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)

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)

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. 

Humans of Northwood: Lars Kroes ‘21 

One of the biggest reasons I chose to attend Northwood was for the opportunities that both the hockey and school programs had to offer. I have been here for 3 years now, and I have created such an amazing group of friends. Northwood has so much to do outside of school and I feel I have taken advantage of that. Northwood has taught me to create good relationships with your teachers because those relationships can help you in the future with jobs or with meeting people. One of the things I love about the hockey program is how close we all are. The program creates such a strong bond between such a different group of guys. I am super excited to attend the University of Oregon. It has all the sports I love to play and watch. I will be able to ski and kitesurf on the weekends, which is hard to find in the world. I am also excited about the school part, but the location is amazing. I am going to miss the tight community we have; everyone knows everyone. I am also going to miss some of the teachers that have made my experience unforgettable.”  

As told to Meggan Cramer ’21 (Photo provided)

Humans of Northwood: Sierra Butler ‘21 

I am from Burlington, VT. I played for Rice Prep for three years before deciding to finish out my high school career at Northwood. I was drawn to Northwood because of the elite hockey program with great coaches as well as the rigorous academics. When I arrived in the fall, I was welcomed by my teammates and students here as well as the faculty members. Coming to a new school for my senior year was a big change for me, but the culture here made me feel at home right away. Surrounded supportive friends, coaches, and teachers, I have felt myself grow in confidence. I have found the courage to step out of my comfort zone and use my voice to engage with others. I have met some amazing people here from all over the world and have made friendships and memories that I know will last a lifetime. My experience at Northwood has taught me many valuable lessons that will stick with me forever. I am excited to attend Northeastern University next year where I will be furthering my education and finding my career path! 

As told to Rachel Hinkley ‘21 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge) 

Humans of Northwood: Gabby Cote ‘21 

Northwood has been my home for the past 4 and a half years. Northwood has pushed me to try many new things and has prepared me for my future life. I skied raced for all my years at Northwood, and now for my spring co-curricular, I’ve gone back to dancing, which I pursued before I came to Northwood. I’m still waiting to hear back from one college for next year, but my goal in my next couple of years is to hopefully go to med school! 

As told to Mackenzie Hull ‘21. (Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge) 

Humans of Northwood: Amelia Brady ‘21 

“I am a four-year survivor from Lake Placid. Northwood has changed a lot during my time here, but it has remained a tight-knight family. It is such a unique place and I’ve loved all the traditions that come with the school. I came to Northwood to ski, and I am grateful to say that I started and ended my ski career at Whiteface. Having the opportunity to both train and learn at such a high level is so special. When I reflect on my time at Northwood, I will always remember hanging out in the living room with the girls, traveling to Austria to train, and walks to town.” 

As told to Rachel Hinkley ‘21. (Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge) 

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