Staples students work the slopes


Dylan Donahue

Emily Duranko guides and glides 4-year-old Remy for the Little Cub program at Stratton Mountain on Jan. 19.

Staples students have jobs in town for many reasons. Sometimes it’s to get money for college, sometimes to buy a car and sometimes just for spending.

In fact, according to The Washington Times, sixteen percent of high school students have jobs.

But when winter rolls around, a few Staples students have jobs that are a little farther than “just around the corner” and provide them with other advantages than just getting paid.  These few students work at ski mountains.

Caitlin Hartmann ‘14, a ski instructor at Okemo Mountain, describes the job as a ski instructor as teaching four- to ten-year-olds the basics of skiing, like stopping and turning. An instructor also keeps the kids safe by riding the chairlift with them and making sure they don’t wander off.

Another Staples skier, Sonia Klein ‘16, works at Stratton, Vermont and is also a ski instructor. She agrees with Hartmann that it’s not all bunny slopes and hot cocoa for the instructors.

“Most of the time kids get dropped off when their parents want to ski freely, which results in the kid not wanting to be there,” Hartmann said. “Then there is crying and stomping feet, and those days feel very long.”

The job is also quite time consuming. “It takes up a lot of time, pretty much all day. And the car rides are pretty excruciating. It’s six hours every weekend, so fitting in homework can be difficult,” Hartmann said.

However, having such an unconventional job does have its advantages. Hartmann explains that ski employees get free passes and discounts. But besides discounts, there are other perks. “You make a lot of friends, and on days off you ski together,” Hartmann said. In addition, the classes you teach can be enjoyable. “If you get kids that want to learn to ski, then the day is really fun.”

Klein says that being a ski instructor is a great experiencel. Like Hartmann, for all her hard work, Klein is rewarded with free passes and ticket vouchers. But for her it’s also beneficial for her future. “It’s like a real job that adults would do, so it should be a good experience for my future.”