First Snow for Student and Faculty from Warm-Climates

Said El Eyssami ’26 taking in his first snow outside the Northwood School Innovation Hub on Main in October 2023. Photo: Maegan Byrne ’24.

“It’s really beautiful,” said Said El Eyssami ’26 on a cold Monday recently while seeing snow for the first time. The first snowfall is a big event on campus, and seeing snow for the first time is “exciting,” said Mr. Jose Coss, who also experienced his first snow.

When the fire alarm sounded at the Hub during a Language Lab event on Monday, October 30th, students evacuated to the sidewalk and waited for the Fire Department to allow them back in. While outside, it began to snow for the first time this year, which added a celebratory vibe to the false alarm.

Mr. Coss is from Puerto Rico. This was his first time seeing really solid snow. He had seen snow briefly while living a year abroad in Spain near Sierra Nevada. While there, he had a day of snow that “wasn’t anything like the big snow that we saw a couple of days ago.”

Said El Eyssami ’26 (left) and Mr. Jose Coss during their first snow outside the Northwood School Innovation Hub on Main in October 2023. Photo: Maegan Byrne ’24.

“I have mixed feelings about the snow,” said Coss. “Being from the Caribbean, I’m used to very hot weather. Right now, back home, it is 95 degrees. I feel really cold, but it’s still exciting. I think there is beauty in everything, so when I opened the door the other day and saw everything in white, it was beautiful.” Coss is also excited to try winter sports, such as skiing and skating. “It’s exciting. It’s a new experience, and one should thrive in it.”

Said is from Venezuela and hadn’t seen snow before last week. “It was really fun!” he said. A few days after it snowed more during the soccer boy’s practice. Said described training in the snow as “beautiful.”

“It was really beautiful to see the town covered in snow, the pitch covered in snow, and the school covered in snow, and I’m really excited to see more snow.” As one of many students coming from warm-weather locations, Said is not looking forward to how cold it will get once winter sets in. However, he is excited to try new things this winter. “I want to try skiing, sledding, and maybe skating,” he said.

Chess Club Brings School Together

Chess Club founders Nathaniel Wright ’25 (left) and Trey Frantz ’25. Photo provided.

Chess Club is the newest addition to the Northwood extra-curricular catalog. The Chess Club was founded by Nathaniel Wright ‘25 and Trey Frantz ‘25, who said, “We wanted to start this club because chess has become a new passion for us both. We thought it would be a great way to be more inclusive in school and get some new bonds going.”

Chess is a game of strategy and patience; Nate and Trey have clearly mastered that as their 2-week-old club has over 50 members. Northwood School strives for unity and interdependence. Creating a new club shows the true spirit of Northwood. Nate and Trey spoke about starting a club for the educational purposes of the students at Northwood. They strive for excellence and thought that an addition of an extra-curricular that focuses on everybody talking and bonding is just what the school needs.

Members of the Chess Club play in the library. Photo provided.

“The Chess Club has gotten to an almighty start. We are holding a tournament, and I cannot be more excited. I honestly cannot believe how successful this club is, it is one of the greatest decisions I made.”

Chess Club participants are driven to get a higher rating so they can receive more prestige and a “Chess Club Instagram edit.” Some of the Instagram edit stars include Noah Moodey ‘25 and Jacob Brunton ‘25. The balance between socializing and getting better at a world-renowned game keeps bringing people to the chess board. Founders Trey and Nate are overjoyed with what has happened with the club so far and are excited for the future.

Pink the Rink Weekend a huge success  

Kate Broderick ’22 (foreground) at the Pink the Rink game in October 2021 (Photo: Northwood School/Facebook).

The “Pink the Rink” event took place at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on Saturday, November 4. Pink the Rink is a student-led event that was created to spread awareness and raise money to fight breast cancer. Halle Mules ’24 and Owen Flynn ’24 came up with the idea and coordinated the successful event.

Throughout the school day, students were given opportunities to donate money to help the cause. The organizers also did a fantastic job marketing the games, and with the soccer teams in Lake Placid for the weekend, large crowds came to support the cause, all wearing pink.  

