college, I moved back

home to the Adirondack Mountains and got a part-time job ski instructing at Gore Moun- tain. I was clearly dedicated to instructing, and my full-certification pin gave me cred- ibility, so I was soon promoted to a trainer for the mountain staff. During this same time, I returned to

school to get my master’s degree in busi- ness administration, thinking that it could someday help me to get a managerial posi- tion in the ski industry. It was a great time; my life was filled with teaching and learn- ing. I worked weekends teaching skiing and training staff, and during the weekdays I focused on my studies while also working a full-time job as case manager and recre- ation therapist for people with developmen- tal disabilities. After graduating in 1998, I continued to instruct part-time so I could continue pursuing my passion of helping others learn to be better skiers.

TAKING TEACHING AND LEARNING TO THE NEXT LEVEL For many years, Skiing magazine ran an annual feature called “Top 100 Ski Instruc- tors of North America,” and in the first and second seasons of that article (1995-96) I was honored to be selected as one of the “Top 100.” I was 15+ years into my part-time career and already receiving national attention. I still had the goal of becoming an exam-

iner, and Brian Smith, another Gore Moun- tain instructor and now a PSIA-AASI National Team member, encouraged me to pursue that dream. In March 2002 I made the Eastern Development Team, then started working toward my ETS (Examiner Training Squad) exam. When I passed, I attained a role as an Eastern Division alpine examiner. My career arc continued its upward trajectory

when, in Fall 2002, Gore Mountain announced they were looking to hire a snowsports school director. Earlier in the year, I had been laid-off from my full-time job, and I saw this as a great opportunity to pursue my childhood dream of working full-time in the ski industry.

ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS AND A WELL-LOVED JOB Looking back at my career path, I attained my childhood dream of being a ski instruc- tor and even went beyond that by work- ing as a ski school director. My early days at Greek Peak, where I was surrounded by so many successful PSIA instructors, provided the experience to propel me into the ski industry so I could become the snowsorts professional I am today. I still keep in touch with some of my co-work- ers from those early days – there are more than seven of us who all worked at Greek Peak in the 1980s that have moved on to become PSIA-AASI education staff members here in the East. My 34 years at Gore Mountain have also provided me with wonderful experiences and opportunities to meet and work with some wonderful people. I have been fortu- nate to work in the ski industry as a full- time, year-round employee for the past 18 years – and yes, I do love my job. I encour- age my staff to pursue their dreams, as there are a lot of ways to pursue a career in the snowsports industry. Talk to those around you to learn their stories to build your own career arc.

Gail Setlock, who has earned Alpine Level III and Children’s Specialist 2 credentials, is the snow- sports school director at Gore Mountain in New York. She’s been a member of PSIA-AASI since 1980.

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