graduation bookPhoto: 9th-grade graduate Emma shows 7th grader Liam her senior book.

It was a great last week of the 2022-2023 academic year at North Country School—one that brought with it the Spring Term theater production of The Hobbit, the annual Mountain Cakes celebration recognizing our most avid outdoor enthusiasts, and our Endersession days of signature programming. After spending the week creating so many new memories and reflecting back on a wonderful and busy year, the term came to a close with our 9th-grade graduation ceremony. As always, the event was deeply moving and included speeches by faculty who have watched our departing students learn and grow over the years, as well as heartfelt reflections and words of gratitude expressed by the students themselves. Our ten impressive graduates have spent their time at North Country School discovering new interests, creating powerful and original pieces of art, and making connections to one another and across our community. Though their presence on campus will be missed, we are so excited to see the positive impact our graduates will continue to have on the world around them as they embark upon their next adventures.

We wish our entire extended community a great summer spent with loved ones, and we look forward to seeing you all again when we return to our mountain campus in September.

ENDERSESSION

horsesbikinggeocacheclimbing filmmakingfilm grouppizzaTop: The Horseback Riding Endersession group in Dexter Pasture. Middle 1: Sam bikes during Endersession. Middle 2: Eleanor and Emily go geocaching. Middle 3: Claire shows students in the Rock Climbing group how to belay. Middle 4: The Pirates Endersession group raise their homemade sails. Middle 5: Kate paints a waterfall using watercolors. Middle 6: Mavi learns how to make a short film. Middle 7: The cast and crew (and a turkey) pose during Filmmaking Endersession. Bottom: Emma gets a pizza ready to go into the outdoor oven.

The end of the Spring Term brings with it our Endersession week of special programming. Much like Intersession week at the end of Winter Term, Endersession offers our students the opportunity to participate in half-day sessions that focus on specific areas of interest, and this year’s Endersession offerings covered a wide range of activities connected to our signature programs. Students could be found all around campus and the surrounding area riding horses, riding bikes, and catching fish. They discovered hidden geocaches, practiced their putting and driving at the local golf course, and scaled the campus Crag. Some students designed custom pirate sails and sieged Round Lake, sculpted clay monsters, and painted watercolors of waterfalls, while others made short films and cooked up homemade pizzas. Students had countless stories—not to mention a handful of new skills—to bring back from their week of engaging, exciting, and eye-opening activities.

SPRING PERFORMANCE

play makeupplay lightshobbit tableplay sceneplay scenedragonplay bowsTop: Taylor puts makeup on Lucy. Middle 1: Ian looks at the light board. Middle 2: A meal scene in The Hobbit. Middle 3: Wyatt as Bilbo and Yehor as Gollom in The Hobbit. Middle 4: A scene in The Hobbit. Middle 5: Smaug the dragon flies over the audience. Bottom: Actors take their bows.

Graduation week is a time when our performers take to the stage to shine, and this week our community saw the culmination of many months of effort as our theater department put on the much-anticipated Spring Term production of The Hobbit. The sets were vast and intricate, the acting was funny and powerful, and the show-stopping entrance of Smaug the dragon had everyone on the edges of their seats. It was amazing to see how the hard work of so many individuals—including the actors, stage crew, directors, lighting and sound team, costume creators, and makeup artists— came together to create this fantastical and epic show. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this production throughout the term for putting together such an impressive piece of theater.

COMMUNITY RECOGNITION

hiking ceremonyhiking grouphiking groupTop: Jack receives his Mountain Cakes cake and T-shirt. Middle: Algonquin House with their cake. Bottom: The Dirty Dozen with their Mountain Cakes T-shirts and 100 mile stickers.

As each Spring Term comes to a close, we celebrate students who have reached certain achievements or taken on leadership roles in our community. This past Tuesday we gathered in the dining room to participate in this year’s Mountain Cakes ceremony, during which the students who have hiked, cross-country skied, and canoed the greatest number of miles this year are recognized with mountain-themed cakes and special NCS gear. This year 8th-grader Jack earned the honor of student with the most ground (and water) covered with a whopping 227 miles, and Algonquin House was recognized as the house with the greatest number of miles. Each of the 12 adventurers with the highest mileage are also given a student-designed T-shirt, this year designed by 8th-grader Melissa, who was also recognized as one of these “Dirty Dozen” hikers! We are so impressed by all of our avid outdoor enthusiasts for their many days spent exploring the wild spaces around us, and for receiving this impressive honor.

getting an award getting an awardTop: Liz and Jenny with the Literary 46er plaque. Bottom: Zephyr, Val, and Joseph with the Jamieson Roseliep Work Award plaque.

We also take time during the 9th-grade graduation ceremony to celebrate specific students, and this year we saw 9th graders Jenny and Liz honored with the Literary 46ers award, which recognizes the community members who have read 46 books and written a corresponding Title Trek reflection about each of these books during their time at NCS. Congratulations to Jenny and Liz for completing this lofty goal! We also recognized the students who have consistently volunteered their time to help the community. The Jamieson Roseliep Work Award is given to these noteworthy students each year, and their names join the generations of student-leaders who came before them on a plaque that hangs in the Main Building. Thank you to 8th-graders Val and Zephyr, and 9th-grader Joseph, for the many hours they have spent this year helping their peers, the barn and garden, and the greater community. Your efforts have been commendable, and your contributions greatly appreciated. 

GRADUATION

flowerscelebrating the graduates senir booksgraduation speechgetting a senior bookTop: Graduation flowers. Middle 1: Families, students, and staff celebrate the graduates. Middle 2: Sierra talks about her advisee, Enola. Middle 3: Joseph speaks at graduation. Middle 4: Jess gives Liz her senior book. Bottom: A display of senior books.

On Saturday morning we celebrated North Country School’s 85th graduation ceremony gathered under bright blue skies and surrounded by blooming crabapple trees. After a welcome address by Executive Director Todd Ormiston and a poignant keynote speech given by alum Tim Wennrich (NCS ‘85), each student and their faculty advisor were welcomed to the podium to talk. The anecdotes and moving stories about our students from adults who have been working with them since they arrived at NCS were a powerful reminder of just how much our students have learned and grown in their time here. Likewise, our graduating students’ reflections and words of appreciation displayed a wisdom beyond their years.

We closed out the moving ceremony by giving each graduate a handmade and unique senior book. Receiving a senior book is one of the long-held traditions that continue to make NCS special, and generations of NCS alumni still have these beautiful keepsakes, which are designed and created by a different art teacher each year. Past books have incorporated meaningful materials like wool from our sheep and wood from our campus forest, and each book contains letters, photos, and art made for students by their teachers and peers. This year’s senior books were made from maple sap bucket lids and created by Design and Build teacher Larry Robjent, who cut the metal with designs resembling our surrounding mountainscape and personalized each cover with its recipient’s name. We hope that our students look through these special books over the years and know that, wherever they go in their lives, they will always be able to call North Country School home.

We at North Country School thank you for spending the 2022-23 academic year with us. This Week at NCS will return with updates in September 2023.

For general school information, call 518-523-9329.