Ritter Coombs ’25 said, “It was a great experience playing for a great cause. It was also fun looking at the crowd and seeing everyone united.”

Halle Mules, the captain of the Girls’ Hockey team, is a key student-leader at Northwood. “We did Pink the Rink to hopefully make this event a student-led tradition at Northwood,” Mules said. “We wanted to play for something bigger than ourselves. We also wanted to correlate this idea to this year’s theme of unity,” she added.

Unity is something that is very important to the culture at Northwood and is something leaders at this school are trying to achieve. Diego Green ’25 expressed, “It was a great idea. Seeing everyone come together to support something that is bigger than sport is beautiful. Even [soccer Head] Coach Moodey and his family came to support.”

Halle and Owen would not have been able to produce this event without the help of several teammates, teachers, and students. The community didn’t only come together during the event but also during the process of creating the event. 

The event was one to remember and is something that will most certainly continue to be a tradition at Northwood. “The event went really well,” Mules said. “Everyone being able to come out and support something bigger than us shows the school culture is alive and well. A lot of kids donated, and a lot of kids learned more about breast cancer,” Mules added. 

As the community continues to grow, more and more leaders are trying to stimulate change. Northwood encourages these students to do what Owen and Halle did because it only brings positivity to the community. 

Entrepreneurship Class Provides Challenge and Opportunity

How would you feel if you became a person who organized and operated a business and took on greater financial risk? Wouldn’t it feel exciting and inspirational? That’s how Northwood Entrepreneurship students feel every day. Entrepreneurship is a Peak Pathway led by Mr. Thomas ”Brody” Broderick.

What really is Entrepreneurship? Why do students enjoy this class so much? What made me so captivated by this class? For this, I needed to write down my thoughts because I couldn’t find the exact little thing that made me excited to go to class every day.

After some reflection, I’ve concluded that it challenges me. In my life, never have I had the task to either create a project on my own, build a brand, or start something that could make the world better. The idea that we can change something gives me a purpose to keep my ideas going further. I was having a challenging time finding an idea at first. I tried creating an avalanche rescue kit but failed. I then tried cut-proof speed suits for racers, but it still wasn’t the one. When I went back home for Family Weekend, I had a Thanksgiving dinner with my family. We brought the subject up and that’s when I realized, I found my idea, and ever since, nothing has changed my mind about it.

In the first week of school, Brody asked us a question. I asked Teegan Wardlaw ’25 what challenges her the most in the entrepreneurship class, she said, “Thinking of an idea and sticking to it is hard because I often don’t have enough self-discipline.” Wardlaw also mentioned that the independent class felt different than a teacher-led class. Teegan is one of only two girls in this class with me, but that doesn’t bother her. She knew she would be out of her comfort zone, but most of the time, that’s a good thing.

I think this class only brings benefits for students. It will help students develop their entrepreneurship knowledge and, who knows, maybe one day we will be following the story of a Northwood entrepreneur.

Seven Hockey Players Committed to Colleges

Six girls’ hockey players are committed to colleges already. Photo of a recent lineup card by Mitchell Baker ’25.

As the 2023-24 school year has commenced, the hockey teams are off to a record-breaking start. Four girls have committed to top Division 1 and Division 3 programs that will put them on a positive trajectory in life. On the boys’ team, the first commit of the new year is Ritter Coombs ‘25. Ritter has committed to Providence University, a Division 1 hockey powerhouse.

“Committing” is a major goal for many athletes at Northwood. The most common answer to the question “Why did you come to Northwood?” is “to further my academic and athletic ability and one day attend a top university.”  Coombs started his Northwood journey last year as a sophomore with the ambition to one day play Division 1 hockey.

“Committing to Providence and a Division 1 school is something I’ve been dreaming of my whole life. It means a lot to me and my family. All the money, time, and effort spent has paid off.” In men’s hockey, players commonly play a year or two of junior hockey before starting college. Committing as a junior in high school means Ritter could take his first step on campus any time in the next five years.

“I’m not exactly sure what’s next,” Coombs said. “I seem to have an opportunity to play in Dubuque next year for the Fighting Saints of the USHL. I could also come back to Northwood and play for Coach Mallaro. I am not sure when I will go to Providence. It depends on how I progress on the ice.”

