Artificial Turf Field Nearing Completion

A new artificial turf facility is currently being constructed at Northwood School is expected to have a transformative effect on the school’s soccer program, but construction delays have stalled the field’s opening. Initially, the soccer team hoped to do most of their fall training and have their fall games on the new field. Now they hope to get in one game before the field is covered with snow.  

Bette & Cring Construction Group from Albany is the general contractor on the project and began construction this past summer with the hopes of having it finished by early September. However, upon renovating the site they discovered traces of asbestos in the old tennis courts. Abatement of the small amounts of hazardous asbestos set the project back several weeks as a separate company had to come in and remove the asbestos from the site.  

Artist renderings of the completed turf field. Note: these drawings include the former tennis courts and basketball court, which have since been removed.

The construction site has been busy the last couple of weeks. (Photo: Colter Cheney-Seymour ’22) 

According to Associate Head of School Mr. Tom Broderick, who updated the school community on the project at a recent school meeting, construction is expected to be finished in late October.  

The field will primarily be used by the Northwood U17 and U19 soccer teams that are associated with Black Rock FC. Since the start of the year-round soccer program at Northwood, the team has been training on campus and at a variety of grass fields off campus.  

This new facility is seen as a major upgrade by Program director and U19 head coach Jon Moody. “The addition of the new turf field at Northwood School is an exciting next step for the development of the soccer program,” Moodey stated. “This will provide the team with a high-quality surface for regular training while also enabling us the team to extend the fall season and start the spring season earlier,” Moodey added.  

Weather plays a large role in soccer training in the Adirondacks. And the turf field, which can be cleared of early- and late-season snow, will allow the squad to maximize the team’s training opportunities.  

The field is also expected to benefit the surrounding community. “This new field can become a great resource for the surrounding communities in the Adirondacks,” said Moodey, making it evident how the turf may be used for local activities or sports in the future.  

Ski Racers Off to Austria for Pre-Season Camp

For the first time in two years, the Northwood Ski Team will be traveling to Europe. Seventeen Northwood ski racers will join other athletes from NYSEF for an early season camp on the Hintertux Glacier.  

The team flew out of Newark on Monday morning and landed in Munich Germany, then took a bus to Finkenburg, Austria. For two weeks they will train in the Zillertaler Alps.  

Because the delta variant has caused a spike in COVID cases across the Europe and the US, staff attending this trip have been examining COVID protocols for months. NYSEF/Northwood head U16 coach Patrick Purcell said “COVID wise, we have researched all the necessary guardrails, restrictions, and guidelines that are required for travel. We have met all the requirements. It’s been exhaustive. We have put every safety precaution for our athletes and staff possible, but there’s always that risk. We feel confident that we’ve taken every precaution to continue our athletic training.”  

The skiers are excited to resume training, “I am very excited to go to Austria, to get back on snow, and to see how much I can improve from last year,” said Lincoln Norfolk ‘24.  Senior Hillary Larsen said, “I’m really excited to be returning to Europe. I missed the early season training that’s pretty rare in the US.” 

A ski camp in September may seem excessively early to those unfamiliar with ski racing, but the pre-season training is crucial to have a successful ski season. “We can’t sit back and wait for the snow to fly. By doing competitive athletic training camps like this, we’re expanding on what we do year round. Our sport is on the snow and we need to travel,” said Purcell.  

Coach Jeremy “Worm” Transue added that “The trip to Hintertux will provide the athletes with the opportunity to strengthen their fundamental skill set through varying events and terrain while gaining valuable lessons in the European cultural experience.”  

The Return of Mountain Day

Northwood School’s location in the Adirondack Mountains make it such a fascinating destination for students around the world. With school life beginning to get back to normal, students and faculty will assemble next week for one of the school’s oldest traditions: Mountain Day.  

A summit photo from Mountain Day 2018 (Photo provided).

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancelation of Mountain Day in 2020, the first year without Mountain Day in over forty years. Now in 2021, the school is bringing back Mountain Day, which is causing a lot of excitement throughout the community.  

Nicholas Bennett ‘22 said, “I am really excited about Mountain Day because we didn’t have the chance to do it last year, due to unfortunate circumstances with COVID-19.” New student James Schneid ‘22 said “I am not too familiar with hiking mountains, but I am excited about the opportunity to see some amazing views over the Adirondacks.” 

