Humans of Northwood: Joey Winthrop ‘23 

“I am from Lake Placid, NY. I moved from Los Angeles roughly four years ago. The atmosphere in Los Angeles is a lot different there than it is here in Lake Placid.

“I enjoy playing hockey, woodworking, fishing, and spending time outdoors.

“Not many people know that I rebuild outboard engines and reupholster boats to make a bit of cash.” 

As told to Cedric Lemaire ‘24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.  

Leddel Competes for the Philippines in Southeast Asia Games

Noah Leddel ’23 represented the Philippines at the 2023 South Asia Games in Cambodia. Photo provided.

Noah Leddel ’23, a talented soccer player on the U19 team at Northwood, has been given the incredible opportunity to represent the Philippines Under-23 National Team in international competitions. Born to a Filipino mother, Leddel’s selection is a proud moment for him and the Filipino soccer community, as well as the highest level of soccer he has achieved in his career.

Leddel summarized his experience to me, saying, “Yeah, so just to summarize, the experience of playing international football and at this level has been incredible. The treatment of us players and the professionalism of the camp from top to bottom was just amazing. We had two training sessions a day, stats, nutrition, everything taken care of, massages, physio, strict bedtime, and obviously, that’s something that can be bad, but when you’re preparing for a big tournament like this, that’s what you want really, and I’d say more than anything it was a grind eating the same hotel food  being in the same routine, but at the same time it’s such an amazing experience being together, and you’re fighting for your country.”

The Philippines National Team, also known as the Azkals, has been striving to make its mark on the global soccer stage. Leddel’s inclusion in the team adds talent and diversity to the squad. Though the team did not get quite the results they wanted, Noah says, “We had the youngest team in the tournament, and we can only go up from here… I didn’t know any of the boys really coming into this and just coming out of it with now having 20 brothers that I have a shared experience.” Leddel’s journey to this achievement has been marked by dedication and hard work. As a player, he is always striving for more and pushing himself and the players around him.

Leddel expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to play for his mother’s homeland. Leddel shared what this experience meant for him, “It means a lot that I can connect with my Filipino side and the people of the Philippines and share this experience with my Filipino Brothers. Obviously, living in Hong Kong and the USA has kind of made me feel the disconnect… being here and singing the national anthem side by side with my boys and my brothers really means a lot to me, and it makes you more passionate even for the country just to come back and keep fighting and bring the Philippines on top of Asia and competing with the likes of Japan and Korea…It’s only given me more to keep going.”

Leddel’s inclusion in the Filipino national team represents a step forward in the growth and recognition of soccer in the Philippines. The biggest driving force for this development is from the supporters, and Noah puts it best when he says, “Seeing the support for the Philippines and seeing the support for the Philippines and just the support, in general, was pretty incredible. Southeast Asia (SEA Games) is an event that happens once every two years and changes host country each year. This year, Cambodia did a really good job promoting the event and getting the general public and the people of Cambodia very hyped up for the tournament. Every game that Cambodia played would have about 30,000 fans, and we were fortunate enough to be in a group with them and play them.

Leddel also acknowledged the support and guidance he received from Northwood, teammates, and coaches. “Thank you to everyone at Northwood for supporting me and helping me get to here, and making this possible for me. Obviously, it hasn’t been easy accommodating mewhile I have been away, and I really appreciate it.”

Burk Learns Game Design with C++ in Independent Study

Northwood offers a space for students to pursue their niche interests through its independent study program. People like Liam Burke ’24 are taking advantage of the opportunities and pursuing their passions. Liam Burke’s Independent study is on game design using C++, one of the most common and versatile programming languages.

As he progressed and built his first few computers, his interest changed. “When I was 14, I became interested in building computer hardware,” Burk said. “After I built my first few computers, I became interested in the software aspect of it.” Burk realized that programming languages were the foundation of computer software, and it “made me feel like a creator,” he said.

