by Ken Brown
CRAFTSBURY – After three years of invaluable experience leading and building the athletic programs at Craftsbury Academy (CA), Gabriela Silva will be donning new colors this coming fall as the newly named athletic director at Peoples Academy (PA).
Silva replaced Amy Thompson at CA in the fall of 2020 as an inexperienced 24 year old fresh out of Guilford College in North Carolina. She was a star high school athlete at Stowe, but had much to learn about how ACT 46 was crushing small school athletic programs around the state. Silva steps away three years later with the athletic program at CA growing and thriving, all while navigating, coaching, and leading several programs through a global pandemic.
“The opportunity to tackle a challenge like Peoples Academy is really exciting, but it is a sad day for me as well to leave behind the great kids, coaches, and people in this Craftsbury community who’ve been so supportive over the past three years, and I can’t thank them enough. There was no handbook for how to get through COVID, but we did it all together as a school and as a community and the experience I take with me to start my next chapter is invaluable. I’m proud of what we’ve built and started to build here at CA the last three years. The student athletes and the group of coaches here are so dedicated and the community support is unwavering. That combination allowed CA to not only hold on to their sports programs, but expand to more sports since 2020. I was an athlete so I love the rivalries that sports and competition create, but I’m most proud of the sportsmanship that these kids represented their school and community with the past few years and I’m sure will continue to do so,” said Silva.
Silva replaces Matthew Ehrenreich at PA as many of their sports programs transition up to the Division II level with a cooperative through Stowe High School. It will be a full time position for Silva and an opportunity and challenge to lead a much larger athletic program into what the future holds for high school athletics in the state of Vermont.
“I have fond memories and strong ties to the Stowe community and I look forward to trying to implement some of the things that we accomplished at CA as far as strong sportsmanship, participation, and building relationships between student athletes, coaches, and community at Peoples Academy. It is definitely going to be something new and different that will be very time consuming and a huge challenge, but I am very much looking forward to it. Craftsbury Academy took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity to learn and gain experience that you can’t simulate. I’m proud of what we accomplished there as a community the last three years and although I’ll be wearing different school colors now, I will always root for their success and will always look forward to visiting that great community as a former Charger where I was able to forge so many great relationships,” said Silva.
Craftsbury Academy will stay with youth as they look to continue to build their athletic programs into the future, hiring 23-year-old Connor Bean of Oxbow last week.