By Sheri Duff
Ezra Pasackow is a leader. In fact, Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head Nordic coach Sarah Strack describes her senior assistant captain as a great team leader and role model. And that’s not all. “Ezra motivates and pushes the skiers on the team to achieve their best. He works hard in practices and encourages everyone else on the team to do the same. We are a large team, 84 strong, and Ezra has taken the time to meet everyone on the team and made them feel welcome and comfortable.”
Born and raised in Shelburne, Pasackow turned 18 on Dec.14, 2012. His family includes parents Holly and David, older brother Noah, age 27, older sister Ariella, age 23, older brother Eli, a junior at the University of Connecticut, and a black Labrador retriever named Batten.
“I tried skiing at a pretty young age and I absolutely hated it,” Pasackow recalls about his first experience on cross country skis. “My family did some skiing in the backwoods and I’m pretty sure all I did was complain,” he continued. “It was many years before I took the sport more seriously.”
In fact, it wasn’t until his sophomore year at CVU that Pasackow tried cross country again in earnest. “I decided to try Nordic as off-season training for soccer, my primary sport. Although it’s a lot of work to train, I find it very rewarding,” he stated. “Basically I’ve fallen in love with cross country skiing.”
A three-year varsity skier, Pasackow understands his role as assistant captain. “I’m not the best skier on the team,” he said matter-of-factly. “But I have a strong work ethic and I bring a positive attitude with me every day,” he states. Coach Strack would add, “As a coach I love having Ezra on the team. I can count on him to be there when I need help. He never complains, just says ‘yup’ and gets the job done!”
Even Pasackow feels getting the job done is something to be proud of. In fact, it is his impressive time management skills that allowed him to manage his academic priorities and participate in various extracurricular activities that is his greatest achievement to date. “Good time management is a skill that I will use the rest of my life,” he said.
In addition to Nordic skiing, Pasackow was a two-year varsity soccer player, is active in Chill Upperclassmen Boosting Student Success or CUBBS a mentoring program for freshman and transfer students, and currently holds a committee position on the CVU student council.
Accepted to Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn., Pasackow is ready for next year. “I am very excited about going to Allegheny,” he said. “I was looking for a small liberal arts college not too far from home where I can pursue my interest in environmental studies. And Allegheny was a good match for me academically,” he added without hesitation. It appears that Pasackows’ academic and athletic talents will allow him to navigate all of life’s straight runs and fast turns to his satisfaction: now and in the future.