Peter Smith has over 25 years experience as educator in both the sailing and independent school arenas. He grew up on a small island in Maine and began his sailing career on the Sheepscot River as instructor, coach, and eventually director of the Southport YC junior sailing program.
He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Rhode Island, where he was a member of their national championship sailing team, as well as a Team USA medalist in the collegiate keelboat world championship.
After college Peter continued coaching and qualified and competed in the final stage of the US Olympic Trials for the 2000 Games. Later, he was also part of several successful Melges 24, Farr 40, and TP 52 programs before stepping away from professional sailing to pursue his passion in teaching.
He began his career as a teacher, coach and advisor at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore, MD, continuing his teaching career at Pennfield School outside Newport, RI where he also assumed the role of Director of Athletics and Head of the Upper School. He then earned his Masters in Independent School Leadership from the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University before taking a leadership position at St. Andrew’s School in Savannah, GA where he spearheaded iDiscover21c, one of the first 1:1 iPad implementation programs for K-12 in the nation. As a result, St. Andrew’s moved to the forefront of institutions blending technology into the classroom to better support learning. Following the launch of iDiscover21c Peter has been a keynote speaker at several national conferences and consulted with several schools to create new blended learning environments.
He is a member on the board of Lighthouse Coalition of Schools, a collection of schools dedicated to 1:1 learning environments that collaborates with Apple to better guide and support blended learning environments. Peter has a deep appreciation and understanding of the balance of blending emerging technology with traditional educational pedagogy, and his experience on winning teams in both sailing and education provide him with the unique background and knowledge base to lead USPA.
Peter Smith is happily married to Kate Smith and they have three children, Graydon, Taylor, and Paige. When away from school Pete enjoys the outdoors, running around with the family, and anything that involves being on the water.
USPA Chief of Academics
Kim Dow brings experience in the corporate, scientific, and academic fields to her role as Chief of Academics at USPA.
Kim began her career at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, MA as the Education Officer for the High Energy Astrophysics Division. She directed several education and outreach programs for the general public that pertained to NASA missions, as well as a number of teacher-based professional development efforts. At CfA, she also founded a summer program for undergraduates that provided hands-on research opportunities. Many of these programs included the development of technology based learning experiences. As a member of the NASA ROSAT mission team, she also conducted x-ray analysis of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies, specifically on the nature of dark matter.
Following CfA, Kim led the content development team at LRN, a company that created online learning programs for Fortune 500 companies. Kim directed a group that took nearly 100 corporate Codes of Conduct from global companies and made them relevant to employees through the use of video scenarios and, where required, localized them to the relevant country.
More recently, Kim served as the Head of School of a small boarding school for athletes. During her tenure, she increased fundraising, improved the school’s enrollment management efforts, strengthened the academic program, and led the school’s accreditation.
Kim has written numerous scientific and educational research papers, spoken at domestic and international conferences, and contributed to two books: an astronomy textbook for undergraduates and a science education text for middle school teachers. She has also taught college-level education courses as an adjunct faculty member.
Her educational background includes a B.S. in Physics from Marlboro College, an M.S. in Astrophysics from the University of Arizona, and a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her educational research at Harvard focussed on the underlying conceptual frameworks and the effectiveness of online education.
In her “spare” time, she tries to keep up with her four children and their various musical and athletic pursuits. She enjoys the close knit nature of the Lake Placid community and is currently hiking the New York State “46-ers” with her athletic family and equally spirited dogs, Rosie and Poppy. Kim’s son is a member of the USA Luge Junior National team.
USPA Director of Marketing & Communications
Leann brings experience from both the marketing and education fields. She started her career in marketing for Dell Inc. with work on their college campus program. Leading the west coast college campus digital marketers, she was able to educate the team on the latest marketing and analysis strategies.
Eventually she moved towards her true passion: education and working with kids. She began her work with online curriculum provider, Advanced Academics, as a marketing coordinator. She worked with a multitude of online and blended schools across the country. She developed and launched the marketing plans for over 15 schools nationwide, traveling to assist in training staff and establishing local brand awareness.
Working with re-branding traditional schools turned digital, Leann has been submerged in the transformation of brick and mortar schools into blended and fully digital schools. Along the way, her favorite aspect of working with these schools was been getting to know the students and re-telling their stories to the public.
When Leann came across the opportunity to work with USPA, the appeal was in the unique lifestyle of the USPA student-athlete. She was excited to get to know the busy and driven schedule of a young, competitive athlete.
Over the years of working with USPA, Leann has helped develop their brand, marketing tactics, and overall community of parents, students, and coaches.
Living in San Diego with her husband, Brendan, and new baby, Logan, she loves spending her down time with them at the beach, going on hikes, and cooking as much as possible.
USPA Advisory Board
A unique combination of 21st century innovation integrated with established best practices is the hallmark of the US Performance Academy approach. Our strategic Advisory Council brings some of the brightest thinkers, established innovators, and experienced talent together to infuse continuous improvement to the scholar experience. We rely on our Advisory Council to keep our unique school on track and focused on our student athletes at all times.