Welcome to Sun Valley Community School Admissions
We're so glad you're here.
Sun Valley Community School is an independent pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade day and boarding school in Sun Valley, Idaho. We provide a vibrant college preparatory education enhanced by outdoor and experiential programs that make the most of our unparalleled mountain setting.
Our daughter spent a day visiting Sun Valley Community School with the idea of transferring the following year. She arrived home eager to start right away. For us the appeal of the outdoor program, arts and science was a huge draw. It was a very welcoming environment when we joined the school; even coming in part way through the year, we stepped right in.
Miles Canfield, Current Parent
SUN VALLEY Community School does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, origin, ancestry, physical disability or sexual orientation. Nor do we deny admission to applicants whose families cannot afford tuition.
- Contact Our Admissions Office
- Alessia Carega, Director of Admissions
- Christy Giles, Associate Director of Admissions
- Jonna Mendes, Sun Valley Ski Academy Program Director
- Katie Robins, Associate Director of Admissions
Alessia Carega was appointed as Sun Valley Community School's Director of Admission in 2019. Before joining Sun Valley Community School, Alessia served as the Director of Regional Scholarships and the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.
While at St. Paul’s for the past eight years, Alessia has run a dorm and has also been active in the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. Before working at St. Paul’s, Alessia left a job teaching English to pursue her passion of realizing a more sustainable world. To that end, she worked as a Director for Saatchi & Saatchi leading project teams to design and implement sustainability programs for companies like Walmart and Frito Lay.
Alessia is an avid traveler who speaks fluent French and Italian and is proficient in Spanish. She is also a runner who is passionate about the outdoors. Alessia and her husband Trent Smither (the newly appointed Director of Development) have two young children.
Associate Director of Admissions Christy Giles joined the Admissions team in 2017. Christy brings invaluable experience in admissions and recruiting to this role, having served as Assistant Director of Admissions at The Bush School in Seattle and as Director of Admissions and Recruiting for the University of Washington College of Education Seattle Teacher Residency (STR) Program. Prior to her work at Bush, Christy worked for five years as the Senior Trainer and Curriculum Developer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
As Associate Director of Admissions, Christy oversees Upper School admissions and works with Sun Valley Ski Academy Program Director Jonna Mendes and Director of Admissions Katie Robins in a variety of capacities throughout the admissions season.
Christy holds a BA from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University. Christy and her husband, Eric, are parents to Jackson ’21, Brady ’23, and Kenzie.
Sun Valley Ski Academy Program Director Jonna Mendes joined Sun Valley Community School in 2006. Jonna has an impressive background as an athlete and coach. A two-time Olympian—at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games—Jonna was also a four-time National Champion (twice in downhill, twice in giant slalom) and earned a bronze medal in super-G at the 2003 Alpine World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Following her 2006 retirement from the U.S. Ski Team, Jonna honed her coaching skills as a U.S. Ski Team development coach from 2006-10, working with athletes at national and regional projects and competitions.
In addition to her role as SVSA Program Director, Jonna coaches the U16s with Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Jonna’s unique perspective and experience as an elite athlete and coach is an asset to the development of our SVSA student-athletes. In her free time, Jonna loves chasing her son, Declan, down the mountain and camping with Declan and her husband, Will.
Associate Director of Admissions Katie Robins joined Sun Valley Community School in 2000 and served as Director since 2005. She transitioned to Associate Director in 2019. Katie loves touring the campus with prospective families and learning their stories. "There is nothing more satisfying than watching that aha-moment a family has when they see this campus in action and begin to envision their own children as members of this incredibly engaging and nurturing environment," she says. "I love guiding families through this process and helping future Cutthroats find their new home."
Katie holds a BA in communications from the University of California, Berkeley. She and her husband, Guy, are parents to two Cutthroats: Sam '30 and Sophie '32. In her spare time, Katie loves to cook for friends and family, rock climb, and is an avid reader of fiction.