Martha Coughlin Corrock - Burke Mountain Academy co-founder and first student

Passing Date

Martha Coughlin, co-founder and first student at Burke Mountain Academy, passed away in Challis, Idaho, on May 14. She was 66.

Coughlin grew up in skiing North Conway, New Hampshire. In the winter of 1969-70, at the age of 14, Coughlin trained periodically with Warren Witherell at his new Alpine Training Center at Burke Mountain, Vermont. Rather than attend high school, she asked Witherell to tutor her academically so that she could stay the winter at Burke and train every day. Her high school principal agreed to the remote study arrangement, and Coughlin became the first Burke Academy student.

In 1970, Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) was officially established, and accredited by the state of Vermont, with a handful of students joining the following winter. By the time she graduated in 1973, Coughlin made the U.S. Ski Team. In five decades, BMA has graduated more than 1,000 students, who have earned more than 60 Olympic berths. Coughlin went on to a career as a chef and baker, and raised five kids.