Down the Slippery Slope... to Success! TTUISD Senior Welcomes Mogules on Path to Graduation

April 03, 2008

When Ross Falcone was in first grade, his family moved from Texas to snow-laden Sun Valley, Idaho, he really didn�t know much about snow. Now, a senior in high school, Ross spends most of his time perfecting his skiing style, and competing against the world�s best in his classification.

Janet, Ross' mom, tells this story about adjusting to the great Northwest: "All three boys learned to play hockey and ski. Ross did both until middle school. At that time he had to choose between the two sports. His brothers stayed with hockey and Ross went with skiing. By this time he was jumping anything he could find on the mountain. He began competing earnestly in high school and traveling with the team to competitions all over the West. The ski season begins in the fall with dry-land training which includes trampoline training and mountain biking. Ross is on his mountain bike as soon as the trails are dry in the spring. He trains on the trampoline for fun-spring, summer, and fall."

Ross is eager to talk about his love for his sport. "I am very passionate about the sport of freestyle skiing. I have been skiing for ten years and have done very well in my competitions.
I enjoy competing in moguls, dual moguls, halfpipe, slopestyle and big air/aerials."

Janet knew when he wanted to pursue skiing full time they would have to find an education alternative. "Ross had shown academic dedication while enrolled in our local high school, but when his travel and training schedule became more demanding, we decided to look at alternatives," Janet said. "We found TTUISD and the pressure has been tremendously relieved. He can take his school work with him on his travels and still stay current with his studies, but on his own time, not a prescribed class time."

"Studying through distance learning has freed up my schedule and allowed me to train on the mountain during the day and work on my schoolwork at night," Ross explained. "This also frees up my schedule to travel for competitions because I feel like I can take my classroom with me and continue my studies on the go."

Ross graduated from TTUISD in May of 2007. He won't miss a beat, thanks to his experiences the past year. "TTUISD is also helping to prepare me for college and life in general by teaching me to have a good work ethic and self-discipline," Ross said.

Outside of freestyle skiing, Ross enjoys mountain biking, water skiing, and wake boarding. He has two brothers; one older, a senior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and a younger one, Christopher, who also schooled briefly through TTUISD. Christopher is now a junior at the Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts where he can continue playing hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.

In March of 2007 Ross competed at the Junior Olympics where he came in first in the halfpipe. This assures him a spot in the Junior World Championships next year. He also competes in aerials and moguls. His placement in the three events at Junior Olympics gave him a first place in the Combined Events category. He also traveled to Switzerland to compete in the Junior World Championships in the halfpipe. Then he returned to the states to Killington, Vermont, for the U.S. National Championships where he competed in moguls, halfpipe and aerials. All totaled, in March he traveled for 21 days; something he could not easily have done without the flexibility of TTUISD.

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