As the head of Sugar Bowl Academy, former alpine racer Tracy Keller
is raising a young school right BY BRYCE HUBNER
Three years ago, California’s Sugar Bowl Academy (SBA)
— a young school already boasting tremendous successes
— knew it needed to find exactly the right leader to shepherd
a second decade of growth. It needed someone who un-
derstood the dynamics of marrying top-tier academics and
athletics. Someone who fully understood and embraced the
idiosyncrasies of ski racing. Someone with the wherewithal,
energy and vision to — borrowing from Jim Collins — make
a good school great.
Enter former Dartmouth racer Tracy Keller, for whom SBA
did not have to look far despite a global search.
“Our process included candidates from around the world,”
says Bill Hudson, the executive director of the Sugar Bowl
Ski Team Foundation. “In the end, the board of trustees and
myself kept returning to Tracy. Her combined knowledge of
skiing and academics is really hard to find — there was just
no doubt that we had the best person for the job already on
Keller had worked as an SBA dorm parent, teacher and
coach before taking on administrative roles at the school —
first as the dean of students and college counselor, then as
interim and finally full-time head of school.
“Even though I’ve been here since I was just out of college,”
Keller says, “I feel like I’m just settling into [my new posi-
Modesty about the transition aside, Hudson says that in the
two years she’s been head, Keller’s leadership has already
brought immense progress for SBA.
“Tracy has been charged with growing the full-time student