Liam’s passion for programming eventually led him to explore game design. This, in part, was due to Liam’s uncle, who works as a game designer for and is producing a game that will be released on PlayStation. Liam’s old school did not support independent projects, so he pursued game design at Northwood as an independent study. He felt that game design would be a perfect independent study and “A way to do something I like and get credit for it.” He worked diligently and taught himself C++, and once he felt comfortable with the programming language, he enrolled in a course that specialized in using C++ for game programming.

Throughout his project, Liam met with his teacher, Ms. Carmichael, to check his progress and stay on track. This helped him to stay motivated and focused on his goal of designing a game from scratch. Liam began the design process by brainstorming ideas and creating a general outline for his game. Next, he started programming, breaking the process down into four distinct steps.

“I started by designing the game world, creating the character and implementing the input movement, implementing the game mechanics, and finally, tweaking the lighting,” Burk said.

After many months of hard work, Liam has completed the first level of his game, which equals approximately 20 minutes of gameplay. This is an impressive achievement for a high school student. Liam’s game is a third-person playable on PC, demonstrating his expertise in C++ and his ability to apply that knowledge to create a fun and engaging gaming experience.

Humans of Northwood: Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalo ’23

“I want to let people know that doing a favor for someone, although you don’t get a reward for it, is sometimes the most fulfilling thing in life and that if you are my friend, I will always be there for you.

“I grew up in a town in Madrid, 20 minutes from the city. As a kid, I lived various experiences, but the ones that stuck with me the most were all the differences with my friends because, you know, being a skier from Spain is a little bit weird. It’s not that we don’t have snow—of course, we do—but it’s not the most common sport to be into because people don’t do the sport as much as soccer, and you have to go every day to the mountain which is not close to my house, and it only snows in the mountains.

“Anyways, the point is that I was so committed to the sport at such a young age that traveling a lot and skipping a lot of school was weird for my friends and me. I remember fighting a lot with my parents to skip races so I could hang out with my friends, but they showed me that if I wanted something, I would have to prioritize it and sacrifice some of the other things I wanted to do. So, ultimately, I learned to be independent when I traveled away from home, and when I came back, I had to solve all the school-related problems with the teachers. It also showed me to appreciate the short time we spend with our friends and family and that you must squeeze the juice of those moments.

“My biggest passion is Alpine skiing, but in general, I’m really into outdoor-related activities, especially anything that has to do with mountains and cold, such as rock climbing, ice climbing, alpinism, etc. Although I am from Spain, soccer has always been a part of my life as other sports such as basketball and tennis. Outside of sports, I also love to program Arduino and 3D modeling, and sometimes I try to replicate engineering projects that I find on YouTube channels.”

As Told to Cedric Lemaire ’24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Humans of Northwood: Cole Bauman ‘23

“I am a second-year senior from Fort Myers, Florida, and I grew up in Ontario, Canada.

“I came to Northwood because I wanted the opportunity to play hockey at the highest level and achieve academic success. After touring the school and seeing the amazing environment, it was a no-brainer to come here.

“One of my favorite experiences this year at school was Mountain Day. Although it was quite challenging and we faced some adversity, it was an amazing experience climbing one of the largest mountains and seeing the amazing views with my best friends.

“When not traveling for hockey or in school, I enjoy lifting weights, playing golf, or going to the beach on campus with my teammates and friends.

“After Northwood, I plan on playing hockey at Nazareth College, where I have committed for the 2023-24 season. Will study Pre-Law to start my journey to becoming an attorney.”

As told to Cedric Lemaire ’24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Celebrating Our Teachers on Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher appreciation week is here! This is an opportunity for students and the community to recognize and honor the dedication of teachers. During Teacher Appreciation Week, schools and communities across the country take time from their regular busy schedule to express their appreciation for teachers in the ways they can.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the teachers in our community that the students of Northwood felt they wanted to recognize. I asked some friends to give shout-outs to some of their favorite teachers. Here’s what they had to say. All of Northwood’s faculty are celebrated in this post.

Thank you, teachers! We appreciate you!

