Humans of Northwood: Max Oechsner ‘21  

I would consider myself a pretty creative individual, and I have a lot of interests outside of sportNorthwood has helped me foster and explore those extracurricular facets of my life, including art and music. I am a senior and have been at Northwood for two years, but I wished I came earlierNorthwood is my home; it is so easy to build this incredible sense of community here and create so many deep connections with people and it just happens so fast here. It was amazing. I am definitely going to miss the people more than anything because it is hard to foster this sense of community everywhere else. I am going to continue my academic career at University of Vermont (UVM), which I think will be a nice transition because I can find the same type of people at UVM than here, which means a lot of people that are hard-working and committed, love enjoying nature and love to get involved in all sorts of activities outside of their classes. My time here at Northwood has shaped me into the man I am today, and I can only think of it as changing me for the better.”  

As told to MJ Prince ‘22 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Humans of Northwood: Jaden Klebba ‘21 

I am from New Jersey, but every winter weekend since I was 8 years old, I have spent my time skiing at Whiteface. I chose Northwood because of the NYSEF/Northwood pipeline and because it offered me new experiences. I enjoy living with my friends and the community; It has given me many treasured relationships. When COVID was not a thing, I loved school meetings, but this year I love the amount of time people spend outside. I am choosing between going to the University of Utah or taking a gap year. If I took a gap year, I’m thinking about WWOOFing (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) or traveling.  I will definitely miss the community the most.” 

As told to MJ Prince ‘22. Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge. 

Humans of Northwood: Norah Dempsey ‘21 

I love that I have been able to make friends from all over the world at Northwood. Something I enjoyed the most here was playing spike ball every evening in the fall. I chose Northwood because it was the environment where I could get the best out of my skiing and academics. Next year I will be taking a gap year in Lake Placid to focus on skiingI will miss all my friends who are going to college.” 

As told to MJ Prince ‘22. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge. 

Colleges Plans Provide Clues for Life at Northwood Next Year 

Image: iStock/Getty Images

Will next year be more of the same or will school be back to a pre-pandemic normal? Northwood hasn’t shared its plan for next year, but many colleges have, and those plans may provide clues as to what Northwood will look like next year.  

As the college admission cycle ends this spring, college administrations are beginning to share their plans for next year. With the vaccination rate in the United States increasing rapidlydoes that mean a return to normal? As Northwood School followed colleges throughout the pandemic in terms of reopening plans, does this mean a return to normal for Northwood as well? 

US colleges are hoping for a return to normalcy by next fall and the COVID-19 vaccine is the centerpiece of many colleges’ plansA growing number of colleges, such as Rutgers, Brown, CornellNortheastern, and Duke are requiring students to be fully vaccinated before returning to in-person classes. Most colleges are allowing students to opt-out of the vaccine for medical or religious reasons.  

Students generally support the vaccine requirement. CNBC reports that “according to a recent survey of 1,000 college students by College Pulse, an overwhelming 71% of students believe colleges have the right to require students to get vaccinated before returning to campus. However, 19% say they do not support vaccination requirements and 10% say they are not sure.” As vaccines become widely available to all college-age students, it’s widely expected that more colleges and universities will require vaccinations. 

But not every school believed they can legally require students to get vaccinated. Some colleges wish to leave the decisionAt Virginia Tech, officials “determined that they can’t because the US Food and Drug Administration has only allowed the emergency use of the vaccines and hasn’t given vaccines its full approval.”  

Three COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the US, but only the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer is approved for people 16 and up. Approximately 20% of Northwood students are currently under 16For a secondary school like Northwood to require the COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA must approve a vaccine for people under 16. Clinical trials and well underway for people aged 12-15, but it is uncertain whether the vaccine will be approved for people aged 12 and up in time for Northwood’s youngest students to be vaccinated before the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

Whether and how vaccinations will figure into Northwood’s plan for next school year is still unclear. Mr. John Spear, Assistant Head for School Life, said the school will share more about its plan for next year “in the coming weeks.” 

Huskies Race Against Top Collegiate Skiers

Most Northwood School athletes dream of competing at the highest level of intercollegiate competition. For members of the ski team, they get to compete at that level while still at Northwood. On February 25 and 26, NYSEF hosted the NCAA Division I St. Lawrence University carnival at Whiteface, where Northwood ski team and alumni competed against the top collegiate ski racers in the east. 

The SLU Carnival was the first race of the season with racers from outside our region, and it was especially difficult because it was also Northwood’s athlete’s first chance this season to race against top racers 

Some of the East’s top ski programs, like University of Vermont, Boston College and University of New Hampshire traveled to Whiteface to race GS at the Carnival. 

Northwood senior Audrey Higgins-Lopez (right) was on the podium at the St. Lawrence University Carnival. (Image: NYSEF)

Northwood’s top athlete was Audrey Higgins-Lopez ‘21 who placed 5th. Other strong finishers were: Benni Caloro ‘21 (8th), Norah Dempsey ‘21 (13th), Jake Reynolds ‘19 (6th  & 12th) and Andrew Van Slyke ‘20 (15th). 

Race report Whiteface series 

From February 4th to 10th, Whiteface held men’s and women’s divisional FIS series and Northwood athletes have participated in every race. 

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Our FIS men’s team began the series with a GS on the 4th. Rowen Norfolk ‘22 placed 5th and 4th second race, Hugh Dempsey ‘19 placed 4th and 3rd, Ben DeGirolamo ‘21 placed 2nd both races and Andrew Van Slyke 20 won both races.  

Next up was a Men’s and Women’s slalom on the 5th. Norah Dempsey ‘21 placed 2nd and Benni Caloro  ‘21 won both races. Van Slyke placed 2nd 

There was a Men’s GS on the 8th and a SG on the 9th. DeGirolamo finished 3rd first race and Van Slyke placed 5th and 4thOn the 9th, Jake Reynolds ‘19 placed 5th and 4th, Wim Roney ‘18 placed 3rd and 2nd and Van Slyke finished 5th second race.  

The FIS women completed the series with a GS race the on the 10th. Leah DeFilippo ‘22 finished 5th second race with Karleigh Hollister ‘22 4th and Ava Day ‘21 3rd. 

Meanwhile two USSA races were also held at whiteface on the 6th and 7th. Boys were racing on the 6th and Dominick DeGuardia  24 won both races and Girls were on the 7thCaloro placed 3rd and 1st and Audrey HigginsLopez. ‘21 placed 2nd. 

This wraps up the 12 recent Whiteface races. 

Huskies Reach Podium in First Races Since Start of Pandemic

New York State recently had the first ski races since the pandemic shut down the ski season. Northwood Alpine ski team participated with the U16 and U19 women on Saturday, January 9 and the U16 and U19 men on Sunday, January 10. Both races were at Whiteface, Northwood’s home mountain in Wilmington, near Lake Placid. The Huskies competed against collegiate ski racers from schools like St. Lawrence and Clarkson.  

It certainly felt good for our racers to be back in the game but it took a lot of organization and work from the Northwood and NYSEF coaches and staff. Despite — or maybe because of — the new COVID-19 measures put in place, it all ran smoothly.  

Athletes have been working hard for this day the entire year. They had a rigorous and consistent dryland first trimester, a training camp in Colorado for the FIS boys starting in late October and a training camp in Maine for the FIS girls starting December followed by training at our home mountain since January 4th. 

Our best results for Northwood were Audrey Higgins-Lopez ‘21 with a 2nd place and Norah Dempsey ‘21 with a 5th place ‘21 on Saturday. Andrew Van Slyke ‘20 got 4th place and Jake Reynolds ‘19 a 5th place on Sunday.  

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