Girls’ Hockey has four new commits, making a total of six committed players on its team. The two commits from the 2022-23 school year are Scout Oudemool ‘24 (Harvard University) and team captain Halle Mules ‘24 (Saint Lawerence University). The new commits are Katie Demers ‘24 (SUNY Oswego), Hilary Wilkin ‘25 (University of Vermont), Kristen Kiggen ‘24 (Long Island University), and Sofia DeAnzeris ‘25 (University of Vermont).

Demers is a 3-year senior who plays a crucial leadership role at the school on and off the ice. “The commits so far this year have been great for the program,” Demers said. “Sophia and Hilary are great pickups for UVM. I know they are looking forward to playing there. Kristen’s commitment to Long Island University is also a big deal. I don’t know much about LIU, but Kristen will do well anywhere. She plays an important role in our team culture, and I am sure she will thrive,” Demers added.

Demers was humble when she spoke about her own decision. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to play at SUNY Oswego. I have dreamed of playing hockey in college and can’t wait. I am thankful for everyone at Northwood and am now focused on putting my jersey in a better place for those who will come in the future.”

These major commitments continue to grow the reputation of both Northwood School and its hockey program.

Despite the positive news, a commitment to a university does not guarantee that a student will attend that college. A commitment to a program is verbal and is not legally binding, which means that, technically, either party can de-commit. When athletes commit, they have committed to the sports team at the program, meaning they still must apply for the school like everyone else. Many athletes, particularly at Division 1 programs, get a recommendation from the athletic department, meaning their grades don’t have to be on par with the average admitted student at that college. It is rare for a college to de-commit a player based on poor athletic performance. Colleges avoid this because it develops a poor reputation that will heavily impact them in later recruiting classes. The most common reason for a college to de-commit an athlete is when they drop their grades or conduct themselves poorly online or away from athletics.

Another misconception about committing is that the student-athletes can relax until they start college. This is not the case. The five hockey stars will have to continue to work hard on and off the ice to solidify their spot at their chosen university.

Northwood is so proud to have helped these students achieve their dreams and are optimistic for their future.

Jazz Band Looking for New Members

Wissler on trombone at Lake Placid Center for the Arts on December 13, 2022 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

Jazz Band was created five years ago by music teacher Adam Stewart and former student Bella Wissler ‘23. Bella had loads of musical talent but was frustrated that Northwood didn’t have any extracurricular activities for music.  Mr. Stewart asked her what they could do to get her to stay with the music “program.” She said her old school had a jazz band, and it would mean the world to her if they could add one to Northwood.

This is how Bella and Stewart came to form the jazz band. Today, there are five people in jazz band, each with a colorful personality. Band members include Alex Randall ’25 on trombone, Bella, currently on a gap semester before attending Middlebury, who also plays trombone, Sergio Neto ‘24 on drums, and Ivan Favreau ’26 on saxophone.

This band is casual and meant for the members’ personal development and enjoyment. Jazz band also has the opportunity to perform, but they haven’t played before an audience yet, and there is never any pressure put on the students to perform.

“We usually create the music that we perform,” Stewart said. “And if we want to perform it, then we can. But if we don’t, then we don’t.” Stewart says that the motto of jazz band is “if you play a wrong note, you play it twice, so then it becomes part of the music.” The jazz band is looking for more members to add to their ensemble.

Members understand that people have very big commitments at Northwood, so this is why the band is completely casual, but the jazz band is always open to new members. The group gets together most Mondays at 6:30 p.m., and anyone is welcome to join and jam.

If you are interested, chat or email Adam Stewart.

New Podcast Features Alumni Success Stories

Northwood alumni have continued to go into various incredibly interesting careers. Mr. Steve “Reno” Reed’s new podcast, “From Campus to Careers,” tells the stories of the transition from college into these careers.

Mr. Michael Aldridge, Northwood’s Creative Director, and Mr. Reed have paired up to produce this podcast to tell the stories of alumni careers. Their idea sparked from Alumni Pathways, a program that has run for several years. During Alumni Pathways, four alumni come together to discuss their professions with students and the larger Northwood Community.

