Student Achievement Honored in Virtual Co-Curricular Award Ceremony

Every year at this time commencement is just around the corner, which means events celebrating the academic and athletic achievements of Northwood students. This special time has always begun with a Co-Curricular Awards Banquet, the opportunity to recognize the outstanding athletic achievements for each co-curricular sport. However, with this year ending very differently and suddenly compared to every other year since the opening of Northwood, students were sent home early and classes are currently taking place online, the faculty community has worked hard to ensure that all co-curricular achievements are still recognized.


Under normal circumstances, the entire Northwood community would get ready for the Co-Curricular Awards Banquet, a formal dinner followed by the co-curricular awards presentation. This is where the students are identified for their accomplishments surrounded by their friends, teammates, all other coaches, and the rest of the community. One member from each activity is selected by the faculty to receive the award on this night, sometimes making it very challenging for the coaches. However, for all co-curricular activities in the 2019-2020 season and all the student-athletes to be recognized received their award differently. Jaden Klebba ‘21 winner of the Alpine Skiing Girls award talked about how she felt; she said, “I was definitely caught by surprise when I heard my name in the video, I expected it to be one of my teammates. I personally believe any girl on my team could have won but it definitely made me feel good about myself, especially after a season that wasn’t quite as rewarding as I had wished”. Another award winner, Daniel Colabufo ‘20, winner of Junior Boys Hockey award, said “It was an honor and I appreciate the kind words Coach Cassidy said about me. It was not the same experience as in-person but given the circumstances, I thought the ceremony was really good.”

It was definitely a different style of an award presentation, but Northwood made sure to do their best and Klebba reflected upon it, “part of me wishes that the award ceremony could have happened in person but I know that there are much bigger things that everyone is missing out on right now, besides I wouldn’t have known how to act”.

All coaching staff got together on a video call from their own homes to announce their chosen winners, which were announced publicly on Wednesday 6th May 2020. The video was released to allow all students a part of the Northwood community to see the appointed award winners in their specific sport and many congratulation messages were sent all over the world.

2019-2020 Co-Curricular Awards from Northwood School on Vimeo.

Humans of Northwood: Elias Fleischman

I am one of the few “four-year survivors” at The Wood, I came to Northwood mainly for the high hockey program, but along with that came high academics and a lot of life-long relationships and friendships. Traveling not too far away from home in South Burlington, Vermont, to get the opportunity of an unforgettable experience, where the people that made it so special.

There were differences between Northwood and my previous school. My old school was a lot bigger than Northwood, about five times the size and it wasn’t a boarding school so the community wasn’t as tight-knit. I know I made the right move to attend Northwood.  The very long, cold, and dark winter is the thing I dislike about Northwood, but apart from that, it has been a special high school career and a time that I will never forget.

Spending four years of my life at Northwood, I found that when you’re at Northwood you’re schedule is so busy from school to co-curriculars to study hall and meals that you don’t get much downtime. When I’m at school I tend to miss the ability to make my own schedule and sort of relaxing at home.

Throughout my time I have created friendships and made memories that will last, but the thing I will never forget about Northwood is the last night with the boys after we were told to start packing to go home due to the pandemic. All of our brains were pretty scattered that night but it’s still one of those nights I’ll never forget. The boys are what I am going to miss the most.

– As told to Aimee Headland ‘20

Humans of Northwood: Magdalena Erbenova ‘20

With the goal of graduating from a university in the U.S after finishing my high school years at Northwood, I made the move away from home in Czech Republic. I decided to attend Northwood for many reasons: the location of the school, excellent academics, and the long hockey season.

I was able to get a whole new experience at Northwood, enjoying every moment and every aspect of it. I won’t forget it. I was able to see the difference between Northwood and my old school, the main one being that the faculty are definitely more open and friendly. The school systems are completely different, making it a whole different world. There is one similarity: the people and things I miss both when I am away. I especially miss my friends back home, but after I left Northwood I miss the friends I made there. I especially miss my art classes.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about Northwood. It is a special place, but I would have to say the food some days wasn’t great. The girls’ hockey program had an amazing season, which I loved, even if we always had pizza for dinner after games.

– As told to Aimee Headland ‘20

Humans of Northwood: Luke French ‘20

Luke French ’20

I have attended four different high schools and will finish it at Northwood School, thousands of miles away from my home in Overland Park, Kansas.

