School-Wide “Peak” Events Begin Tomorrow

Beginning this weekend, Northwood School will be split into four teams — called Peaks — and kick-off a year-long series of competitions and events. This development comes after a fall meeting at which students expressed concern to the school’s Board of Trustees about a lack of school spirit at Northwood. That conversation led to a months-long series of meetings that eventually brings back a piece of Northwood History that organizers hope will build school spirit.


Aach group is named after an iconic Adirondack high peak. (Photo:

Approximately a dozen students worked on the effort, which included Ms. Katrina Kroes and Mr. Mike Ritchie, both Trustees, and Director of Residence Life Ms. Mavis Miller. Their work was inspired in part by Northwood’s Winter Carnival tradition, which continues today, and by stories they heard from alumni about Northwood in the 1950’s.

The first events are this Saturday when the four Peaks — Big Slide, Gothics, Wolfjaws, and Skylight — will compete in a relay race and make a team video to welcome the new students to their assigned Peaks. The idea behind all of this is to increase school spirit and bring the community together and continue to make the Northwood community even more tight-knit. There will be fun competitions throughout all of next year, expanding on the well-established tradition of Winter Carnival. Plans are in the works for seasonal carnivals in the fall, winter and spring. Peaks will score points throughout the school year, and the winning Peak will get to have their flag fly outside until the next winner is crowned.

Year-long competitions between groups of students are not new to Northwood. The “History of Northwood School,” written by Mr. Don Mellor and published in 2016, describes a similar tradition dating back to the school’s founding. “When a boy was enrolled into the school,” Mellor wrote, “he was also enlisted onto a school-wide team, each named after an Indian tribe…Tribal identity would be a big part of every boy’s life at Northwood, with competitions ranging from team sports to debating.” Today, tribes have been replaced by Peaks, but the concept is the same.

For freshmen, sophomores and juniors, this is not just a one-year thing. Whatever team you are on, that is your team for the remainder of your time at Northwood. Each team has four captains, each a member of the junior class, who will pass on leadership to the next set of seniors on their team. The captains for next year’s teams include:

  • Barrett Ott, Drew Rose, Jessica Lin and Jojo Rosenbluth for Big Slide.
  • Trevor Souza, Sarah Coombs, Finlay Ulrick, and Matt Shanklin for Gothics.
  • Simon Ou, John Biechler, Andrew Gilbert and Chelsea Smith for Wolfjaws.
  • Will Arquiett, Jacob Mucitelli, Jerkko Ramo and Karli Lafferty for Skylight.

It is an exciting time for the Northwood community, and it should be a lot of fun next year. As a community, we all look forward to seeing everyone compete and have fun. Andrew Gilbert ‘19 is looking forward to the Peaks. “I am excited to help lead Wolfjaws and compete for the win.”



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