The Hardwick Gazette

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Bean Named New A.D. at Craftsbury Academy

by Ken Brown

CRAFTSBURY – Craftsbury Academy (CA) will stick with youth to guide their athletic programs into the future with the hire of 23-year-old Connor Bean to replace Gabriela Silva as their new athletic director.

Bean is a graduate of Oxbow High School, where he was a senior captain of the bowling team and continued to use those athletic skills for the bowling team at Union College in Barbourville, Ky. He graduated with a degree in Sports and Recreation Management in 2020. He has been the assistant director of high school bowling for the Vermont Principals Association (VPA) for the past seven months, where he helped steward the exhibition status sport towards its first championships this past winter with the ultimate goal of making it an official varsity sport in the state of Vermont.

On top of his athletic director duties as CA, Bean will also be the school’s first work-based education coordinator.

“Ever since I was in high school, being an athletic director has been a dream of mine, so even though I’m only 23, it feels like I’ve been working my whole life towards this. I bring with me a lot of experience in being part of sports teams at both the high school and collegiate level and have also done some internships and coaching along the way. My experience the past seven months with the VPA in growing bowling at the high school level has been awesome and I really look forward to continuing the momentum we’ve created. I’m really excited and up for this challenge and I can’t tell you how great it feels to have Craftsbury Academy believe in me and give me this opportunity,” said Bean. 

As small schools all around the state have been forced to co-op their sports programs or eliminate them altogether the past several years, CA has bucked the trend with over 70% of their student population participating in various athletic programs under Silva since 2020. Not only has CA kept or rebooted almost all of their core sports since Act 46 reared its ugly head in 2015, they have also added club sports such as baseball and lacrosse. They have also built an elite track and field, cross country, and Nordic ski program during that time, culminating in the first boys’ track and field Division IV championship in school history this past spring.

Not only do they have multi-sport athletes throughout the three high school sports’ seasons, they have student-athletes playing multiple sports within the same season to make it all work. Bean has incredible admiration for the commitment of CA’s student athletes and the community who supports them and looks forward to bringing his energy to help in any way to keep that progress going forward.

“Gabi, the kids, coaches, and community have created a lot of energy around the sports programs here at CA. I have that same type of enthusiastic energy and I want to do everything I can to keep that going. Athletics is extremely important to this community, and I want to help continue to build an atmosphere and culture here that entices our athletes to want to participate in sports programs at our school. It is about supporting each other and creating a positive experience for the kids and the families within the community. We want to give our student athletes every opportunity to be successful and help them grow into future members of our community. I look forward to creating relationships with our coaches, players, and parents and learn from them. We will continue to be creative in giving all of our programs every chance to succeed and try to get our participation numbers up even more if we can. This is a small school and community and to continue to grow our programs we all need to flexible and creative in order to continue to give opportunities to our student athletes. I will continue to educate myself in the coming months and I look forward to the fall,” said Bean.

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