Stella! Huge Storm Closes Roads and Cancels Classes

Just six days before the official start of spring, a fluke snow storm named “Stella” hit the Northeast, landing particularly hard on Lake Placid, which recorded 41 inches of snowfall in just eighteen hours.

Shortly after lunch on Tuesday, Essex County issued a state of emergency, ordering all nonessential personnel to stay off the roads.  Coincidentally, shortly before that order, Assistant Head of School Mr. Broderick sent home all day students and non-residential faculty. For many students, the sudden departure of so many faculty meant lots of cancelled classes. In addition, to allow kitchen staff extra time to get home safely, the last period of the day was cancelled so that dinner could start early, which would get the kitchen staff on the roads before dark.

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The storm resulted in today’s Headmaster Holiday. Classes were cancelled because most roads were still in poor condition, not to mention the many buried driveways and cars. Students and faculty received an email from Mr. Riffle last night at 8:45pm stating that Mr. Maher had declared a “Headmaster’s Holiday,” or, in the words of the students, a snow day.  Day students were instructed to stay home, and classes were cancelled for boarders. Morning sports, which for the hockey teams was the last practice of the season, were also cancelled. Another victim of the snowstorm was the highly-anticipated Faculty vs. Girls hockey game that was scheduled for 9:30am today.

Instead of having classes, students went to Whiteface or played in the snow on campus. Ms. Miller hosted students in her kitchen for some baking. Many students slept. An epic game of Twister broke out in the living room, movies were shown in the auditorium and the area take-out restaurants made regular trip with chicken parm, buffalo wings, pizza and other student favorites.

While cancelling classes during a snowstorm is not unprecedented at Northwood (Mr. Nemec ‘05 recalled a snow day while he was a student at Northwood), it’s certainly a rare occurrence. None of the veteran faculty could recall more than a few times in the last forty years that the school closed due to snow.

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