Humans of Northwood: Bella Wissler ‘23

“I’ve been Nordic skiing since I could walk. My family has been doing it for a while. I started racing around 4th grade—there’s a youth program in Saranac Lake, where I learned how to skate-ski. From there, I joined NYSEF and I kept racing.

“One thing I liked about last year is when you hit Junior year at Northwood, the class size grew a lot, so I was part of a really big class. Half the class was new, unlike in Saranac Lake where I grew up, where there would be 1 or 2 new kids every year and everyone else had known one another from a young age. It was kind of different getting to meet everybody and learn about them. Although it was a little weird coming in junior year, halfway through high school, I wanted to do it anyway.

“Last year, during the summer, Tommy Biesemeyer came up to Sophia [Kelting] and I and asked if we wanted to restart the Nordic Skiing program at Northwood. We kind of talked about it, decided we both wanted to do that, and so we were able to try it out last year and be the guinea pigs of the program. This year, we were able to add 3 new athletes—Abigail Van Dorn, Daven Linck, and our Nordic combined athlete Jack Kroll, and it was nice having some younger people on the team, but really just having more people at Northwood Nordic Skiing. It’s been cool, becoming part of the community, getting people out Nordic skiing who have never been Nordic skiing before, come out to see our races. When we were out in Alaska for Junior Nationals, a coach talked to us about the Nordic program, and coming here to do it full-time, so we’ve seen some interest at our races.

“Senior year, personally, for me, has been going pretty well. I had a really good experience with Mr. McCauley in applying for colleges. I got into my dream school with an early decision, so that was really exciting. Head’s council is also a really cool opportunity, getting to meet with the headmaster once a week to talk about the student perspective at Northwood and how we can do different things.

“I’m really excited to be part of the ski club at Middlebury. I already know a few people on the team whom I’ve skied with before, and really, they have a great environmental science program that I’m really excited to be a part of, and I’ve wanted to go there since a really young age.

“I really enjoyed spring at Northwood. Everyone is kind of wrapping up their main sports and is now trying out new things. I did girls’ lacrosse last year, and we had a fun team. It’s a fun experience—more daylight, going swimming at Northwood Beach, and getting time to hang out with all your friends before the end of school.”

As told to Gus Garvey ’23. Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge.


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