Freshmen Aahil Keshwani, one of fifteen freshmen on the ultimate frisbee team believes that the upperclassmen help create the team environment. The opportunity to work with sophomores, juniors and seniors is a huge advantage.
“When you separate freshmen and upperclassmen in clubs, students don’t get an opportunity to improve themselves and understand what it means to be a team,” said Keshwani.
“Before the older kids came, the freshman would play a scrimmage, and the game wouldn’t be very organized,” said Keshwani.
Freshmen Eric Lui, who participates in the Science Olympiad team, believes that the separation is a disadvantage.
“It defeats the purpose of a team environment, especially because upperclassmen have more experience than us. If I could I would definitely change the way the teams are divided”, Lui said.
Science teacher and freshmen Science Olympiad coach Nicole Hoefling said that there are benefits from the separation.
Some benefits that Hoefling mentioned were that freshmen have more individual time when needed. Also, unlike many other schools, freshmen here are able to compete at regionals.
Of course, there are also disadvantages “Freshman are missing an influence from upperclassmen. Upperclassmen tend to have more experience, and sometimes students listen to each other more than adults,” said Hoefling.
Freshmen starting quarterback, Eric Hernandez, believes that it’s better that freshman and upperclassmen are separated in sports.“ If freshmen and upperclassmen were on the same team it would be way too big to function, and we wouldn’t be able to practice as much.”
However, freshmen get to play with upperclassmen once a week during practice. Hernandez said, “He learned many skills from the upperclassmen in football this year.”
Freshman Activities Coordinator Daniel Gross said, “ That clubs that we duplicate like Science Olympiad is done to give more opportunities to freshmen.”
Clubs that are parallel to those at the Winnetka campus are Triship, Girls Club, Student Senate, and Pep Club.
“Our job is to give the same opportunities to freshmen that Winnetka students have. These clubs are given to freshmen, so they have the opportunity to continue the club for the next four years of high school,” said Gross.
Sophomore Nadia Malik, who participates in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Comfort Dogs, and Science Olympiad clubs, said, “It doesn’t matter if grade levels are mixed or not, as long as everyone who has the same interest is included.”
“Essentially, New Trier does not try to separate anyone, but instead tries to give every student the same opportunity that every student deserves,” said Malik.