The clubs of the iSchool


Lizzette Colon

iCare carrying the pumpkins for the pumpkin decorating competition (10/19/21)

Castle Bloodgood and Alexander Horbal

If you’re a student, parent or a  teacher at the iSchool, you probably know about the extensive list of over 30 clubs at the iSchool. And, even if you’re just a prospective student who’s just finding out about them now, you might be wondering about our clubs. But they aren’t just your average, everyday high school clubs. A lot of work goes into maintaining the clubs, as well as making them fun for everyone. We spoke to the club presidents to go over some of the details of 5 iSchool clubs.

iCare, which maintains the community at the iSchool, is run by Ms. Colon. Drawing Club, which fosters creativity from all grades, is run by junior Quinn Lewis. Model United Nations, and is run by seniors Nicholas Kloor and Margot Fitts. iNews Club, which is a place where iNews reporters who have taken iNews or Investigative Journalism can continue reporting for the school, is run by senior Zach Kaplan. And finally, Debate Club, which is new this year,, is run by junior Leo Godsberg.


Ms. Colon has been running iCare for 9 years. iCare was a community service club for the first few years of iCare,  but Colon was also the advisor for student government at the time. Student government at this time did more of the school spirit activities while iCare was doing events based on charity. 

Juggling two clubs was too stressful for Colon but no one was willing to take her place as Student Government advisor. After some thinking, she developed a new hybrid style that is still called iCare since the actions of caring do not only reside in the act of charity. 

Every month, the iCare team comes up with an activity that is designed to get students involved in something that is not based in academics. Every other month, they are tasked with creating a service project that pertains to serving or helping others.

Colon thinks that iCare club members gain a great boost in confidence especially since they have to approach other students to inform them about their monthly project. They also must be open or learn to work with others and stay organized since messiness can bring any goal crashing down.

The main reason why so many students are discouraged in joining iCare is due to the amount of work that needs to be done. iCare members meet every week and there is a strict attendance policy, miss 3 days of meetings and you are kicked out of the club.  Students usually spend 4-6 hours a month,and even some projects take up to 10 hours!

“No matter the expectation, 3 strikes you are out!”

For example, the iSchool pumpkin carving contest is coming up soon. Colon and students will need to meet bright and early at 8:15 at Trader Joes to purchase 39 full size pumpkins and carry them up 5 floors. Then they must distribute them to the participating advisories. 

Then, on Friday October 29th, instead of going out to lunch, iCare members promote the event. 

Drawing Club:

Quinn became president of the club in his sophomore year. He says, “I joined in freshman year and I was pretty much the only person who wanted to be the president when the former president graduated.” 

Before Quinn became president, the Drawing Club was more casual and had practically no structure. 

So what is the future of the Drawing Club? Quinn mentions that “My goal for the club was to have more focus on what we were doing each meeting but still keep the casual feeling to it. Keeping it casual but also having an open space where we can learn about different techniques and skills.” 

Part of what’s so hard about being club president is putting in the time and effort to plan your meetings and figure out your goals for the club. Quinn says, “I feel like most of it [the work] goes into planning out each meeting. The requirement for the club is just that you keep an attendance and also that you have a project to share with the iSchool community at the end of the year. But yeah, most of it is planning out what you want to be drawing.” 

In case you were wondering, this year the Drawing Club plans to cover how to have a sketchbook. Quinn says, “We mostly do a lot of drawing and we plan on working on sketchbooks for the most part, building them up. We’re hoping to get a lot of watercolor in, as well as some wash or paint. But, yeah we’ll do some live drawing, some different forms and imagination etc.” Something to look forward to if you’re interested in the club.

Unlike the other clubs, drawing isn’t a community service project, but it helps kids figure out what they’re passionate about. This has proven again and again to be overwhelmingly important to the iSchool community.

Model UN:

Model United Nations is one of the prides of the iSchool, popular for its charismatic leaders and interesting topics. Nicholas Kloor and Margot Fitts are club presidents, and their presence is one of the most loved of Model UN. “We’ve been running the club together since the end of our freshman year when we were elected. We stood up in front of the class and gave some speeches that we made up on the dot, but it was cool,” Margot shared. 

When they first ran for club presidency, they weren’t all prepared. Margot says, “I actually didn’t know till like five minutes before.” But, they’ve made up for it over the years. They are now seniors, and are preparing to run another election. “We haven’t had an election through covid just because that was kinda weird, but we’re planning on running a new election this year, and having some fresh blood take over,” Nicholas tells us.