I decided to come to Northwood to further my hockey career. I knew from the school’s history that it would be the best option for me during my PG year of school. Coach Cassidy has proven over and over that he is able to move players to the next level and get them the best opportunities possible to set them up for future success. Now, although I know that Northwood was the right decision for me, I do miss my parents and dog the most. I wish I could see them each day and eat my mom’s cooking every night.

Northwood is a very different type of school compared to my old one. The major differences are that at my old school there were about 1,200 people compared to just under the two hundred students at Northwood.

My year at Northwood has been one I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I never thought at the beginning of the year that I would meet some of my best friends and create so many more friendships. As the year went on, I realized how fun prep school was and I wish that I came earlier in my high school career and was able to be at Northwood for more than one year. Many things related to Northwood make it special, but for me getting the chance to make friendships and bonds with other students, especially my hockey brothers are something I will never forget. This year we had one of the best teams I have been a part of, and I am honored to call them family for life.

There are very few things I dislike about Northwood, but I don’t like how long it stays cold and snows all the time. At first it’s nice but then after a while it gets kind of old. Despite that, I am very happy with my decisions to attend Northwood.

After Northwood, I want to pursue my hockey career as far as I can. Next year I plan to play for the Boston Junior Bruins and then after playing there, I will decide where I want to attend college.

– As told to Aimee Headland ‘20

Humans of Northwood: Daniel Colabufo ‘20

Underwear is not designed to be worn as a hat, but one day during my preschool years I thought differently. I was upset and decided to take my underwear off and put them on my head like a hat for the rest of the day. My name is Daniel Colabufo, and I’m senior from Camillus, New York.

For me, I liked pretty much everything about Northwood, although study hall could sometimes be a grind. I see why it’s necessary, though. Apart from that, I loved every moment of the past three years. My experience has been great. I’ve had the ability to grow my game on the ice, and I have also have had the opportunity to meet so many new people and build friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime. The memories and experiences Northwood has given me are unforgettable, from lessons learned from Coach Cassidy and my teachers, especially Reno, to being a part of the team that made school history by winning the First State Championships.

Deciding to attend Northwood was a tough decision for me because many factors came into play, but I wouldn’t have changed my choice because of all the positives that came with it. My decision was dependent on the hockey program and the academics. I felt I would develop the most on the ice and in the classroom if I chose Northwood. Also, I could see myself at Northwood before I enrolled, it checked all the boxes I was looking for.  However, leaving my family and friends behind was one of the toughest parts for my family and me. I do miss them the most, but fortunately, I am very lucky because my parents usually take the trip to come and watch me play most weekends which is very nice because I get to see them more than many of my teammates.

West Genesee High School, my old high school which I very much enjoyed, and Northwood are two different schools. The major difference between Northwood and West Genesee High School is the class size. Because the class size is so much smaller and most teachers even live on campus at Northwood you tend to develop more meaningful relationships with your teachers.  Overall, you spend more time with your teachers and classmates.

All of the memories and experiences made during my years at Northwood are moments that will carry with me through my life after I graduate. I am going to be playing a year of Junior hockey in the AJHL for the Bonnyville Pontiacs and then will be attending The College of the Holy Cross to play college hockey.

– As told to Aimee Headland ‘20

Humans of Northwood: Eli Devereaux ‘20

The only thing I dislike about Northwood is the food. But other than that, Northwood has given me friendship bonds that I’ll never forget and experiences that will last. I’ve loved all of my three years at Northwood. It’s been my home away from my home in Webster, New York.

Before Northwood, I attended a public high school, so the biggest difference between that school and Northwood was definitely the boarding aspect. At Northwood, I got to live with the boys and become close with my team. Another important difference was the sports programs. Northwood has given me opportunities in hockey that I could never have received before.

Although I missed my family and my family missed me, choosing Northwood was easy. Northwood offered me not only all the educational opportunities but also great high-level hockey. There were a lot of new guys that joined the program this year. But we quickly became close and made it into a pretty special year. The boys are something I’m going to miss the most.

Once I graduate, I’d like to play college hockey.

– As told to Aimee Headland

Humans of Northwood: Hadley Swedlund ‘20

Throughout much of my childhood, I was convinced that I was Hannah Montana. But acting and singing weren’t for me.

Apart from the overly long winters, I enjoyed pretty much everything about Northwood. My Northwood experience has been amazing. It’s been life-changing. And I’m thankful for all of the opportunities I was given. I was able to meet people from all over the world and make unbreakable bonds. I will never forget the relationships I made with teammates, coaches, and faculty. The past three years have been unforgettable. I did miss my family and my dog Gus a lot when I was at school, but my transition from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Lake Placid was easy. Before Northwood, I went to a regular public high school where teachers did not care as much as the faculty at Northwood do. At Northwood, teachers always find time to help students.