On Mountain Day, all students and faculty are put into groups that climb a mountain, including many of the forty-six Adirondack High Peaks. Students and teachers are given a day off from classes to climb and explore their designated mountain. This year is going to be a special one since the return of Mountain Day marks restarting long held Northwood traditions that were paused during the pandemic and represents a return to something resembling normalcy at school.  

In preparation for what’s believed to be the 45th Mountain Day at Northwood, Mr. Bobby O’Connor, Director of Northwood Outing Club and Mountain Day organizer said “Mountain Day is important because it’s another opportunity for the students here to bond as a family. Lots of character is developed when you climb together as a group.” With regards to why the school gives an entire day off academics for this event, O’Connor said, “I think the reward over the sacrifice is well worth it: one day out of the school year to give students the opportunity to learn so many lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom.”

Third Trimester Honor Rolls Announced

June 29, 2021 — Ms. Noel Carmichael, Northwood School’s Dean of Academic Affairs, today announced the Honor Rolls for the third trimester of the 2020-21 school year, which concluded on Thursday, May 20.

 

DEAN’S LIST

Upperclassmen (Gr. 11 & 12): Minimum weighted GPA of 4.00 with no grade below B+

Underclassmen (Gr. 9 & 10): Minimum weighted GPA of 3.70 with no grade below B+

Brady, Amelia ‘21

Brady, Brian ‘24

Broderick, Kate ‘22

Castillo, Angie ‘21

Cielo, Ryan ‘21

Clark, Jillian ‘23

Colby, Ellie ‘21

Cote, Gabby ‘21

Cruickshank, Will ‘21

Day, Ava ‘21

De Angelis, Connor ‘22

Donatello, Drew ‘24

Donatello, Haley ‘21

Donato, Will ‘21

Doyle, Liam ‘22

Eisenhart, Macie ‘23

Goldberg, Emma ‘23

Green, Sebastian ‘22

Guevara, Ashley ‘24

Hall, Carson ‘22

Harrison, Caroline ‘22

Higgins-Lopez, Audrey ‘21

Jackson, Turner Wells ‘23

Jaslow, Jacob ‘23

Kelley, Brooke ‘23

Kidd, Lealani ‘21

Kis, Colin ‘24

Klebba, Jadenlin ‘21

Korec, Jan ‘22

Kroes, Lars ‘21

Larsen, Hilary ‘22

Lawrence, Madison ‘23

Lee, Junyeop ‘23

Loescher, Elise ‘21

Martin, Anja ‘22

Moores, Seth ‘24

Nee, Cilla ‘22

Nelson, Amanda ‘23

Nelson, Christie-Ann ‘23

Norfolk, Lincoln ‘24

Norfolk, Rowen ‘22

Ormiston, Chase ‘21

Renner, Robert ‘21

Sanchez Korenfeld, Joaquin ‘21

Schupp, Sophia ‘24

Sinclair, Abby ‘23

Tebo, Adria‘23

Tsang, Jeremy ‘23

Volpe, Ricky ‘23

Winthrop, Joey ‘23

 

HIGH HONOR ROLL

Upperclassmen (Gr. 11 & 12): Minimum weighted GPA of 3.70 with no grade below B

Underclassmen (Gr. 9 & 10): Minimum weighted GPA of 3.30 with no grade below B

Alvarez, Marina ‘21

Belisle, Kaiya ‘21

Boudreau, Tyler ‘22

Brady, Matthew ‘22

Brito, Omiel ‘21

Cielo, Johnny ‘21

Cramer, Meg ‘21

Crane, Maisie ‘23

Dawood, Nora ‘23

DeGirolamo, Ben ‘21

DeGuardia, Dominick ‘24

DelliQuadri, Peppi ‘22

Fitzsimmons, Nora ‘24

Frantz, Tate ‘23

Fust, Ray ‘21

Hagness, Kate ‘21

Jones, Bryan ‘22

Lasky, Aidan ‘22

Lewin, Ruby ‘22

Lluberes, Jazlyn ‘23

Loffredo, Slater ‘22

Maiore, Ruby ‘22

Melicant, Paige ‘22

 

Mikula, Luc ‘21

Mutunga, Keith ‘21

Nolet-Gagne, Mathis ‘23

Purcell, Caroline ‘24

Scheine, Austin ‘21

Sheridan, Evie ‘22

Spiegel, Lily ‘22

Swanson, Adeline ‘24

Tuffy, Ainsley ’24

Wentzel, Kara ‘22

Wilson, Kennedy ‘22

 

 

