WARREN WITHERELL - MIDDLEBURY - Warren Witherell passed peacefully near Middlebury on May 26, 2014, surrounded by family, friends, poetry readings and lilacs. He was 79 years old. Warren is survived by his two daughters, Dr. Holly Mata and Dr. Heidi Witherell; sisters, Wendy Hill and Fayette Witherell; and brother, Charles. Warren is also survived by a large extended family and a worldwide group of friends, athletes, educators and students. Warren graduated from Wesleyan University in 1956 and founded Burke Mountain Academy in 1971, where he served as headmaster, English teacher and coach. He promoted the innate ability of student-athletes to thrive and learn in a non-graded and physically active school. Through his coaching, over 115 students and alumni of the school have been named to the U.S. Ski Team, and 43 to Olympic Teams. Warren came out of retirement to become headmaster of Crested Butte Academy (2004 2008) where he was the foundation of the school's success launching several top athletes to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams. As an author, Warren wrote: "How the Racers Ski" (1972) and co-authored "The Athletic Skier" (1993) and "Lessons from Burke - One School That Works" (in process) with David Evrard. Honored for his athletic achievements and contributions, Warren was inducted into two Athletic Halls of Fame for both snow skiing and water skiing. He set multiple World Records in Water Skiing, including five world water skiing titles. For over 50 years, Warren coached young athletes including 25 World Champions and over 15 Olympians in the sports of snow and water skiing. A celebration of his life and his contributions to education and athletics will be held at Burke Mountain Academy in October 2014.
Published by The Burlington Free Press on May 31, 2014.