Country School kindergarten students took to the ice Dec. 3 for their first learn to skate class of the season. Guided by professional instructors, students in the school’s lower grades are learning how to glide, stop and skate backwards. VIEW PHOTOS >>
Learning to skate is a rite of passage for Country School students dating back to the school’s inception over 100 years ago. Students skated on Hardon Pond from 1916 until the rink was built in 1957.
“We are so fortunate to have this lovely resource. In addition to being a great way to develop gross motor skills, skating gives us yet another way to help the children practice and ultimately master the art of resilience,” says Head of Early Childhood Beth O’Brien.
Upper grades enjoy a variety of opportunities to learn to play – and ultimately compete – in ice hockey. Beginning in fifth grade, Middle School students (Grades 5 & 6) are offered the opportunity to play co-ed hockey in an intramural league. By the time they enter Upper School (Grades 7-9), students are placed on ability based teams through a try-out period each season. Every student has a chance to participate at a level that complements his or her skill level, with offerings including a Co-ed JV team, a Varsity Boys’ team and a Varsity Girls’ team. These teams compete in the Fairchester Athletic Association and are frequently so successful they find themselves competing against high school freshman and JV teams.
The school has seen a number of its graduates go on to achieve high levels of success in both figure skating and ice hockey in secondary school, college and beyond. Notable alumni include A.J. Mleczko ’90 who competed as a member of the women’s USA ice hockey team, winning Olympic gold in 1998 and silver in 2002.