Craig Combs started his residential life career in his own high school of Shawnigan Lake School, a small boarding school outside of Victoria, B.C. After high school he moved to Truckee to start his career at SBSTA and the University of Nevada, Reno. While in college he coached Mighty Mites and the Development team for Sugar Bowl Ski Team. After receiving his Bachelors in Education he moved on to coaching in the academy's competitive programs, running the U10 program and moving to the U14 program not long after. Along with his ski-coaching career he joined the res life program four years ago. He splits his time on and off the hill and loves every minute of it. Out side of his SBA life he enjoys fly fishing, wake boarding and is a fan of every Bay Area sports team you can imagine. Send Craig an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is my second year as a part of SBA and the residential life program. As a collegiate swimmer, I have firsthand experience with the challenges of balancing academics, athletics, sleep, and fun. I think that your support system is extremely important when you are trying to balance so much. I see my job as providing support to our residents however I can, whether that be through homework help, trivia nights, rides to the physical therapist, weekend trips off the summit, or just as someone to talk to about a hard training session. The residential program has allowed me to create meaningful relationships with residents of all different ages and disciplines and learn more about our students off the mountain and outside of the classroom.
Being able to connect on a different level than the classroom, is what sets working in Residential Life apart. Over the past 13 years, I have worked in Residential Life serving in most positions including chef, residential staff, Dean of Residential Life, and now Dean of Student-Athlete Life. Spending many of my years growing up with our residents has provided me with the opportunity to make life-long connections with our alumni and their families. Many of the memorable moments I have from working at Sugar Bowl Academy come from the informal times I have been able to spend with residents including camping trips on the coast, making sushi on the weekends, surviving the 2011 March snow storm with no power and 16 people, and many more.
I have been working in residence life for over 15 years and have worked in SBA residence life since 2006. Working in residence life has helped me to continue to know students well. I believe that being connected to students in the residence hall allows me to build a strong rapport with the student body in general, as trust and understanding of the SBA experience percolates out from our residence hall. Being present on campus at night also makes me available for regular tutoring sessions throughout the year. Students frequently seek me out to support their learning during their evening study halls. In addition to academic support, I love the opportunity to create shared experiences with our boarding students. Many of my favorite conversations and strongest memories have been built with boarding students, both on campus and during off campus activities. Simply sharing meals, playing cards, and going on hikes have built in me a deep love for residence life and allowed me to know and to be known by our students.
While this is my first year on the residential life staff at SBA, I have worked in similar residential life capacities for three years at a boarding school in Idaho, while working outdoor education programs all over the country, and as a summer camp counselor for several years. I have seen first hand how valuable I can be as a teacher, mentor, and friend when you see students in a more informal setting outside of the school hours. Getting to know students in a comprehensive environment allows them to see me in a different light. Conversely, it gives me a respect for all the hard work students do and the issues they deal with. l look forward to spending study halls, dinners, game nights, pick-up soccer, and weekend excursions off Donner summit with students as a way of building strong relationships. I believe these relationships work best when they are built on trust, support, and fun.