Humans of Northwood: Ellie Colby ‘21 

I grew up in Lake Placid, and after attending the local elementary and middle schools here I was ready for a change. I chose Northwood for the opportunity to meet new people from around the world, and for the abundance of opportunities the school offers both inside and outside of the classroom. After being here for four years I could not be happier about my decision to attend. In my time here I have met some of my best friends, created lifelong memories, and have grown as a person. One of my favorite things about Northwood is that students are encouraged to try new activities. While I arrived as a freshman with a love for horseback riding, I am leaving as a senior who spends much time practicing yoga, all because of the school’s after-school activity selection. Besides horseback riding and yoga, I have also done volleyball, golf, and rec skiing, and have dedicated a lot of time to various Northwood clubs, including CARE and the Blue Key society. Although my time at Northwood has been great, I am excited to attend Boston College next year where I will begin a new chapter in my life. I will miss the living room gossip, being at a place where I know the names of nearly all of my peers, and most of all, I will miss attending an institution that makes me look forward to going to school in the morning. Northwood will forever hold a special place in my heart.  

– As told to Marina Alvarez ‘21. Photo provided 

Humans of Northwood: Charlie Purcell ‘21 

I’ve been skiing since before I could walk, but it wasn’t until I came to Northwood that I found a passion for freestyle. It’s such a unique sport because there is no “right” way to do it. Every trick can be done a dozen different ways, and it’s constant learning and progression that made me love the sport.  

I came to Northwood because I was new to the area and going into high school. I took a shot at getting in and made it. I’ve loved my time here at Northwood. Every year has been unique. Northwood has taught me a lot: time management, discipline, and how to write an essay fifteen minutes before its due.  

I’m super pumped for college. I committed to Saint Mike’s the other day, and I really can’t wait to go.  

Something I am really going to miss about Northwood is the living room. The freedom of socializing and seeing my friends in a comfortable place every day is what brings Northwood alive.  

Something no one knows about me is I hate sparkling water. I think seltzer sucks. 

– As told to Meg Cramer ‘21. Photo provided. 

Humans of Northwood: Gian-Franco Rodriguez-Straccia ‘21 

My name is Gian-Franco Rodriguez-Straccia, and I am from Argentina. I heard about Northwood after being contacted by a Black Rock FC coach. One thing about me that has changed throughout my time here would be my mentality. Looking back at my time here five years from now, I will miss my teammates the most. My favorite memory would be when I first arrived here and met all my teammates and the students. My everyday routine, daily training, school, hanging out with teammates, chilling in my room, all the little things you do in a day here is what I will miss the most. Next year, I plan to either go to college or play professional soccer. 

– As told to Bo Solomon ’22. (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Cluster of Positive Cases at Northwood

The front page of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise featured a story by reporter Elizabeth Izzo.

After several rounds of negative COVID-19 tests following spring break, Northwood reported a positive case from the boys’ soccer cohort on April 25th. Following the positive case, the entire cohort was put into quarantine and tested again which resulted in identifying additional positive cases within the cohort. All the positive cases had either mild or no symptoms. The soccer cohort remained in quarantine while the rest of the student body continued in person classes.  

Following the multiple cases within the community, students were anxious about the possibility of an outbreak within other cohorts and how it would affect end of the year activities including prom and graduation. Ashlyn McGrath ‘21 said, “I wasn’t concerned to contract the virus because I had it over spring break. My only concern with all the positive cases arising was prom, graduation and the rest of the year. It’s my senior year, and I want to be able to enjoy the rest of it and have fun with all my friends.”  

While the soccer cohort and close contacts remained in quarantine, surveillance testing on Tuesday, April 27th confirmed a positive case within the girl’s hockey cohort. After receiving the news all students were placed in quarantine until the results of an all-school testing came back. The whole community was tested on Thursday, April 29thResults of that clinic revealed more positive case within the boy’s hockey cohort along with two staff members. The school remains in quarantine until a second testing is conducted and the results come back.  

