Due in part to the school’s growth spurt the past few years and the addition of the new nine-month academic program, Tao Smith, head of school at Killington Mountain School (KMS), recently announced that Freestyle Program Director Deb Newson has been named the new director of student life and assistant director of school operations for the ski academy. Matt Gnoza will be returning to his former position as the freestyle program director and remain the head mogul coach for KMS, but is also taking on the new role of director of sport development for KMS, where additionally he will oversee the freeskiing and snowboarding programs as well as athletic facility projects slated for KMS.
Newson has served as the freestyle program director and a freestyle coach for KMS for the past five years. Gnoza has been the Killington Ski Club (KSC)/KMS competitions program director and KMS head mogul coach. Gnoza will hand over the reigns of the weekend programs to Newson as well, who also will serve as the interim KSC/KMS weekend program director.
“We are experiencing incredible growth at KMS both academically and athletically and it was time to add an operations position to our team, and Deb is the perfect person to fill that role,” said Smith. “She will be responsible for the overall day to day operations of the school, ensuring that our academic programs work in tandem with our athletic ones in order to provide the best overall residential life experience for our student-athletes. Matt has been with the school’s competitions programs for many years and will start to take our freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding programs to the next level with anticipated facility and infrastructure improvements on the horizon. The two of them have been at KMS since the mid-90s and are at the backbone of what we do here at the school. It’s an exciting time for everyone at KMS.”
Newson became the freestyle program director in 2006 after serving the school as assistant program director and mogul coach since 1998. She has been the chairperson for the USSA Freestyle Membership Committee and for USSA Eastern Freestyle since 2003. Her coaching experience ranges from aspiring new student-athletes to working with veteran freestylers. Along with Gnoza, she coached US Olympic Freestyle Team Member Michael Morse (KMS ’99) as well as Junior World Dual Mogul Champion and US Ski Team Member Bryan Zemba (’10), and US Development Group members Nick Keating (’10) and Kelsey Alpert (’07). She holds a masters in secondary education from Castleton State College. Newson was the USSA Domestic Freestyle Coach of the Year and the USSA Development Coach of the Year in 2010.
Gnoza will oversee and coach all levels of the freestyle program including the weekend program up through the KMS full-time and Nor Am level student-athletes. Gnoza began coaching at Killington in 1994 and is a USSA Level 2 Aerial Coach. He was named the 2003 USSA Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year and was the 2002 and 2003 Junior World Coach for the US Freestyle Ski Team. Gnoza is a former USSA competitor with Loon, WVBBTS and the Killington program and is the current Eastern USSA Coaches Education Clinician. He is co-camp director and one of head coaches of PSI Bandit Ramp Camps and coaches at PSI Whistler and PSI Australia. He holds a bachelor of arts from Green Mountain College.