Mr. Timothy Weaver
“Mr. Weaver is a great teacher. He always wants the best for his students and is passionate about teaching. He inspires me to be better, and I enjoy being in his classes. I’m grateful to be his student.”
-Mitchell Baker ’25

Mr. Benjamin LeBlanc
“Mr. LeBlanc has really been a great teacher this year. He helps us learn but also loves our silliness. A fun teacher and also a great person to have help you. It’s been a great year having him teach us, and we look forward to having fun with him in class next year.”
-Koah Paye ‘25 and Sachiel Ming ‘24

Mr. Komar Martinez-Paiz
“I’ve always felt like I can go up to him to ask questions whenever I’m struggling in class. Even though he’s new, he’s very close with the students and creates a good learning environment.”
– Leo Doyle ’25

Ms. Jill walker
“Ms. Walker always brings great energy to the class and provides an amazing learning environment for all students. I always miss class because of skiing, and she always gives me extra time to make up tests and extra work.”
– Sam Rudy ’24

Mr. Aaron Garvey
“Mr. Garvey has made my experience at Northwood so much Better. We have good relationship. He always opens the door to the gym in the morning for us and brings a lot of positivity and laughter to my morning.”
– Cole Bauman ’23


 Noel Carmichael
“Ms. Carmichael keeps the classroom attitude at a good level because she has the right amount of strictness to keep us on track and makes the classroom enjoyable with her humor and fun persona.”
– Hamish Riddell ’26

Mr. Michael Aldridge

Ms. Sandra Baker

 Mr. Brantley Beach

Mr. Tommy Biesemeyer

Ms. Jody Borzilleri

Ms. Teresa Brady

Mr. Tom Broderick

Ms. Kelly Carter

Mr. Andy Donatello

Mr. Trent Durocher

Mr. Bob Emery

Ms. Marcy Fagan

Ms. Andrea Farrell

Mr. Justin Felhaber ’14

Ms. Stephanie Gates

Ms. Raychel Germaine

Mr. Trevor Gilligan ’03

Mr. Jim Grant   

Ms. Elliotte Yookyung Lee

Ms. Marge Maher

Mr. Mike Maher 

Ms. Mandi Maiore 

Mr. Steve Mallaro ‘06

Ms. Elenor Mandigo

Mr. Jeff Martin  

Ms. Systke Martin 

Mr. Kelvin Martinez

Mr. David McCauley

Mr. Jeff Miller  

Mr. Jon Moodey      

Mr. Mark Morris ’78

Mr. Bobby O’Connor

Ms. Heather Odell

Ms. Stacy McCoy Prime

Ms. Kim Ratkos-Stanton  

Mr. Steve Reed

Mr. Gino Riffle 

Ms. Leigh Riffle

Ms. Caroline Roy

Mr. Matt Roy

Mr. Howard Runyon 

Mr. Simon Shergold 

Mr. John Spear ’88

Mr. Adam Stewart

Ms. Ingrid Van Slyke

Ms. Carrie Wardlaw

Ms. Lisa Wint

Ms. Tara Wright 

Ms. Carrie Donatello

Ms. Nadine Hathaway 

Ms. Annie Edwards


Speakers for 2023 Commencement Announced

Graduation marks the completion of years of hard work and dedication. For Northwood, it is a time to celebrate those who left the school in a better place by inviting prominent figures from the community to serve as commencement speakers. Student speakers Aidan Lasky ‘23, Georgia Bailey ‘23, and retiring faculty member Coach Morris ‘77 will share their insights and experiences with graduates.

Coach Mark Morris ’77 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

The honor of speaking at graduation is tremendous, and it could not be a better fit than someone who knows the Northwood experience. Coach Morris graduated from Northwood in 1977 and continued his hockey career by playing at Colgate University. He then continued his professional career playing for the New Haven Nighthawks and the Dallas Black Hawks before starting his illustrious coaching career. He coached for top universities, AHL, and NHL teams. He has amassed incredible wins and, most importantly, has mentored and supported countless players.