With the podcast, Aldrige wanted to build on this idea but make it more personal and focus on one person. Talking to one person at a time gives Mr. Reed a chance to go more in-depth with his questions and conversions.

During each episode, Mr. Reed discusses how alumni came to their professions, their involvement in their professions, and their successes and struggles as they learn the ways of their careers.

Mr. Reed chooses alumni whom he feels comfortable with and who have gone into interesting professions. They then work together to build questions and topics to discuss during the podcast.

“Mike Aldrige is the engineer,” says Mr. Reed. Mr. Aldridge runs all the tech behind the calls and carefully edits and pieces together bits of Mr. Reed’s calls with alumni to create the podcast.

They have already made tremendous progress, with three posted episodes, three in the queue, and three more getting done just this month.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Reno said. “It’s a great chance for me to get involved with some alumni that I know very well, some from way back in the early 70s and others more recently,” he added.

The podcast can be found on Spotify for Podcasters.

Understanding the War Between Israel and Hamas

Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal area in Gaza City on October 9, 2023. Photo by Naaman Omar (apaimages).

The war between Israel and Hamas is on the minds of many Northwood students, but the “Blue Bubble” of our remote campus and busy schedules leave many students wondering where they can go for accurate information on the conflict. Here’s a collection of resources to get you started:

From The New York Times:

On Oct. 7, hundreds of Hamas fighters from Gaza rampaged through border towns in a surprise attack that killed at least 1,300 Israelis. Hamas terrorists killed men, women and children, at home, strolling on the street or dancing at an outdoor festival, and they took more than 150 hostages. Now the region is bracing for further conflict.

In response to the shocking incursion, one of the broadest into Israeli territory in 50 years, Israel has been pummeling the Gaza Strip with airstrikes that have wiped out entire neighborhoods and brought the medical system to the brink of collapse. The Palestinian Health Ministry has said that as of Oct. 13 at least 1,700 Palestinians have been killed.

Israel has mobilized 360,000 reservists and troops are now massing at the border, leading to speculation that Israel will soon launch a ground offensive. And in a region with a long history of conflict, Israel has also reported shelling along its borders with Lebanon and Syria, exacerbating fears of a wider conflict.

Social media is generally NOT the place to go for information, but we think this Instagram post from Solutions Not Sides is an exception.

To understand what happened on Oct. 7, you might start by exploring one or more of the following resources provided by The New York Times. Please note that some contain graphic images of violence.

  • A one-minute video on the attack and Israel’s initial retaliation
  • Photos from both Israel and Gaza (scroll to the bottom to see images from Saturday)
  • A map of where Hamas rockets struck Israel and Hamas assailants infiltrated Israel towns
  • A map of the Middle East (zoom in to see where Israel and Gaza are)
  • A timeline of the attacks in Israel and Gaza
  • The “Daily” episode “War in Israel” (listen until 3:45 for a firsthand account from a survivor)
  • You can also read this explainer “What We Know About the Hamas Attack and Israel’s Response” or listen to the rest of the “Daily” episode to get a basic understanding of how the fighting began. The article “Hamas Leaves Trail of Terror in Israel” provides a fuller picture, but please note that it contains very graphic imagery.


The Time’s collection “Teaching About the Israel-Hamas War” includes abundant resources from their reporting and elsewhere that can help students and teachers understand the conflict.

NOC Takes it to the Next Level in Outdoor Adventure

It was nearly an hour before sunrise when Alex Randall ’25 and Colton Cushman ’25 helped Mr. Bob Emery load their climbing gear into Emery’s minivan. It was three hours after sunset when they returned to campus. The three climbed Wallface, the largest backcountry cliff in the East. Their 15-hour day included a 12-mile hike, seven pitches of rock climbing, and 4 rappels. It was an epic day. For NOC, the Northwood Outing Club, such days are becoming more and more common.

Randall and Cushman are dedicated members of NOC. According to Northwood’s website, NOC is a co-curricular program “designed for aspiring outdoor enthusiasts to build a lifelong passion for adventure sports while utilizing world-class venues and unique assets within the Adirondack Park, North America, and internationally. Students will develop soft and hard skills, environmental stewardship, risk management procedures, and leadership skills while working closely and collaborating with faculty, staff, and professional guides.”