I’ve always known leaving Northwood would be hard. But it’s been especially hard now that the end has come a bit sooner. I already miss being with my friends, Coach Gilligan, and Coach Getz every day. Northwood is my home away from home, and I’ll never forget the feeling I had being with the community.

Soon, I’ll be attending Suffolk University to further my education and hockey career. Northwood has set me up for this next step because I’ve been taught so many things on and off the ice throughout my three years.

– As told to Aimee Headland

Humans of Northwood: Madison Novotny ‘20

I’m known as Novo, a senior who misses her bed, her family, and her obese cat the most when she’s away from home.

Insane is the word I’d use to describe my Northwood career. At Northwood, I did things that I could have never done in Wesley Chapel, Florida, such as hiking. This year, I was also part of the winningest girls’ hockey team that set records that went down in Northwood’s history. I’ll never forget about the friends and memories I made at Northwood that will last a lifetime, my teammates that I spent my ups and downs with, and the unbreakable bonds I formed with the community. My Northwood family has given me moments I’ll cherish forever.

There are many differences between the school where I started my high school career and Northwood in Lake Placid. First, in Florida, there wasn’t a high school team I could play on. So I was on a travel girls’ team, and the girls there were nowhere near as skilled or competitive as Northwood’s girls. Second, the teacher to student ratio is better at Northwood. I feel like I was able to receive a better education and truly learn at Northwood, compared to my previous high school where the education was sub-par. (I like to play golf, so I hope you like my little pun;).)

My time at Northwood has made such an impact on my life that I can’t really think of anything I dislike about Northwood. Honestly, this school was like a vacation but with your parents and your weird uncle invited. Sometimes they’re really weird, and all you want to do is get away from them. But other times you enjoy their company because they are your family.

After I graduate, I’m going to attend Utica College where I’ll play on their hockey team and be part of the school’s DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) Program. But even in and after college, I’ll never forget any of the moments throughout my time at Northwood.

– As told to Aimee Headland ’20

Humans of Northwood: Ben Norton ‘22

Ben Norton

In England, ice hockey is not what comes to mind when people think of “hockey.” Field hockey is. Although I did play field hockey for South Yorkshire, ice hockey has always been my main focus. That’s why my family and I made the decision for me to leave home in Doncaster, England to attend Northwood.

Coming to Northwood came with massive sacrifices. The biggest one was leaving behind my brother, Daniel, and the rest of my family. But I believed that Northwood would give me the best opportunity to further my hockey career at an American University.

My experience in America so far has been one I will never forget. I have really enjoyed meeting new people from all over the world, especially my roommate from Mexico, and learning about their different cultures and backgrounds. Of course, it was very difficult to leave home, but I always look forward to the time I get to see my family.

Northwood is completely different from my old high school because hockey wasn’t a part of my everyday life like it is at Northwood. Back home, I had to play other sports that I wasn’t really interested in. At Northwood, I’m able to really focus on hockey in such a beautiful location. One thing I don’t like about Lake Placid, though, is that bus rides for games seem to be a minimum of four hours. But I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’m given here. I’m excited to see where my path takes me.

– As told to Aimee Headland ’20

Humans of Northwood: Luke Smith ‘21

Luke Smith

My strong English accent makes it hard for many people at Northwood to understand me. But I don’t regret that I moved away from my family and my home town of Bolton, England two years ago to attend Northwood. Throughout my time here, my experience has been better than I could’ve ever imagined. Northwood has given me the best opportunity to play football and get an enhanced education. No matter what happens, I’m certain that I want to stay in America because I want to continue pursuing my football career at an American university.

Unfortunately, with positives, there always come some negatives. But there are only a couple of negatives for me. The food offered at Northwood is something I don’t like. I miss English food. I’ve also never been able to adjust to the weather. It’s drastically different from back home. The one thing I miss the most about home is the English banter because I can’t get it with my friends here in America.

There are a lot of differences between Northwood and my old school. One of the main ones is that my old school was a local public high school and Northwood is a private school. I find education at Northwood more difficult and challenging. Another obvious difference is that Northwood is a boarding school. With that comes a whole different style of living and learning, but I couldn’t be happier with the change.

Living away from home is hard. But it’s given me the opportunity to make many memories and unforgettable times with my teammates. My life at Northwood has been unbelievable so far. The relationships I made here will stay with me forever.

– As told to Aimee Headland ’20

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