by Ken Brown
MORRISVILLE – After three years of successfully guiding Craftsbury Academy’s (CA) athletic programs, a still very young Gabriela Silva is continuing her success in her first year as athletic director at Peoples Academy (PA).
Silva took over at CA as an inexperienced 24-year-old fresh out of Guilford College in North Carolina. She left three years later having navigated the small-school-crushing ACT 46, while continuing to develop the Charger athletic programs, and steering them through a global pandemic. She gives all the credit to the support and guidance she received from the coaches, administrators, and community of Craftsbury and took that experience to PA last fall. She replaced Matthew Ehrenreich and has overseen the transition of many of PA’s athletic program to Division II, along with an agreed cooperative with Stowe and an ongoing cooperative with Hazen Union in softball. The former Stowe high school star athlete is in rare air as a young female athletic director in the state of Vermont and relished the opportunity to watch another historic women’s feat at PA. Varsity boys’ soccer head coach Angie Faraci led the Wolves to the 2020 Division III state title, becoming the first female head coach in Vermont history to lead a varsity boys’ program to a state championship. She did again this past fall in Silva’s first year at PA, edging Woodstock 3-2 to claim their second title in three years.
“It has been an amazing transition. I learn something new every day and that is my biggest goal. I am not able to learn if I am not challenged. The opportunity to tackle a challenge like Peoples Academy was really exciting, but it was a sad day for me as well to leave behind the great kids, coaches, and people in the Craftsbury community. They were so supportive of me over those three years and I can’t thank them enough. I got to spend time and observe training and games with coach Faraci this past fall and I was blown away with her hard work and determination to get those boys where everyone in the state dreams to be. She is truly an amazing example of a high school coach that creates opportunity for student athletes growth and success. Co-curriculars have faced some of the biggest challenges in the past three years and we could not be more proud to stand by our coaches and students in all their accomplishments,” said Silva.
Silva had the opportunity to step out of her office and attend the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association (VSADA) conference in Burlington for a couple of days and spend time with other athletic directors and members of the Vermont Principals Association (VPA).
“We are constantly reminded of how we are all one team and grateful that everything we do is for the students. Most importantly, creating opportunities for every single student athlete that attends Peoples Academy and the schools neighboring so they can excel in the athletics and activities they love. We are proud to be PA Wolves and grateful we get to team up with Hazen Wildcats and Stowe Raiders!” added Silva.