Located at Lake Tahoe, California, Sugar Bowl Academy is a fully accredited college preparatory high school for competitive skiers. It's a world-class ski academy for Alpine, Nordic and Freeride athletes.



Although it varies from year to year, roughly a third of Sugar Bowl Academy student-athletes live on campus in the residence hall during the school year.

Our residential life program emphasizes respect for one’s self and others, cooperation, healthy relationships, trust and independence. This framework also allows you to develop personal responsibility with opportunities to exercise good judgment and manage your personal time.

The program will also encourage you to have fun and experience life beyond Donner Summit. Regular activities include picnics at Donner Lake or Lake Tahoe, backpacking on the Pacific Coast Trail, attending local events such as the Truckee Rodeo, and trips to Reno where you can see movies, play mini-golf, dine out or see a minor league baseball game. Evening and weekend activities at school have included Iron Chef cooking competitions, game nights and movie nights.

Residential Life Programming in the Fall

  • Bowling 
  • Laser Tag 
  • Dinner and Movie Nights
  • UNR Football Game
  • Mini Golf
  • Go-Karting
  • Trivia Night
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Cookie Decorating
  • Super Bowl Party
  • Gingerbread House Decorating
  • Easter Egg Decorating



The small size and low resident to staff ratio of the residential life program will allow you to receive personalized attention on a daily basis. In the family-like atmosphere fostered in the residence hall, residential staff members enjoy being a part of the development of student-athletes beyond the classroom and the hill — and both residents and faculty thrive on the relationships that result. We can't replace your home life, but we are able to provide a safe, comfortable and nurturing atmosphere where you will succeed.

Good food is an important part of providing a comfortable atmosphere, especially for active athletes. Our full-time cooking staff takes pride in providing healthy and delicious food every day.

All residential staff members are teachers or coaches. They provide firm, yet caring around-the-clock supervision, and they understand the challenges faced by adolescents like you who set high expectations for themselves.



Meet the REsidential life staff

Kristen Giordano, Dean of Student-Athlete Life

Being able to connect on a different level than the classroom, is what sets working in Residential Life apart. Over the past 12 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.


Craig Combs, Head, Residential Life Staff

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. 


Josie Furbershaw, Residential Life Staff



It is my first year as a part of SBA and the residential life program. As a collegiate swimmer, I have experienced firsthand 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. My job is to support 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. 


Andy Giordano, Residential Life Staff

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. 


Sam Hoyle, Residential Life Staff

Sam H 4.jpg

I have worked as a residential life staff member at a variety of different schools with different traditions and residential life curricula, but I feel supremely lucky to have the opportunity to work at Sugar Bowl Academy in the Ski in/Ski out residence hall in the country. I was a boarding student in high school and I remember getting to know my dorm parents like another part of my family. They became my role models, my parents, my confidants, and my reality checks when I was hours from home and before cell phones were common. It is a unique feeling, achieving that level of trust and camaraderie with residential students that transcends the classroom and the ski hill. Whether we are watching the Olympics, heading to Reno for dinner and a movie, or even just trying to figure out math problems together, I hope that I am able to fulfill all the roles my dorm parents did for me. 


"Being a part of Residential Life at Sugar Bowl Academy is really an inspiring experience. We get to guide a great group of kids as they grow through their unique high school experience."