Students Say Goodbye to Kevin in the Kitchen

Kevin’s last day in the kitchen was Friday, September 15. (Photo: Ahmed Elganainy ’24)

This weekend, we saw a truly kind individual depart the Northwood Community. Kevin was part of the kitchen staff for 10 and a half years, and Friday, September 15 was his last day at Northwood. His new position is chef at a new hotel, which will open soon in Lake Placid.

Before coming to Northwood in 2013, Kevin was the chef at Saranac Village at Will Rogers. Kevin is also a military veteran, which is highly appreciated by everyone. “It has its moments,” said Kevin when asked how it feels to be recognized as a military veteran.

“I will miss his energy and kindness in the kitchen. He always greeted me well, so it is a shame to see him go,” said Leo Doyle ’25.

Everyone can see how hard Kevin and the entire kitchen staff work and how much effort they put in every day.

“I don’t think there was a time when I ate a meal in the dining hall and thought to myself that the quality of the food had decreased. I’ve always felt like it gets better every time I eat it and I’d like to thank the entire kitchen staff for their constant hard work,” said Liam Burk ’24.

“I’ve only been here for about 3 weeks, and I’m going to miss the energy that Kevin spreads in the dining hall. It was a short time, but I really liked him,” said Li Feng ’24.

This is a fantastic opportunity to thank Kevin for his constant hard work. But the students also appreciate the entire kitchen staff for always making sure we are eating the correct food and helping us reach our goals.

Humans of Northwood: Christie-Ann Nelson ‘23

“I am from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.

“I came to Northwood because of the chance to receive a world-class education and the opportunity to do activities unique to the school, such as LEAP. I enjoy using the many opportunities presented to me, like taking on a STEM research project and presenting it at a symposium, flying to Vietnam, or even sharing my home with my peers for LEAP and doing dance and musical performances.

“This year, I will start college as a freshman at Northwestern University. I am a prospective biology student and would like to go into medicine or research.

“Here at Northwood, I was fortunate to be a part of the crew team, row in a double scull with my sister, and be part of the Dance Sanctuary, which gave me an empowering environment and allowed me to pursue a longtime interest of mine.

“I enjoy doing karaoke and having dance parties with my friends on weekends. In the winter, we do a lot of ice skating on the oval, skiing, and sledding.”

As told to Ahmed Elganainy ’24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Baker Tallies More Than 50, Breaks Scoring Record

Mitchell Baker ’25 attacking the goal in a game this season at Northwood. Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Scoring 50+ goals in one soccer season isn’t something we see players do regularly here at Northwood, but one man decided to break all the records he could during his sophomore year at Northwood, and that’s the U17 Soccer team Captain, Mitch Baker ’25. “Mitch is one of the best strikers I’ve seen in my footballing career at our age, and if he continues on the right track he will become one of the best strikers in the world,” said U19 player Aly el Mofty ’23.

“Mitch has been integral to our team’s success this season,” Coach Kelvin Martinez said. “His talent and hard work on the field have helped the team secure critical wins and reach new heights. He consistently leads by example, pushing himself and his teammates to perform at their best. His contributions to the team go beyond his impressive scoring record; his positive attitude and team-first mentality have been instrumental in fostering a strong and cohesive team culture,” added Martinez.

Mitchell Baker ’25. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

“It feels very good scoring over 50 goals this season because, as a striker, you obviously want to score goals, and I love scoring, so I’m very proud of myself for hitting this milestone. I remember at the start of the year, Profe Martinez told me to put a goal for myself to hit 50 goals, and I did it. I couldn’t have done this without my teammates. They’re the ones that play and create the chances for me, and I just finish them, so this wouldn’t be possible without them. I also want to thank Coach Martinez and Coach Komar because they motivate me and help me become better, and hopefully, one day I will fulfill all my dreams and become one of the best strikers in the world,” Baker added.

“We always knew that Mitch had the potential to be a prolific scorer, but his performance this season has exceeded our expectations. His dedication to training and his natural ability to find the back of the net have resulted in an impressive number of goals. We are thrilled with his success and proud of his achievements,” said Martinez.

Baker struggled to name his favorite goal this season. “I’ve scored more than 50, so choosing just one goal as my favorite is hard, but if I had to choose one, I’d choose the goal against the New England Revolution because they’re one of the best teams in the country and playing against them was very good, and we could’ve won the game.”

“The most important goal I’d say that helped the team, I think, was the goal I scored in the Northwood Invitational Semifinal because, without that goal, we wouldn’t have reached the final.”

“My Favorite hat trick has to be vs. the U19 team. To score a hat trick against the older lads isn’t easy, especially when we almost won that game. It’s very special and very important.”

