2003 Instructors of the Year

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Deb Armstrong

Taos, N.M.

Credentials: Certified Level III, Division Clinic Leader, PSIA-Rocky Mountain.

Years of Service: 11.

You may recognize her name: Deb Armstrong won the Olympic gold medal in GS at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. Her parents are ski instructors at Breckenridge, Colo., and she coached for the U.S. Ski Team and at the University of New Mexico. She's recently focused her attention on teaching at Taos, where she boosts skiers of all levels to greater proficiency. She skis and dines with guests, shares her experiences as a world-class competitor and trains her colleagues. Guests often come into the office to rave about their time with Deb—and to pick up an autographed poster of the Olympic champion.

Mo Mailhot
Squaw Valley, Calif.
Credentials: Certified Level III.
Years of Service: 31.
A Vermonter transplanted to California three decades ago, Mo Mailhot has the work ethic, strength and clever feet of someone raised on the hard snow of the Green Mountains. He taught a record 110 days last season (when he was also named to SKI's Top 100), and earned a reputation as a "workhorse" and Squaw's "most dependable instructor." He's ready to go any time, any day, for any lesson in any weather. Mo's motto: "Bring 'em on!"

Children's Instructor of the Year

Chris "Woodchuck" AldenButtermilk, Colo.
Credentials: Certified Level III.
Years of Service: 25.
No kids class in Aspen is more disciplined than Chris Alden's, yet everyone has tons of fun. Alden's bag of tricks is huge, and his enthusiasm so infectious that kids don't even realize they're learning. He gets up early to set courses for the Aspen Valley Ski Club Ridgerunners and has sent many younger kids to the upper levels of that program. Other instructors admit to stealing ideas from Woodchuck, but they needn't call it theft: He shares his knowledge generously and with great humility.