HONOR ROLL

Upperclassmen (Gr. 11 & 12): Minimum GPA of 3.30 with no grade below B-

Underclassmen (Gr. 9 & 10): Minimum GPA of 3.00 with no grade below B-

Ali, Suhaib ‘22

Basden, Kendin ‘22

Butler, Sierra ‘21

Caloro, Benedetta ‘21

Castillo, Addie ‘21

Cleaveland, Cody ‘23

Cook, Kira ‘23

DeFilippo, Leah ‘22

Fesette, Ella ‘22

Guèvin, Jacob ‘21

Harris, Jordan ‘21

Hildreth, Brady ‘22

Hollister, Karleigh ‘22

Jean -Francois, Eli ‘21

Kgwakgwa, Sean ‘21

Kirschenbaum, Nathan ‘21

Leone, Michael ‘21

Mathews, Cole ‘23

Mazza, Andrew ‘21

McGrath, Ashlyn ‘21

Merriman, Brendan ‘21

Neme Filho, Calil ‘21

NguyenLe, Kirk ‘23

Pavlasova, Anna ’23

Prince, Marie-Jeanne ‘22

Santay, Connor ‘22

Scheine, Austin ‘21

Smith, Luke ‘21

Tommy, Calem Luke ‘22

Tremblay-Kau, Johann ‘22

Wardlaw, Wyatt ‘24

Winicki, Roman ‘22

Woudenberg, Nolan ‘22

Zhang, Chloe ‘21

Zientko, Zachary ‘21

 

EFFORT HONOR ROLL

Attained at least three “excellent” grades, with no effort grades below “good.”

Ali, Suhaib ‘22

Alvarez, Marina ‘21

Belisle, Kaiya ‘21

Boudreau, Tyler ‘22

Brady, Amelia ‘21

Brady, Brian ‘24

Brito, Omiel ‘21

Broderick, Kate ‘22

Castillo, Addie ‘21

Castillo, Angie ‘21

Cielo, Ryan ‘21

Colby, Ellie ‘21

Cook, Kira ‘23

Cote, Gabby ‘21

Cramer, Meg ‘21

Crane, Maisie ‘23

Cruickshank, Will ‘21

Day, Ava ‘21

De Angelis, Connor ‘22

DeGirolamo, Ben ‘21

DelliQuadri, Peppi ‘22

Dempsey, Norah ‘21

Donatello, Drew ‘24

Donatello, Haley ‘21

Donato, Will ‘21

Doyle, Liam ‘22

Eisenhart, Macie ‘23

Fesette, Ella ‘25

Fust, Ray ‘21

Goldberg, Emma ‘23

Green, Sebastian ‘22

Guevara, Ashley ‘24

Guèvin, Jacob ‘21

Hagness, Kate ‘21

Hall, Carson ‘22

Harrison, Caroline ‘22

Higgins-Lopez, Audrey ‘21

Hollister, Karleigh ‘25

Jackson, Turner Wells ‘23

Jaslow, Jacob ‘23

Jones, Bryan ‘22

Kidd, Lealani ‘21

Kis, Colin ‘24

Klebba, Jadenlin ‘21

Korec, Jan ‘22

Kroes, Lars ‘21

Larsen, Hilary ‘22

Lasky, Aidan ‘22

Lawrence, Madison ‘23

Lee, Junyeop ‘23

Lluberes, Jazlyn ‘23

Loescher, Elise ‘21

Loffredo, Slater ‘22

Maiore, Ruby ‘22

Martin, Anja ‘22

McGrath, Ashlyn ‘21

Melicant, Paige ‘22

Merriman, Brendan ‘21

Mikula, Luc ‘21

Moores, Seth ‘24

Mutunga, Keith ‘21

Nee, Cilla ‘22

Neme Filho, Calil ‘21

Norfolk, Rowen ‘22

Oechsner, Maximilian ‘21

Ormiston, Chase ‘21

Purcell, Caroline ‘24

Renner, Robert ‘21

Samb, Abdou ‘21

Sanchez Korenfeld, Joaquin ‘21

Schupp, Sophia ‘24

Sinclair, Abby ‘23

Spiegel, Lily ‘22

Tebo, Adria‘23

Tommy, Calem Luke ‘22

Tremblay-Kau, Johann ‘22

Tsang, Jeremy ‘23

Valenzuela, Jazzy ‘21

Volpe, Ricky ‘23

Wentzel, Kara ‘22

Wilson, Kennedy ‘22

Winthrop, Joey ‘23

Woudenberg, Nolan ‘22

Zarcone, Natalie ‘22

Zhang, Chloe ‘21

Zientko, Zachary ‘21

 

 

Northwood School Holds In-Person Commencement

The 114th Northwood School commencement took place on the school campus,  Saturday, May 22, 2021, at 1:00 p.m.  Three large tents equipped with large video screens provided a socially distant viewing experience. A live stream was available for those unable to attend due to capacity limits or travel restrictions.

