Head of school at winter sports school wins administrator of the year award

WSS Admin

The Winter Sports School, now in its 31st year, announced that Ms. Tess Miner-Farra, Head of School, received the Administrator of the Year Circle of Excellence award from The Utah Association of Public Charter Schools.

Ms. Miner-Farra has led the school for seven years and currently oversees a student body of 110 student athletes. Awards were announced last night at the annual dinner held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton.

“Ms. Miner-Farra has the trustworthiness of our community, and we are so grateful for her dedication to our students, faculty, families and board,” stated Tim Gaylord, president of the Board of Trustees, Winter Sports School. “Her personal leadership qualities and understanding of our unique student-athlete needs make her a true leader and an excellent school administrator.”

The association’s mission is to provide advocacy, training and technical support that promote excellence in public charter schools throughout the state. There are 115 charter schools in Utah. Utah charter schools must be nonprofits. Like district schools, they rely on private companies for various services, including but not limited to legal work, HR/payroll, accounting, fundraising and more.

The Winter Sports School is the only public charter high school program in the United States with an academic calendar from April through November each year. The academic and athletic success of the WSS community over the past 30 years is remarkable. Graduates have won Olympic, World Championship, World Cup, National, Collegiate and Junior titles in multiple sports. The core purpose is to ensure that graduates are prepared to succeed at the college or university of their choice and to pursue and live a successful, rewarding adult life.

The school is in the final phase of a $5 million Reaching New Peaks capital campaign project that includes an 8,732-square-foot expansion to the current building, renovations to existing spaces, and the addition of a new amphitheater. The demand for existing school facilities has reached capacity.

To date, the school has raised $2.8 million, and the board is aggressively pursuing all funding opportunities to raise the remaining $2.2 million necessary to begin the project. As a public charter school, the Winter Sports School receives less funding per student than the public school district. The school relies on private contributions to supplement public funds to achieve educational goals.

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