Athletic fields with students practicing


In our thriving mountain town, Sun Valley Community School students and families make the most of the endless opportunities to move and explore. This love for an active lifestyle translates to a community that loves to play—and to compete—on the fields, on the courts, on the snow, on bikes, on the ice, and wherever else their passions take them.

Our small school size allows for a wide range of athletic commitment—from exploration, to skill development, to fierce competition—in team and individual sports. There’s room here for committed athletes and curious participants. Across all divisions, the goal is for students to participate, have fun, and find challenge.

How will you choose to play?

The Making of a Mascot: Sun Valley Community School Cutthroat

A Cutthroat - the mascot of Sun Valley Community School



Sun Valley Community School’s mascot is the Cutthroat trout. This native Idaho species of trout is the Idaho State Fish, and it’s scrappy, aggressive nature makes it a favorite of anglers. The school adopted the Cutthroat as our mascot in 1984 when the yearbook staff ran a contest to select a mascot for the school. The story goes that Andrew Lesher, a member of the class of 1984, when his mother, a fly fishing guide, made the suggestion. Students voted to adopt the Cutthroat, and the rest is history. Our Cutthroat teams proudly sport the Cutthroat mascot today.

Meet the Director of Athletics

Richard Whitelaw

Richard Whitelaw initially joined Sun Valley Community School in 1992 as boys' varsity soccer coach and currently serves as Director of Athletics, boys' varsity soccer coach, and Middle School P.E. assistant.

Richard is grateful for the opportunity to pass along his love for sport to students, and he comes to work each day inspired by the Community School family. "Being surrounded by young, talented, intelligent students, and empowering, caring, positive faculty is a joy," he says. "I have the greatest job in the world."

In his many years coaching boys' varsity soccer, Richard has been committed to sharing a love for the game and a spirit of sportsmanship among his players. "I strive to instill in these young men that it's not about the wins or championships, it's about making the most of your short high school career, experiencing all the emotions associated with a successful team, playing to the best of your ability, and exuding good sportsmanship every step of the way."

Richard's love for the game of soccer doesn't end when he steps off the field. His favorite way to spend his time away from school: "Watching soccer, reading about soccer, writing about soccer, thinking about soccer . . . soccer never sleeps."

Contact the Director of Athletics

For questions related to athletic programming, please contact Richard Whitelaw, Director of Athletics via email ( or 208.622.3960, ext. 110.

Our family took a big leap when we moved here from Atlanta. It was a big change for all of us, but we have loved it. Here, our older daughter, who is in Upper School, hadn’t played tennis since she was eight, but she went out for the team and played varsity; our younger daughter, who is in Middle School, had not played soccer since she was five and made the Middle School team and was instantly made to feel like she was needed and necessary on the team. In larger cities, that’s often not possible because kids are so often focused on one sport from the time they’re really young. Here, they have so much fun.
Georganna Weatherholtz, Current Parent