The Commencement began and concluded with a bagpiper processional. Michael J. Maher, Head of School, welcomed and presented the students their diplomas. The Opening Invocation and Benediction were read by Stephen Reed, Senior Master. Noel Carmichael presented senior awards and prizes, and Michael Maher presented Headmaster awards. Donald P. Mellor, Class of ’71 and Senior Master Teacher Retired, gave the Commencement Address. The class speakers were Adelia Castillo and Lars Kroes.

Photos of the ceremony by Mr. Michael Aldridge:

Seventy-five graduates were presented with their diplomas:

  • Marina Alvarez
  • Arnezha Yawan Keanu Astwood
  • Kaiya Makenzie Belisle
  • Amelia Veronica Brady
  • Omiel Brito
  • Sierra Taylor Butler
  • Benedetta Caloro
  • Adelia Evelina Castillo
  • Angelia Nicolina Castillo
  • John Christopher Cielo
  • Ryan Gregory Cielo
  • Ellie Catherine Colby
  • Jalen Marcus Commissiong
  • Herschel Warren Conard
  • Gabrielle-Catherine Anna Veber Côté
  • Meggan Patricia Cramer
  • William Joseph Cruickshank
  • Ava Elizabeth Day
  • Benjamin Daniel Degirolamo
  • Norah Hunt Dempsey
  • Titouan Paul Desveaux
  • Haley Ritchie Donatello
  • William David Donato
  • Sara Lydia Ellsworth
  • Kannon Sage Flageolle
  • Raymond Taylor Fust
  • Alvaro Miguel Garcia Pascual
  • Eduardo Andres Guerra Alonso
  • Jacob Guévin
  • Kathryn Layne Hagness
  • Jordan Isaiah Harris
  • Audrey Charlotte Higgins-Lopez
  • Rachel Lynn Hinkley
  • Mackenzie Grace Hull
  • Eli Jean-Francois
  • Devon Michael Jolley
  • Sean Tshegofatso Kgwakgwa
  • Lealani Grace Kidd
  • Nathan Eric Kirschenbaum
  • Jadenlin Oceana Klebba
  • Madison Paige Kostoss
  • Lars Pieter Kroes
  • Michael Santino Leone
  • Xu Li
  • Elise Angelika Loescher
  • Andrew John Mazza
  • Ashlyn Grace Mcgrath
  • Olivia Wallace Mclean
  • Brendan Scott Merriman
  • Luc Michael Mikula
  • Mark Joseph Monaco
  • Keith Elvis Mutunga
  • Calil Neme Filho
  • Quy-An Andréa Nguyenle
  • Maximilian Josef Oechsner
  • Chase Fisher Ormiston
  • Olivia Hudson Paul
  • Tiago Bastos Costa Pinto
  • Noah Hudson Pittman
  • Charles Patrick Purcell
  • Robert David Renner
  • Tomas Restrepo Gaviria
  • Gian Franco Rodriguez Straccia
  • Abdou Samb
  • Joaquin Ignacio De Jesus Sánchez Kornfeld
  • Austin Noah Scheine
  • Sarah Mae Sheridan
  • Estevan Victor Smith
  • Luke Smith
  • Jasmin Rosiveth Valenzuela
  • Zheqi Wang
  • Marc Andrew Wharfe
  • Chuer Zhang
  • Ruyi Zhao
  • Zachary Alan Zientko

Commencement video recording: https://youtu.be/DbnBZNYokYE

Five Students Win Inaugural Brian Lilly Entrepreneurial Studies Prize Awards

Brian Lilly ’85 is an entrepreneur who started a series of cash prizes for students who excel in entrepreneurial studies at Northwood. (Photo provided)

Five students won cash prizes for their outstanding work in Northwood’s entrepreneurship classes. The Brian Lilly Entrepreneurial Studies Prize Awards, offered for the first time this year, aim to inspire and reward entrepreneurial skills and mindsets.

