Educational Excellence Award
The Educational Excellence Award recognizes those exceptional few members who have authored PSIA-AASI educational materials over the years. Through their commitment to improving educational resources to helping instructors make learning to ski or snowboard fun and easy for their guests, Blakeslee and Gerrish have both significantly added to, and changed, the educational direction of PSIA-AASI.
Blakeslee is a dedicated instructor who inspired many to be better skiers and teachers. A member of PSIA-AASI since 1981, she is a former member of the PSIA-AASI National Team (1996-2000), PSIA-AASI examiner emeritus for the Eastern Division, Nancy Oakes Hall Women’s Scholarship Committee Member, former Eastern Division Development Team coach, and author of A Conversation with Fear (formerly In the Yikes! Zone). At Windham Mountain, New York, she created and directs two one-of-a-kind programs, The Fear Workshop and PowerLearn®.
Blakeslee is committed to destigmatizing fear by showing that fear is not a weakness, and that students can use skills to overcome their fears. Her non-fiction book about the psychology of skiing and teaching, A Conversation with Fear (2012) helped many snowsports enthusiasts take their skills to the next level. She also supported PSIA-AASI educational products including Core Concepts for Snowsports Instructors. “Mermer wrote for the association and individually to highlight the importance of emotions and how they play into learning and teaching,” said Katie Ertl, senior vice president of mountain operations at Aspen Skiing Company, sharing that Blakeslee promoted, “the importance of soft skills, relationship building, and connection to the guest.”
Gerrish’s dedication to education has landed her squarely in the development of several PSIA-AASI publications, including Core Concepts for Snowsports Instructors, the Children’s Instruction Manual, 2nd edition, the Alpine Children’s Teaching Handbook, and the Snowboard Teaching Handbook. In total, Gerrish has helped author or review seven PSIA-AASI educational products. A member of PSIA-AASI for over 30 years, her credentials include Rocky Mountain Division Trainer, and Rocky Mountain Children’s Education Committee Chair, and Children’s Specialist Task Force member.
In addition to her writing, she is a great teacher. “Any clinic she offers will have a wait list,” said Greg Willis, Sr. Director Skier Services at Beaver Creek Resort. “She inspires others to better themselves and grow as educators by delivering the information with a fresh perspective that is incredibly creative, and effective.”
Listen to this podcast that features Stacey Gerrish as she talks about her contributions to PSIA-AASI to help improve educational resources for members.