Mitch is a leader for the U17s on and off the field. He constantly shows that he’s a top student-athlete whether it’s on the field or in the classroom. He always knows how to get the job done. Mitch recently got his first U19 call-up to play with them in a friendly match recently, and Mitch did what Mitch does best and proved that it doesn’t matter whether it’s U17 he’s playing against or U19 or even collegiate players. He will find his way to score.

“I can’t wait to continue to play with Mitch next year. I played with him this weekend and realized how good he is, and I can’t wait for next season,” Sam Knauf ’24 said.

“Mitch’s experience and expertise make him a valuable asset to our team, and his positive attitude and work ethic set a great example for his teammates. He leads by example, always putting in the effort and commitment required to succeed. As a captain, he plays a key role in inspiring and motivating his teammates to perform at their best,” added Coach Martinez.

Three Students Bound for Ivy League Schools

The Ivy League Is a group of eight of the most selective universities in the Northeast region of the United States. They are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, and Yale. The name Ivy League refers to the athletic conference these schools formed in the 1950s, but today, Ivy League universities are generally considered the best academic schools in the country.

For college-bound high school students, going to an Ivy League school is the ultimate goal to maximize their academics. Three Northwood students in the class of 2023 will attend Ivy League schools. Noah Leddel is going to Yale, Amanda Nelson is going to Columbia, and James Schneid is bound for Princeton.

Photos by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

“When I first opened my acceptance letter, I felt indescribable. It was a school that I never thought I’d be able to go to, and hearing the sounds of the trumpets from my acceptance video was surreal. I cried tears of joy for hours, knowing that all the time and effort I put into my schoolwork was not in vain,” Amanda Nelson said. “I would like to pursue Biomedical Engineering. I hope to create a better life for many in the future. I am most looking forward to the vibrant New York City environment and the robust educational opportunities Columbia will give me, both in and out of the classroom. I’m excited to meet new people, take advantage of all the school clubs and restaurants, and fully immerse myself in a different culture,” she added.

“I was extremely excited about the opportunity to go to Princeton,” Schneid said. “It was a dream come true. I am not sure what I want to study quite yet, but I am thinking of something in math and science, possibly economics or finance. I think I am most looking forward to getting started with the hockey team and being surrounded by such determined individuals. I am also looking forward to the location and being in New Jersey,” Schneid added.

Leddel is currently away from school representing Team Philipines in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and was unavailable for comment for this story.

Humans of Northwood: Ean Malay ’23 

I am from Exeter, New Hampshire, where there is not much diversity and not many interesting backgrounds. I grew up trying to play every sport I possibly could (swimming, soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and tennis). I have always enjoyed sports, and that’s why my closest friends in my life are those that I have made through sports.”

“I came to Northwood to give myself another year to improve my grades, play soccer at a high level and figure out what it is I want to major in. Northwood has done all this for me and more—it has given me a place where I have been able to grow as a person. I feel as if I have finally started to become the person I want to become and I look forward to what progress I can make during college. In college I want to major in business and computer science, I hope to become a business data manager or something in that area. I also wish to take my soccer career as far as I possibly can.”

“I have always been told that I have a completely different personality than when I play sports, but I think since my time at Northwood, I have started to merge those two personalities. Hopefully into the best version of myself, but we will see how it plays out.”

 As told to Ahmed Elganainy ’24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge. 

Humans of Northwood: Andres Vitteri ‘23

“I’m a first year senior here at Northwood, and I’m from Guayaquil in Ecuador. I came to Northwood because of its amazing soccer program and to strengthen my academics. My favorite classes are U.S. History and Human Biology. I find them both very interesting. My favorite part about the school is how diverse the school is and how there are many different nationalities. I hope to continue my education in college. I want to continue playing soccer at the college level and hopefully make it pro. If not, I would like to work in business or investment banking. Something interesting about me is that my great grand uncle was the president of Ecuador.”

As told to Ahmed Elganainy ’24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Humans of Northwood: Leyson Mosquera ‘23

“I’m a post-grad in my first year at Northwood, and I’m from Armenia, Colombia. I decided to come to Northwood because of its all-year-long soccer program to improve my academics and make it to a top Division 1 school. I want to become a professional soccer player and dream of playing for the Colombian national team someday. It’s been a dream of mine since I started playing soccer. If not a professional footballer, I would like to become a physiotherapist because I find injuries and stuff similar to that very interesting. Something interesting about me is that I was a goalkeeper until I was 6, when I realized I had the skill to play as an outfield player.”

As told to Ahmed Elganainy ’24. Photo by. Mr. Michael Aldridge.

New Hampshire Showcase a Learning Experience for Soccer Teams

Illustration: Northwood Soccer (Instagram).

Over the last weekend, the soccer teams hosted the Black Rock FC Winter Indoor Cup & Showcase in New Hampshire, which took place between the 11th and 12th of February. The team left Lake Placid on the 10th of February and, after a 5-hour bus ride, arrived at Merrimack, New Hampshire.