The prizes were awarded at a special virtual ceremony on May 20.

Brian Lilly, a Northwood graduate of the Class of 1985 and current member of the Northwood School Board of Trustees, is the CEO of Lilly Broadcasting which boasts multiple television and radio stations, a cable network, and digital platforms in the U.S. and the Caribbean. His passion for entrepreneurship helped to bring the Innovation Hub at Northwood School to fruition, and he has sponsored a series of prizes for the next 10 years to encourage and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs at his alma mater.

The Startup Prize: This $2,500 prize is given to help a student take their business idea from a theoretical model to an actual startup. Presented to Will Donato ’21.

Best Pitch Prize: This $2,000 prize is given to the student who produced the best entrepreneurial pitch during the academic year, showcasing their writing, editing, and technological aptitude. Presented to Addie Castillo ’21.

The Expansive Thinking Prize: This $2,000 prize is given to the student who best exhibited expansive thinking, that is, thinking that moves one beyond their immediate personal context to allow them to look at a problem from different perspectives and explore different possibilities. Presented to Carson Hall ’22.

Social Innovation and Design Thinking Upcycle Prize: This prize is given to two students who developed a unique way to upcycle (reuse in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original) a product and then produce the winning pitch to develop it. The $1,750 prize is presented to Andrew Mazza and Haley Donatello ’21.

2021 Senior Athletic Awards

Normally reserved for the Senior Awards ceremony at the annual senior banquet held the night before commencement, the 2021 Senior Athletic Awards were announced during the Co-Curricular Coach’s Awards ceremony today in a virtual ceremony.

The following are the awards and recipients.

LINDA FRIEDLANDER AWARD 

This plaque is presented in recognition of outstanding achievements in academics and in women’s sports.  The recipients are chosen for their accomplishments and enthusiasm in developing both their intellectual and physical beings.

 

Norah Dempsey ’21

 

Kathryn (Kate) Hagness ’21

TIM HYDE HOCKEY AWARD 

This is an award given each year by Mr. & Mrs. F. Stillman Hyde and his family, in loving memory of Tim Hyde, who graduated from Northwood in 1962.  It is given to the hockey player who, in the opinion of the coaches, best exemplifies Tim Hyde’s love of the game and his “never quit” attitude, no matter how stiff the opposition.

Marina Alvarez ’21

CHARLES HOLT HOCKEY AWARD 

Charlie Holt served as a teacher and coach at Northwood School from 1955 to 1962. After Northwood, Charlie was hockey coach at Colby College and the University of New Hampshire.  Considered one of the “true gentlemen” of the game, Charlie Holt embodied the best qualities the game has to offer.  A plaque is awarded annually by Northwood School to the members of the boys and girls hockey squads who have shown the best sportsmanship in practice and in games.

Ashlyn McGrath

Michael Leone ’21

MALCOLM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD 

The permanent trophy was given by the late Herbert L. Malcolm, former Headmaster of the Lake Placid School now Northwood School, and the individual plaque is awarded each year to the male and female students who, in the opinion of the faculty Athletic Committee, have shown the best sportsmanship in athletics throughout the year.  The award recognizes qualities of character that enhance the excellence of the teams on which the individuals participate and that reflect positively on Northwood as an institution during athletic competition.

Gabrielle-Catherine Cote ’21

Calil Neme Filho ’21

MARK “DILL” DRISCOLL SKI AWARD 

Mark Driscoll, Class of 1970, was the complete skier, competing in cross-country, jumping, and alpine events.  His legacy is one of extraordinary enthusiasm and dedication.  As an athlete, a student, and a student leader, Dill was one of the school’s most positively influential characters.  The school named the premier ski team award in his honor.

Benjamin (Ben) DeGirolamo ’21

TIM SMYTHE AWARD 

This award is given to the student-athlete of the North Country who best displays Tim Smythe’s leadership and courage and who inspires their teammates to rise to any challenge.

Madison (Maddie) Kostoss ’21

WARREN WITHERELL SOCCER AWARD  

The Warren Witherell Award is the top award given to a member of the soccer program. Like Mr. Witherell, the recipient of this award has consistently represented Northwood and the program in the finest manner possible as an athlete, student, community member, and leader. This player embodies the full spirit of the Northwood community and the soccer program and has consistently endeavored to improve himself while always setting the highest standard possible for his teammates and classmates to follow.