Mr. Bobby O’Connor heads the Northwood Outing Club. He and Mr. Bob Emery are the faculty leaders of NOC. O’Connor says Northwood students have something special in NOC. “There are few programs at the high school level that are as immersive in adventure sports as NOC,” O’Connor said. “What really makes the program successful is its unique location within the Adirondack Park. Students are lucky enough to be able to perform these adventure sports at world-class venues, just minutes from campus,” O’Connor added.

According to Northwood’s website, “Several outdoor recreation activities within the disciplines of climbing, paddling, backcountry, and front country skiing, backpacking, wilderness navigation, and outdoor living skills are available under the NOC co-curricular.” NOC has also led climbing trips to Red Rocks in Nevada, avalanche training in Utah, and a guided ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest summit in Africa.

One of NOC’s newest offerings is fly fishing with Mr. Aaron Garvey. Mr. Garvey takes students fly fishing almost throughout the Adirondacks and is hosting a LEAP trip this year called Fly fishing in the Adirondacks.

O’Connor and Emery put in place many safety measures to ensure students are safe while exploring the Adirondacks. These skills can translate to any part of your life, whether it’s patience with rock climbing, or learning survival skills for camping. Randall is a student leader of NOC and is a mentor to all students who need help in NOC.

NOC activities are generally inexpensive unless the student decides that they want to become an independent rock climber and wants to buy their own gear. Regardless, Northwood will provide participants with all the gear necessary. Weekly climbs are within an hour’s drive, and there are about 12 different climbing locations with a diverse range of routes within an hour’s drive.

Northwood to Host the First JWHL Weekend of the Season

League play for the Northwood School Girls’ Hockey Team begins this weekend in Lake Placid as the Huskies host a JWHL weekend.

The Northwood Girls’ Hockey team competes in one of North America’s strongest leagues. Last year, in their inaugural season, the Huskies quickly gained recognition by having an excellent year, losing to NAHA in the finals.

Head Coach Trevor Gilligan and his squad hope to improve on their success from the previous year and take home a trophy this time. The league consists of 8 teams, including Rothesay Netherwood School, making their first appearance in the league this year.

With the addition of the Rothesay Netherwood school, the league now has an even number of eight teams. The league will be able to divide into two pods of four teams. Northwood, Stanstead, NAHA, and Balmoral Hall make up the first pod. Mount Academy, Rothesay Netherwood, Pacific Steelers, and Washington Pride make up the second pod.

The addition of the “pods” will make it possible to maintain the league’s level of competition while continuing to promote league expansion. Each league weekend, teams will play three games against teams from their own pod and two against teams from the other pod.

“One of the best parts of the league is playing three, twenty-minute periods against quality opponents,” Gilligan said.

The league will hold 6 weekends throughout the regular season, allowing teams to travel across the U.S. Playoffs take place in Boston mid-March. “You’re able to create a lot of rivalries throughout the course of the season, and we are looking forward to it,” Coach Gilligan added.

JWHL league play opens this weekend in Lake Placid, as Northwood hosts 5 U19 and two U16 teams for 23 games of the best girls’ hockey in North America.

Northwood’s schedule for this weekend includes four games:

Date Visitor Details Home Location
Fri, Oct 13 Northwood School 9:15 AM Balmoral Hall Lake Placid, NY – USA Rink
Fri, Oct 13 Northwood School 7:15 PM Stanstead College Lake Placid, NY – 1980 Rink
Sat, Oct 14 Washington Pride 10:15 AM Northwood School Lake Placid, NY – 1980 Rink
Sun, Oct 15 North American Hockey Academy 10:00 AM Northwood School Lake Placid, NY – 1980 Rink

Additional JWHL league weekends include:

  • November 17-19, 2023 – Union College, RPI
  • December 15-17, 2023 – Providence College, Brown Univ.
  • January 26-28, 2024 – Univ. Minnesota
  • February 16-19, 2024 – Challenge Cup Washington, DC
  • March 1-3, 2024 – Stanstead College
  • March 15-17, 2024 – Playoffs Boston, MA


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