Aidan Lasky ’23 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Aidan Lasky ‘23 is our first speaker, a respected member of the boys’ hockey prep team member, and a student leader who has served on the head of School’s Council and twice as a Resident Assistant. Aiden is from Vero Beach, FL, and is a four-year student at Northwood. Aiden is looked up to by many and is one of the core leaders for Northwood. When asked what this meant for him, Aiden said, “It is quite the honor to be able to speak at graduation. Being here for four years, I’ve grown attached to this place and the people that I have met here. I would also want to extend a thank you to all the faculty that put in a good word for me because they certainly helped me get this opportunity. It’s going to be a hard goodbye when leaving Northwood, but I cannot think of any better way to end my time here.”

Georgia Bailey ’23 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Georgia Bailey ‘23 is the alternate captain of the girl’s hockey team. She was given the honor and opportunity to represent and captain her home providence, Team Quebec, at the Canada Games for U18 Women. Georgia is hardworking and committed, and her outgoing personality represents the qualities of a Northwood student leader. In her two years at the school, she has become a community role model on and off the ice. Georgia talks of her experience receiving the news to speak at graduation, “Speaking at graduation came as a shock for me. I was pulled into Mr. Maher’s office, and he told me I would be speaking at graduation, and I had to accept this offer. I was very surprised, excited, and nervous all at once. It is a huge honor to speak at graduation, not only to speak to my peers and classmates but also to address the parents and teachers who made my time at Northwood precious. There are such incredible people at this school that represent Northwood extremely well; this is why I am incredibly proud to be able to speak at graduation and highlight the impact Northwood has had on my life.”

Peak Pathways to Expand Self-Directed Learning

Ms. Stacy Prime, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of the Innovation Hub, is leading the new Peak Pathways program. Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Next school year, all seniors, postgraduates, and some eleventh graders will participate in Peak Pathways by designing and completing a full-year, self-directed, in-depth exploration of an area or field of interest. The new academic initiative expands upon the success of Independent Initiatives in our Advanced Research, Independent Studies, and Apprenticeship programs. It will differentiate Northwood students, improve habits of self-direction and independence, and equip students with new skills.

According to promotional material shared by the school, students in an independent Peak Pathways course will be supported by a Northwood faculty member and, in many cases, a real-world mentor. Students will be required to complete a project that they design and produce a final product and/or performance.

“Peak Pathways is a key component of Northwood’s evolved academic vision and reflects our commitment to preparing a different type of learner,” Ms. Stacy Prime, Chief Innovation Officer at Northwood and Director of the Peak Pathways program, said.

Illustration provided

“The most successful young people will be those who excel at learning by skillfully navigating and integrating new tools and technologies for continuous learning,” Prime said. “Additionally, they will possess a high level of self-awareness, recognizing their unique strengths and interests and leveraging those abilities to generate value in the world,” she added.

The new program will prepare Northwood students for the ever-changing future. “The Peak Pathways program will equip young learners with the essential skills to thrive in a constantly evolving landscape and prepare them for success in the future. I am excited to lead this program at Northwood and am certain the program will greatly benefit our students,” Prime said.

Peak Pathways classes will be organized along ten domains:

  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation, & Finance
  • Humanities Research & Studies
  • Music, Theater, & Sound
  • 3D Modeling & Fabrication
  • Recreational Tourism & Outdoor Leadership
  • Sports Industry
  • Robotics & Futuristic Tech
  • Math, Computer Science, & Engineering
  • Art, Design, & Media
  • STEM Research & Studies

Each domain listed above has more than a dozen subfields related to their respective subject. These subfields are individually-driven and selected by the students. Students will be assigned a cohort with peers who share a common interest, and the groups will meet regularly to reflect on their progress and share ideas.

Most rising postgraduates, 12th and 11th graders have already completed a survey to help the school plan for this new academic program. Maegan Byrne ’24 has already completed the Peak Pathways survey. Byrne has heard about STEM research from her friend Brian Brady ’24, who is conducting an experiment with fruit flies. “I like science and [STEM teacher] Ms. Walker, so maybe I’ll do something in STEM research,” Byrne said.