As of Monday, May 3rd. 22 cases have been confirmed. The contraction of the virus is still unknown with many roots of the outbreak being possible. Nearly all of the school’s faculty is fully vaccinated, and many students have received the first vaccine. The school continues to work closely with the Essex County Health Department about the outbreak.  

Humans of Northwood: Elise Loescher ‘21 

I am a fouryear survivor here at Northwood. I lived in Germany and was exposed to Ski jumping. I am now on the Junior National Ski Jumping team because of the training I can do here at Northwood. As graduation is getting closer, I am looking to my future. I am planning of deferring from UVM and for this upcoming year I will be living in Utah to train with the rest of the JN Team. I am looking forward to the new experiences and goals that the future holds, but I will always cherish my friends and the memories that I have made at Northwood. 

As told to Rachel Hinkley ’21 (Photo provided)

Students on Edge Awaiting Test Results 

Staff at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard process test samples in Cambridge, MA. Northwood uses Broad for most of the school’s testing program. (Courtesy Scott Sassone for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard)

A recent coronavirus outbreak at school has students on edge. They are eager to get yesterday’s allschool test results back this evening. Students hope the results will end the schoolwide quarantine, which began last Friday, after another all-school testing clinic revealed additional students and faculty were positive. To date, 21 students and two employees have tested positive since Sunday, May 25. 

Senior Rachel Hinkley says, “I think it’s especially nerveracking to find out these test results just for the fact girls hockey has been through this before and we know what happens and what it means if more people were to test positive,” noting the girls’ hockey team had an outbreak of COVID-19 over spring break. “We all want to have the best last few weeks of school,” Hinkley continued, especially the seniors who are about to graduate, and I think that’s what’s making most of us nervous: uncertainty about the details about prom, graduation, and all the events kids enjoy and want to experience. So, we’re all hoping these tests come back negative so we can go back to seeing our friends and continue in person classes.”  

“I definitely felt anxious after seeing how many cases we started to get,” said senior Jazzy ValenzuelaDuring the day I feel bored in my room, however outdoor time is rejuvenating from the fresh air and walks we take,” said Valenzuela. Right now, I am hopeful that we will be able to resume a normal school on Thursday. I continue to be hopeful that we will be able to have a graduation and prom, she said.  

Students are eager to learn about the test results later tonight and will be anxiously awaiting for a message from Mr. Spear or Mr. Maher. 

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)

Soccer Team Mixes Business and Pleasure in Arizona

After a hard-fought week of non-stop soccer in Texas at the Dallas Cup, Black Rock FC | Northwood Boys Soccer arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. The rest of Northwood School had just been released for Spring Break, so the boys of the soccer team were looking forward to the chance for some relaxation.’ Many believed this meant sleeping in, time by the pool, and no additional strenuous exercise. Head Coach Jon Moodey had other plans.  

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Day 1 consisted of an early morning wake up for a hike of Dixie Mountain in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. Hiking in the desert around Phoenix is only safe in the morning and evening because of the extreme mid-day temperatures (soaring to 100F, even in April). The desert landscape is stark and lifeless to the untrained eye, but wildlife and plant life flourish there. Owls, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and towering cactuses were all on display.  

The next week saw a mix of fun and work. The team trained and toured at NAIA Ottawa AZ, a 4-year-old University that focuses purely on athletics. The college coaching staff welcomed Black Rock into their weight room, locker room, and allowed the team to practice on their home turf. The U19 and U18 teams also got the chance to play 80minute friendly matches against Del Sol FC and Real Salt Lake FC. This totaled 4 games in Arizona.  

The highlight of Arizona for the team was a road trip to the Grand Canyon. The group broke up and hiked the Southern Rim. They then descended the canyon on the South Kaibab Trail passing Ooh Aah Point before eating lunch at Cedar Ridge. Views were panoramic as it was truly a day to remember.  

A final memory for many of the boys was the Fossil Creek Waterfall. Cliff jumping and swimming in the crystal-clear water proved to be a fulfilling reward for the long trek.  

Arizona was a great second leg to the month-long journey. It provided great balance during a soccer specific trip. 

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. 

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