To summarize the purpose of Model United Nations, Margot explains that “It’s a simulation of the real United Nations, we do a lot of debates where people represent a country and then we’ll debate things in general assembly committees about things happening in the real world. Like, we do a lot of climate change related committees.” 

Model UN means different things at different schools, but Margot says they don’t take themselves too seriously. “What our club likes to do the most is crisis committees so it’s basically a very iSchool thing to do, because we don’t take it as seriously as other schools. We do committees where you’re a fish, a different species of fish and you’re in this underwater world, and you have to debate with other fish about what’s happening. Committees based off of TV shows or movies.” 

However, just because the club has a lot of joking debates doesn’t mean they don’t succeed. Margot also shares that, “even though we don’t take it as seriously as other schools, we have won a bunch of national awards like the National Award of Merit.” If you’re looking for a successful club, Model UN has your back. 

They have a great recent history too, “Last year we won the award of excellence, we beat Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech, so we like to hold that over their heads.” A little friendly competition between NYC schools can’t hurt, right? We may not be as popular as the specialized schools, but we do have a pretty sick set of clubs.

The club meets on Wednesdays from 4-5 in room 501. So, if you’re interested in joining the iSchool’s Model UN, you should email either Margot or Nick. 

Debate Club: 

Debate may seem like a club staple, yet it is one of the iSchool’s newest clubs!

Leo Godsberg is the founder of the club. Leo wanted to create a public forum Debate Club in his freshman year; but unfortunately, no one was able to be the faculty advisor. Leo was determined to start the Debate Club the following year but once covid shut down schools, Leo felt that the art of debate is better done in person than via Zoom. 

He stands by the fact that debate made him a better public speaker and can help others.“I got more confident in my public speaking and how to communicate with partners.” The way that debate boosts this is the strict no compromise rule. That and the fact that you are not allowed to choose your side makes debate a great way to learn both sides of the same argument.¨ While Leo has seen “members’ public speaking is improved throughout the time spent.” while being in middle school debate.

Leo always wishes to clear the idea that debate is just Model UN with a different name: ¨“Many people have come to me recently with them saying that Model UN is the same as Debate but I disagree. Debate is more of a niche that does work on public speaking like many of the other clubs but also teacher collection and checking and speech writing.”

Debate is a staple of extracurricular activities in many schools, so the iSchool integrating debate into it’s long list of clubs should be exciting. Leo is clearly fit to be president due to his passion for debating issues: “The most work will be when the club officially begins but I am more than willing to do it.”

If you wish to join the club, please email Leo for more information!


If you have taken iNews or Investigative Journalism and still want to write for The iNews Network, Zach Kaplan has the club for you!

 In Zach’s words, “The iNews club is the student journalism network for the iSchool. We write about whatever we’re passionate about and whatever concerns people our age.”

 Zach thinks of the module as a sort of preparation for the club, “The iNews module is sort of your rudimentary journalism class and getting you acquainted with what makes journalism awesome, it’s your basic writing course, which I think is what I loved about it. Point is, you can dabble in different forms of journalism.”

Like the module, iNews reports have freedom to write about whatever they’d like: “iNews club is fun if you make it, if you really choose to write about what you’re passionate about.” He describes the club by saying,  “It’s not rocket science unless you want to write about rocket science. You do what you want to do in the club.”

Zach believes that his club is a great window to how the school thinks/operates. “It accurately reflects the student body. And the topics that we write about and discuss are as varied and unique as the iSchool itself.”

The club makes all members write one article per nine weeks, which may seem for some to be very little time to make a high quality article, but Zach believes that “If you write about what you’re passionate about, the one article requirement just flies by.” Zach encourages writers to go out of their comfort zone as he did when he was just a freshman in the club and only wrote about sports news. “As time went on I discovered more things that I was passionate about, and liked writing about.”

If you wish to join the iNews club they meet Thursdays 4-5 in 503, please email Ms. Mangano for more information!

One of the many perks of going to the iSchool is that there are tons of different options for clubs. If you’d like to join any of these clubs, just email the president. But, we haven’t talked about all of them. The NYC iSchool has many more clubs, and you can ask Ms. Leimsider or your fellow students for more information. But, wherever you end up, remember that clubs are a great experience, and you should cherish it. 

There are over 30 clubs at the NYC iSchool, and even if you can’t join all of them, it’s pretty great to try. Trust us, we ourselves are a part of some of the listed clubs. 

So get out there and join a club!