Award Honorees

David Gartner

David Gartner is devoted to guiding MHS skiers to new heights. His coaching practices emphasize perseverance, hard work and an optimistic outlook. Gartner has led the Minnetonka High School boys and girls Alpine ski teams to victory numerous times and helped them to learn and grow as individuals.

Gartner developed a love for skiing from an early age. In high school, he competed at five Junior National Championships and two U.S.  National Championships, among other prestigious races.

The exertion and enormous commitment that skiing required led Gartner to quit racing after high school. The decision to do so and the process of transitioning from that particular lifestyle were some of the biggest challenges he ever faced. Gartner quickly found a new passion in coaching.

“I found the same adrenaline and sense of accomplishment from teaching others as I did from racing, which in turn allowed me to begin studying for classes with a clearer mind and focus,” Gartner explained. “That was many years ago, but I learned that obstacles in life can always be overcome through hard work, a new perspective, balancing work with physical activity and believing in myself.”

Years later, Gartner introduced his three daughters to skiing. His guidance ultimately led them to great success as skiers on the Minnetonka Alpine team. Gartner credited the skills he developed while coaching his daughters as being foundational for the skills and experience he would eventually use as the coach of the Minnetonka Alpine team in 2017. Under his leadership, Minnetonka won five State Championships.

“It was so much fun coaching the team," Gartner recalled. "My coaching staff and I developed strong connections with many athletes. When an athlete has a breakthrough, it is incredibly rewarding to see their happiness, sense of accomplishment and realization that training pays off. For me, coaching is not a career; it’s a passion.”

Gartner offered a few words of advice to current MHS students. “Believe in yourself, try new things, challenge yourself by doing something hard and don’t be afraid to fail! Maintain a strong moral and ethical compass and take time for self-reflection. Wake up each day with purpose and have lots of fun along the way.”


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David Gartner

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.

Earl Christ

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.

Bill Keeler

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 24, 2022.