Exit Interview: Ms. Linda D’Arco

This article is part of a series of interviews of departing faculty conducted by The Mirror staff.

Linda

Ms. Linda D’Arco, Dean of Faculty and Innovation + Design teacher.

When did you start working at Northwood and how long have you been here?
I’m nearing the end of my first year at Northwood. My 14th in teaching.

What different jobs have you done/ classes have you taught?
I’ve been the Dean of Faculty and Innovation + Design teacher

Why did you decide to leave your Northwood job?
I’m headed off to help my family set down roots here in the area and to start my own personal innovation project: an Adirondack flower farm, called Little Farmhouse Flowers in Jay, New York. I’ve loved working with Northwood students, and I hope to return someday once I’ve established my project.

Do you have a best story/fondest memory/funniest happening that you could tell?
My fondest memories of working with Northwood students always have to do with the experiences we share when we’re working with people from outside of school. I love seeing students make those connections to the outside world. This, year two Northwood alums played a special role in the Innovation + Design courses. Jeffrey Bernett brought his tremendous experience in design to our studio and convinced some of his colleagues from the Harvard Graduate School of Design to participate, too. Pam Scheideler worked with a student group to share information about designing apps and affecting social change through technology. There are so many wonderful “Ah Ha!” moments when students get to do this kind of first-hand learning.

Did you have a favorite year? Favorite part, class or team?
I don’t have a favorite class or team. I’ve really enjoyed working with all of my students. They seem to be able to let down their guard in the Innovation Studio a bit more. There is no prerequisite for the program- so the class has students from all grade levels. They work with each other and learn to appreciate their different skill sets and perspectives.

What did your time here teach you?
From Northwood and my experience as the Innovation + Design teacher, I’ve learned that there really are no barriers to striking out and building something new. That is an exciting theme for our school, for the course, and now for my personal life. In a way, I’m going to go and do some significant real world experience. Northwood faculty and staff have always been so helpful. I think they’ve made asking for help for the new farm a whole lot easier.

What are your future plans? Where are you going?
I’ll be leaving the school year and jumping right into the busiest season for farming. Actually- I’m already in the thick of it. There have been a lot of late nights recently as I work to get supplies in order and baby the seedlings that were started in the late winter. You’ll be able to find our flowers at the Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Keene Valley farmers’ markets. To learn more about our farm, visit: www.littlefarmhouseflowers.com. My husband, Brad, will stay on at Northwood as the Director of Admission.

 

Dear Mrs. D’Arco,

Maddie and Linda

Maddie with Ms. D’Arco on Mountain Day 2017.

You  have brought light to our community over the past year as we seek innovative change in our school. Whether it be the design class or faculty peer feedback, Northwood has greatly benefited from your ideas in action.We can always count on you for your enthusiastic, “Hello, How are you?” Surrounded by constantly busy people who are sometimes less mindful, your endearing tone is sure to make a small daily impact on those who cross your path.

Your greatest contribution to the Northwood community is your ambition and drive to pursue your dreams. Your passion for flowers often keeps you working late into the night as you are the newest farmer of the Adirondacks. But by morning, you are more than a flower farmer; you are the dean of faculty, a teacher, and an advisor. Balancing your passions and having the courage to pursue farming inspires us all.

Mrs. D’Arco, thank you for your service to Northwood and the impact you have made in such a short time. We will miss you and wish you luck on your newest adventure!

Sincerely,
Maddie McCarthy

 

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