Tomas Restrepo Gaviria ’21

 

(All photos by Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Twenty Students Take Home Co-Curricular Awards

Twenty students received 21 awards at the annual co-curricular awards ceremony on May 19, which was held online for the second year in a row. For Northwood’s co-curricular activities and sports, the “Coach’s Award” is given to the student who characterizes the notion that there is no “I” in “team.”  Both on and off the field, rink, hill, etc., they lead by example. They are a consummate team player who goes above and beyond to make a difference for their team. Their leadership, ability to communicate with teammates and coaches are critical to the team’s success. The award is given to the student that best demonstrates the true spirit of activity throughout their season. It is provided for hard work and personal improvement and for a willingness to understand and learn to achieve one’s potential. The following students are the 2020-2021 recipients:

Rock Climbing
Haley Donatello ’21

 

CARE Service Award
Haley Donatello ’21

 

Chase Ormiston ‘21

Ellie Colby ‘21

 

U18 Soccer
Sebastian Green ‘22

 

U19 Soccer
Andrew Mazza ‘21

 

Boys Alpine Skiing
Wyatt Wardlaw ‘24

 

Girls Alpine Skiing
Audrey Higgins-Lopez ‘21

 

Freestyle Skiing
Maximilian Oechsner ‘21

 

David Phelps/Kimbal Award/ Ski Awards
Caroline Purcell ‘24

 

Ski Jumping
Adeleine Swanson ‘24

 

Crew
David Garvey ‘22

 

Prep Hockey (formerly Juniors)
Mark Monaco ‘21

 

Whitewater
Lars Kroes ‘21

 

Varsity Hockey (formerly Prep)
Ryan Cielo ‘21

 

Lars Kroes ‘21

 

 

Girls Hockey
Olivia McLean ‘21

 

Mountain Biking
Macie Eisenhart ‘23

 

Robotics
Zach Zientko ‘21

 

Drama
Anja Martin ‘22

 

Dance
Kaiya Belisle ‘21

 

Rec Skiing
Eli Jean-Francois ‘21

Yoga
Hillary Larsen ‘22

 

 

Congratulations to these recipients!

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.  

In-Person Commencement is On! 

Will there be a Northwood Commencement Ceremony this year?  

That has been the question in the minds of many seniors and their families for many months, as the 2020-21 school year starts to come to an end. After abruptly leaving campus during the 2019-20 school year with news that there would be no inperson commencement due to the coronavirus pandemic, commencement festivities have been a question for school officials, students, and families.  

Many aspects of the ceremony will be like any non-pandemic year, including ringing the victory bell. (Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge from commencement on May 14, 2016)

Early in 2021 the school announced that there would be commencement, but that seniors should expect a very different ceremony from the typical Northwood graduation. A typical Northwood graduation includes a senior banquet with graduates and their guests, along with Northwood underclass students and staffThe banquet also included awards and yearbook signing. The next day commencement ceremony would be held with again graduates, their guests, and Northwood underclassman and staff. Seniors knew that banquet was canceled, but they were uncertain about the other details about commencement, including how many guests would be allowed to attend.  

Recently Assistant Head of School, Mr. John Spear, updated the Northwood Community in a school-wide emailGraduates would be permitted to bring up to four guests, but all guests must be fully vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. School for students in grades 9-11 will end several days before graduation and will not attend commencement unless they are invited guests of a graduate. The other elements of commencement – speakers, awards, the procession/recession of graduates, ringing the victory bell, and bag pipes – will be nearly identical to a traditional Northwood graduation.  

After receiving the email, Northwood seniors shared their opinions amongst each other. Some were happy that up to 4 guests were allowed and commencement would be somewhat normal, but some were disappointed that friends and fellow classmates from other grades would not be able to attend, unless as one of the four guest per graduate. After catching up with a few seniors here are their thoughts:  

I am very grateful to have a graduation this year,” said Amelia Brady ‘21. While I wish we could have the graduation ceremony that I experienced in my first two years at Northwood, I know Northwood will do their absolute best to make it memorable. I think considering the vaccine and outdoor ceremony, this will be a very COVIDsafe event, Brady added.  

Obviously I wish everyone was able to go to grad, but with the circumstances of COVID, having my parents be able to watch me walk the stage is pretty cool!” said Lars Kroes ‘21. “It is better than nothing. My brother is graduating from Cornell this spring, and none of my family can go, so we should feel fortunate to have it in person with our parents,” added KroseThe biggest part of grad is being with our class and experiencing it together, that is the most important thing for me!” 

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