Your Impact. Their Stories

Your contribution to Annual Giving allows us to focus on what matters most when educating our students—a transformative experience integrating academics, athletics, arts and service. You impact the daily life of the School, enriching the lives of our students. See how in the stories below:

Your Impact: Academics

Scholastic Writing Awards

Four Upper School students were recognized with 2018 Scholastic Writing Awards at the Chicago regional level, and one received national recognition as well.

In 2018, regional gold key winners were Emmy Cho ’20 (poetry), Izzy Cho ’20 (short story) and Betsey Freiburger ’19 (personal essay/memoir and short story). Betsey’s short story was also an American Voices nominee. Silver key winners were Emmy Cho (poetry) and Justin Hartley ’19 (journalism, personal essay/memoir, poetry and science fiction/fantasy). Justin also received an honorable mention (poetry)

In mid-March, Betsey found out that her two pieces were also awarded gold medals in the national competition.

“I was very surprised to receive these awards, especially given the amount of applicants,” Betsey said. “My creative writing is very personal and I was a little afraid to put it out there. To be recognized for my voice is really an honor.”

For 95 years, the Scholastic Writing Awards have recognized some of America’s most celebrated writers while they were teenagers. Past recipients include Sylvia Plath, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Truman Capote and Lena Dunham.

Your Impact: Athletics

    • Class of 2018 college athletes: (from left) Braden Adamson-Tate, Jessica Hourihane, Thomas McDowell, Flynn Hersh, Quigg Veach, Thandi Steele and Jack Mangel

      Class of 2018 college athletes: (from left) Braden Adamson-Tate, Jessica Hourihane, Thomas McDowell, Flynn Hersh, Quigg Veach, Thandi Steele and Jack Mangel

Playing at the Next Level

From the very beginning, participation in athletics has been a vital part of the North Shore experience. Founding Headmaster Perry Dunlap Smith, a former Harvard
University lineman, required all Middle and Upper School students to play a sport. That requirement remains to this day. And while full participation has always been the emphasis, there have always been winning seasons and students who have stood out. Seven members of our recent graduates in the Class of 2018 committed to play sports in college.

One student, Jessica Hourihane ’18, played ice hockey before switching over to field hockey the summer before 6th grade. Because of the School’s policy, she needed to pick a sport, so field hockey it was.  Soon, she fell in love with the iceless variation. “After I started playing, it never felt like the next season was mandatory because I was always so excited to start up again,” she said.

Developing character in young people is one of the main reasons the School has remained so committed to maintaining an athletic requirement. Flynn Hersh ’18 transferred to North Shore his junior year and is playing baseball for Knox College. “Without North Shore, I wouldn’t be playing in college,” he said. “I was cut from New Trier’s sophomore team, but that didn’t stop me from chasing my dream of playing college baseball. The mandatory athletics policy also got me to try soccer, which I wouldn’t have tried had I not transferred here. I used to not want to try things I wasn’t already good at, but North Shore changed that. Soccer improved my endurance and footwork, which I was able to carry over to the diamond.”

Members of the Class of 2018 playing college sports

• Braden Adamson-Tate – Denison University, Soccer
• Flynn Hersh – Knox College, Baseball
• Jessica Hourihane – The Ohio State University, Field Hockey
• Jack Mangel – Denison University, Football
• Thomas McDowell – Denison University, Football
• Thandi Steele – Williams College, Track and Field
• Quigg Veach – Denison University, Soccer

Your Impact: Arts

    • Lower School students perform at the Lower School Winter Choral Concert

      Lower School students perform at the Lower School Winter Choral Concert

Singing Their Way Through Lower School

The arts are an essential part of our curriculum. In Lower School, each child has music class. The result? During their years in Lower School, they learn over 200 songs.
Starting in senior kindergarten, students can join Singing Raiders and Lower School Chorus. In 2017-2018, they came together to share their talents on several occasions:

  • At the Lower School Winter Choral concert, they performed “There is Peace,” a song written by composer Jim Papoulis who has visited campus several times to work with students. The words sung by the young voices were a reminder of hope.
  • A group of 11 Lower School Chorus members joined Linda Kiracibasi at the national Chorus America conference in Chicago in spring 2018, where they talked about their experiences, answered questions from the audience and sang a song that North Shore students wrote with composer Jim Papoulis in 2015 entitled "Give Us Hope."
  • This summer, members of Lower School Chorus performed at Ravinia, joining Laurie Berkner on stage during “We Are the Dinosaurs” and “Walk Along the River!”

The arts have always been an essential part of the student experience at North Shore and they continue to thrive in every division.

Your Impact: Service

    • Senior Service: Drea Gallaga and Mickey Hughes

      Senior Service: Drea Gallaga and Mickey Hughes '18

 Senior Volunteers at City Farm
The number of service hours in the School community totaled 8,043 last year, helping 66 organizations through 79 service projects. Many of those hours come from senior service projects. Each senior is required to plan and execute a service project with a nonprofit thereby demonstrating the School’s “Live and Serve” motto. Such was the case for Mickey Hughes ’18, who connected with City Farm.

City Farm is a small organization that develops urban farming plots on abandoned city lots. The majority of the food grown by City Farm is sold to Chicagoarea restaurants, and the proceeds from those sales are funneled back into City Farm and its parent organization, The
Resource Center.

“I’ve always liked to garden and to farm, and I knew I wanted to work somewhere with food,” Mickey said as she explained how she decided to work with City Farm. During her two-week project, Mickey helped plant seeds and maintain the gardens.

“The work was amazing,” she said. “The first day it was really raining and we realized the beds were in the flood zone and at-risk for washing away. So we planted seeds in them to take advantage of the rain and then spent the next couple of days raising the beds out of the flood zone.”

Students in all divisions participate in service-learning projects throughout the year.

Giving Societies

North Shore recognizes gifts in the Annual Report by various giving societies.

List of 8 items.

  • Live and Serve Society

    Recognizing the School’s motto “Live and Serve,” the following leadership donors are acknowledged for contributions of $25,000 and above.
  • Perry Dunlap Smith Society

    Established in memory of the School’s founding Headmaster, this society welcomes those leaders who contribute $10,000 to $24,999.
  • Headmaster's Society

    Named in honor of the nine Heads who have led the School, this society recognizes individuals who give $5,000 to $9,999.
  • Acorn Society

    Representing the acorn on the School seal that symbolizes a student’s growth, this society honors those who make gifts between $2,500 and $4,999.
  • Hour Society

    When established, this society was named to approximate the cost of operating the School for one hour, and recognizes individuals who contribute between $750 and $2,499.
  • Purple and White Society

    In honor of the North Shore colors, this society recognizes individuals who make gifts between $300 and $749.
  • Raiders Society

    This society is named after our School mascot and acknowledges young alumni within 10 years of graduation who have contributed.
  • Decade Society

    This society recognizes the steadfast individuals who have supported North Shore with a gift to Annual Giving for 10 consecutive years or more. These loyal donors embody the spirit of our School motto "Live and Serve," and have generously ensured the strength of the School's future with their support year after year.
North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.