WILDCAT PROFILE: Wyeth Olmsted ’15

"Vermont Academy has helped me become a well-rounded student and person. I’ll leave here feeling like I can do anything."
Tell me a little about your family.
I live with my parents in Westmoreland, NH. My mom works at Eastern Mountain Sports, and my dad is an English professor at Landmark College.

How did you come to Vermont Academy?
I was looking for more support and opportunities than my public school could provide. I really liked the vibe of Vermont Academy when I visited and toured the classes. VA offered me the best opportunity for academic support, theater, and a snowboarding team.

When did you start snowboarding?
I was ten. My mom and I have a tradition of hitting the slopes together on Christmas Eve. Continuing the sport was important to me.

What’s Coach Kelly like?
He’s a great coach. All of the coaches and staff go out of their way to create memorable experiences. To celebrate the Sochi Olympics, they created the “Slope Style VA Olympics,” and we competed for medals. Coach Kelly gives us pointers on technique and style at Okemo. We hit the mountain up to six times a week. It’s a great deal

Do you have a favorite class?
I took cell biology with Mr. Collins my freshman year. I’ve always loved science, and the class affirmed my desire to study biology in college. I learned so much that was intriguing to me. Mr. Collins was tremendous about helping me outside of class. I have also really enjoyed being able to balance traditional academics like math and science with art and theater classes—particularly, my advanced theater class with Ms. Tadlock.

Have you experienced collaborative learning at Vermont Academy?
Teachers do a great job of breaking things down, encouraging class participation, and supplementing lectures with hands-on activities. In Dr. Cohn’s AP US history class, we’ll break into discussion groups after a short lecture. It generates a lot of elevated thinking.

In Ms. Tadlock’s advanced theater seminar, we explore and collaborate on diverse topics. In the fall, we looked at ways we could adapt Shakespeare— what was good about it, what was bad. My partner and I performed a 1920s-esque scene from Romeo and Juliet. Ms. Tadlock has brought so much to VA’s theater arts, including the 24-Hour Play Festival. I can’t wait until next year!

How has Learning Skills impacted you as a student?
I was diagnosed in eighth grade with dyslexia, so the support offered by Vermont Academy’s Learning Skills program was really important. As a freshman, I used a weekly block with Ms. Lanterman. In my sophomore year, I still dropped in for periodic help when needed. At this point, I’ve graduated from using the services. Mission accomplished!

Discuss how Vermont Academy is preparing you to reach your goals.
I’ve gained confidence in so many areas. I’ve also had the opportunity to try new things, like lacrosse, that turned out to be unexpected pleasures. Vermont Academy has helped me become a well-rounded student and person. I’ll leave here feeling like I can do anything.

How does the MAPS™ program benefit students?
It’s a great way for new students and their advisors to start a partnership. MAPS™ helped me to not only set goals but also prepare a plan to get there. Reaching my goals—to get a B+ or higher in chemistry and into the National Honor Society—was a real feeling of accomplishment. Wildcat bonus: Give a shout-out to Mom for Mother’s Day!

Going to Vermont Academy is definitely a family commitment, and my mom has done more than her share. So—thanks, Mom— I couldn’t have done it without you!

Education for Life - One Student at a Time

Vermont Academy is a coed college preparatory boarding and day school in southern Vermont, serving grades 9-12 plus a postgraduate year.