The opportunities for self-directed learning seem limitless, and soon, students will be making choices about their Peak Pathway.

Catching Up with Kendin Basden ’22

Kendin Basden ’22 (Photo: Kenyon College Athletics)

I recently enjoyed catching up with Northwood Alum Kendin Basden ’22. Kendin is a first-year student at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Kendin plays for Kenyon’s prestigious men’s soccer team in Division III NCAC. As a soccer player, I valued getting the perspective of someone who has undergone the recruitment process using Northwood’s resources.

Kendin went to Northwood for three years; through those years, he was a leader on and off the field. Originally from Bermuda, he came to America before high school to attend North Country School. As a dedicated student-athlete, he has always been passionate about his sport and worked hard to excel both on and off the field. Now, having moved on from his high school to play in college, he is excited to take his skills to the next level and continue pursuing his dreams.

Kendin discussed his adjustment period, where he had to balance the academic workload with his athletic commitments, adjust to living away from home, and adapt to a new social environment. Fortunately, because of Northwood, two out of three of these Kendin already was well versed in. “At Northwood, you have to make your own schedule, to do things at a scheduled time which helps in college because nobody is forcing you to do anything… Having this in place beforehand definitely helps to keep yourself accountable,” Kendin said.

The other aspect of his experience was moving on to the next level to undergo his dream of playing collegiate soccer. “On a good day, I’d like to think we [Northwood] are one of the best prep schools/academies in the country. I think the level of football (soccer) we play will help you get into any school; the level here, whether it is mental IQ, hustle, or technical, and guys getting up at 6 am, that is stuff that helps you where ever you go… I am definitely better off than the guys who came from normal high schools,” Kendin said.

One of the most intriguing pieces of advice that Kendin gave me was, “A lot of people say to put school first, or football first or put whatever first, but in my opinion, you can put whatever you want first as long as you are giving your all into that.” Kendin added that Northwood gives its students the resources to do that with the facilities and the supportive faculty.

“Northwood gives people like us the opportunity to choose what we want to put first and have the other be a close second,” Kendin said.

Six Huskies on JWHL All-Star Team

Six girls’ hockey players participated in the JWHL All-Star Game in February 2023. Photo provided.

Six Huskies were selected for the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) All-Star team: Georgia Bailey ’23, Natalie Zarcone ’23, Brooke Kelley ’24, Anna Pavlasova ’23, Chloe Lewis ’23, and Halle Mules ’24.

Mules and her teammates are grateful for this experience. “This League has opened up so many opportunities for everyone on our team,” Mules said. It has given the team more exposure to college coaches and “boosted our team’s confidence going into the season,” she added.

Mules appreciates the travel and opportunities the league provided Northwood’s student-athletes. “We played at the University of Minnesota, we played in their women’s rink, and their facilities were just amazing… and then we also played a couple of games at Boston College, and we played at Brown,” Mules added.

The Northwood Girls’ Hockey team played in the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) for the first time this year. This entails playing in a selective tournament consisting of some of the best U19 teams in North America. The team are from Boston Massachusetts, Chicago Illinois, Detroit Michigan, Marlborough Massachusetts, Stowe Vermont, Ottawa, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Many of these players dream of earning college scholarships and playing for their country internationally. The JWHL provides a platform for them to hone their skills and display their talent. Founded in 2007, the league’s mission is to provide a high-level of competition for young female players and to help develop and promote women’s hockey.

In addition to providing a competitive environment, the JWHL emphasizes education and personal development. Players are encouraged to prioritize their academic studies and are provided with resources to help them balance school and hockey.

The league also offers programs to help players develop on and off the ice. For example, the JWHL’s “Empowerment Series” provides players with tools and resources to help them become leaders and role models in their sport and communities.

Though the team did not get the results they wanted in their first season of league play, the Northwood players fought hard,  highlighting their talent.

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