The first day of the showcase was a challenging beginning for both the U19 team & the U17 team. The U19 team started the weekend with a tough game against High Mowing but could not score. The boys fought hard and created many chances but couldn’t capitalize on them. The U17 Team started off the weekend with their hardest opponent, the New England Revolution, an MLS Academy, and one of the country’s best teams. The game started off with the Black Rock team dominating the first 10 minutes, with Mitch Baker ‘25 breaking the deadlock, opening up the score to make it 1-0 with a beautiful goal assisted by his teammate Leo Doyle ‘25. However, Baker’s goal wasn’t enough to get the win against the Revs, and they came back, scoring two goals, and won the game 2-1. “I felt very excited to play against a top team, and I realized that they’re not better than me, and I’m as good as them, but they just play in an academy,” Machai Davis ‘25 said with a lot of confidence. The U19 team had one last game against Valencia CF, where Black Rock FC came back from behind after being down 1-0 and won the game 4-1. The players who scored: Sam Knauf ‘24, with two goals; Andres Vitteri ‘24, with one goal; and Aly El Mofty ‘23, who scored his first Northwood goal.

The second and final day of the showcase was a thrilling day. The U17 team first competed against IHC. They were exhausted from their previous game and lost the game 4-2. The goals scored by Baker ‘25 and AJ Etumnu Jr. ‘25. The U19 Team wrapped up their weekend with a significant game against the New England Revolution but unfortunately lost 1-0 despite strong performances from Andres Viteri ‘24 and Sachiel Ming ‘24. The U17 team wrapped up their weekend with another game against IHC, but this time came out on top with a 2-1 victory and goals scored by Mitchell Baker ‘25 and Diego Green ‘25.

“Over the weekend, the boys didn’t put out their best performance. We let down our expectations, but fortunately, we got a good understanding of what we need to work on over the next week or so. We will focus on these things in our training to ensure we are prepared for Manhattan. For me, the standout players were Elm Penti ‘24, who made some great saves, keeping us in the games, and Baker ‘25 up top scoring every game,” expressed Koah Paye ‘24.

The Black Rock FC will travel to Manhattan next week.

Ski Team Has Productive January Break

The Northwood Ski team was active over the break with many different events. The FISU World University games provided an excellent opportunity for student-athletes to see the highest level of college ski racing at an International level. The Ski Team comprises many types of skiing, like Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Freestyle, and Alpine ski racing. The Northwood team of 32 student-athletes had the chance to train, forerun, and watch these top-level athletes prepare and compete.

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“The goal of integrating our program within the FISU games proves to be a catalyst to dream big because each of the FISU competitors was previously in the shoes of our student-athletes, and if our athletes stay focused on their goals, they will be able to compete on this International stage,” Director of Skiing Tommy Biesemeyer said when asked what the goal of this program was during the FISU games.

Northwood’s athletes participated in many events and further developed their skiing over this long break. The FIS men and women traveled to Sun Valley, ID, from January 5th – January 16th to have proper training when the training space was limited at Whiteface. The team had full-length GS and SL training sessions along with four FIS races at the end of their camp, where they had Olivia Levesque ’24 score her best FIS result to date, 60 pts. When they returned from Sun Valley, our team foreran the FISU Giant Slalom and Slalom races and had the chance to hand out medals during the medal ceremony.

The U16 group is Northwood’s largest group of snowsports athletes, and these student-athletes were located in Lake Placid during the FISU games, where they stayed with Carrie Wardlaw and NYSEF’s Winter Term. Their training consisted of six weekly training days, where they trained alongside FISU athletes. In addition, some athletes foreran and got additional training runs on the FISU Super G track, where they witnessed some of the iciest conditions we have ever seen at Whiteface. The whole experience provided a large volume of training, challenging situations, and exposure to World Cup conditions, which will pay off for their long-term development.

Northwood’s five cross-country and ski jumping athletes put in long days at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the ski jumps, where they also foreran each day and trained alongside the world’s best collegiate athletes. The course preparation was immaculate and allowed these student-athletes to benefit from top-level conditions. These opportunities helped Northwood’s nordic athletes develop their fitness and skills.

We had one freestyle athlete travel to Gore Mountain each day with his NYSEF coach, and he also had the chance to forerun each competition, hitting the biggest jumps of his life. This opened his eyes to the next level and inspired him to focus on what he needed to learn to compete at this level. “Seeing him come back each day with a smile on his face inspired our staff to push our kids to set big goals,” Biesemeyer said.

So we are all wondering now what is next for the Alpine ski team. The U18 teams are currently participating in the U18 National qualifiers in Vermont. The U16 Team is training at home and preparing for U16 New York State Championships on March 3-5. The Nordic team is getting ready for Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, AK, and the Freestyle team is training at Whiteface and competing each weekend at Titus Mountain.

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