Students Enjoy the Rope Swing at Paul Smith College

Photo: Mr. Bobby O’Connor.

This past weekend, Mrs. Fagan and Bobby took a group of students on an afternoon trip over to Paul Smiths College. This was originally supposed to be a trip to the Wilmington Flume, but plans had to change due to dangerously high water levels. Instead, some of the guys asked if the group would be able to go to the rope swing at PSC. I happened to be on the trip so I can speak firsthand of the experience. Although there were some scary moments and close calls, it was a lot of fun.

Photo: Mr. Bobby O’Connor.

Once the drive to PSC was completed, we had to trek through the woods a bit to get to the spot. After the short walk, we came across a rope hanging from a tree and a platform where the real fun began. At first, I can admit this swing was intimidating, and I know for one that I made a fool out of myself for standing on the platform for about five minutes before I worked up the courage to finally swing off. Others weren’t so nervous. Many of the hockey boys and the ski girls just went right along and swung off like it was nothing. Some kids even went back to try flips and gainers. One of the boys, Ben Plucinski, figured he had to prove himself since he was from Alaska, so he attempted multiple times until he finally got half a gainer. Some of the others, though, weren’t so fortunate. Like anything that boosts adrenaline, there is a risk that is packaged with it. One student swung a little low and hit his foot on a root. Luckily Bobby was prepared with a med kit and could wrap his foot up so it would be safe until we got back to school. A girl let go too early and was surprised by how fast the water came to meet her, and that knocked the air out of her. Although both these students were involved in accidents, they handled it very well and didn’t let it affect the overall fun that was experienced.

All in all, it was a great experience despite a few scares. I want to thank Mrs. Fagan and Bobby for helping us get out in the Adirondacks and experience these great activities that we couldn’t do in the winter. I believe the whole group had a great time, and we made the best of a situation that, in the beginning, was almost canceled. To the rest of the students, make sure you go out and enjoy these activities because the end of the year is coming quickly. Don’t regret that you didn’t get in on one of these great experiences!

Paddlers Hit the Whitewater

During the spring at Northwood, most students are tasked with choosing a separate co-curricular from their fall/winter sport. One of the unique offerings here at Northwood is a complete  course in whitewater kayaking. I have had the pleasure of joining this course for the past two years, so I can provide some insight into how incredible this offering is.

The whitewater kayaking course is a subdivision of the recently re-launched Northwood Outing Club (NOC), led by Bobby O’Connor and Matt Roy. With these two leading, you get a combination of Mr. Roy’s years of experience and Bobby’s mastery of teaching students the disciplines of the outdoors.

This course starts very mildly, and Bobby does a great job of starting from a clean slate so that pretty much anyone can join, regardless of skill level. Bobby likes to joke about how cool it is to see how the group whittles down over the first few days. It tends to scare some students off between the cold water and the surprising amount of technique required to keep the boat going where you want it to. If you happen to be one of these students though, both Mr. Roy and Bobby encourage you to stick with it because those hardships are worth going through when the techniques finally click.

Alex Randall ’25 (Photo: Mr. Bobby O’Connor)

When first starting the course, we had a flatwater day out on Mirror Lake so Bobby could show the group all the basics of what it takes to succeed on moving water. We went over basic forward strokes to harder draw strokes that will help us dodge obstacles on the river. After that, we take a step up from that and go down to Saranac Lake Dam. There is a very mild amount of moving water there, and it is excellent for putting the skills learned on the first day to use in moving water. This is the day when most students realize if they want to continue because even though there is a small amount of moving water, it isn’t hard for beginners to tip the boat over accidentally. After the group gets a bit smaller, we make our way to the next level, which is a short stretch of faster-moving water again, so students aren’t taken from 0-60. After that, the students made their way to take on a 5-mile stretch of the Ausable East Branch. In this one Alex Randall ended up taking a swim so we got a great demonstration of what a river rescue is like. Anytime we are able to Bobby and Mr. Roy promote safety first when on the river. The very next day we went from the Wilmington dam to further down the Ausable West Branch. Through all these runs we have learned to identify river features and how to navigate certain obstacles when we are quite literally thrown into them. It has been a fantastic experience so far, and I know the others in the group would say they have had nothing but fun despite taking a few swims.

It is great to participate in such an amazing outdoor discipline, and in doing so, you get to connect with other students you might not usually talk with. I have nothing but great things to say about it, and I want to thank Bobby and Mr. Roy for being such great teachers to the group because we really appreciate the time and effort put into this. This is what has been happening so far in the Whitewater coco and we are excited to see what water the “Northwood Swim Team,” as Bobby likes to call us, takes on in the final weeks of the school year.

Spring Art Showcase Entertains and Inspires

On Thursday, April 20th, we had our second to last formal of the 2022-23 school year. Even more important was what took place after the dinner ended. We had a spring art showcase that put together a culmination of some talented students performing and then all showing their art to the whole school for one final time this year. Here are some of the highlights.

I want to start off by saying how impressive it is that this showcase was directed by one of our students, Kiet Do ’23. He helped plan the show with the help of many students backstage. Not every day one of our fellow students gets to direct a show that the community gets to see. When asked about the showcase, Kiet said, “It was a great experience to direct a show for the school. It brought a lot to my understanding of a show experience, and it is something I’d love to look into it more in the future.” It’s excellent that Northwood provides these opportunities for students like Kiet to expand their interests in such specialties. As for Kiet, directing the show wasn’t the only thing he did to contribute to the showcase. He also produced a video that showed what the performers go through to prepare for the show. It showed a backstage perspective of each of the arts that were showcased. Kiet said, “It fits my goal to see what happens before the show and showing people the work and practice it takes for a performance to reach the stage.” It was an awesome video, and here is a huge shoutout to all the work Kiet put into the performance.

Another big part of the showcase was the dance performances. This was the last performance that the dance program would showcase their talents in front of the community because the dance program will not continue next year. Since this was the last school performance, I wanted to get the perspective of a senior dancer that performed in the show. “One of my favorite parts of dance is the performance, but dancing in front of the school is honestly more nerve-wracking than the other performances we have done,” Jazlyn Lluberes ’23 said. I don’t think that is hard to understand, because performing in front of your peers is always challenging. It requires being vulnerable for the whole school to see. Jazlyn reflected on the last dance performance. “It was a bittersweet moment… it was hard knowing that any underclass dancer would never be able to showcase their hard work to the Northwood community again,” she said. I’m sure we can all understand the pain she is feeling, but for now, we can congratulate the dancers on a successful few shows and wish them luck on their dance journeys.

Some of the best experiences were the singing and instrumental performances. It’s pretty awesome to watch students you see around school take on the challenge of performing in front of the whole community. It takes a lot of courage to get up on the stage, and I commend each of them for going out there and killing it. One of the performers, Hudson Dinapoli ’23, sang along with a band that had been practicing for months. Some of these students have never touched an instrument and are now on stage. It doesn’t get much better than that. DiNapoli is known for being an energetic guy; he and his bandmates didn’t disappoint with his performance. “It was a surreal experience getting to perform in front of the school and community,” DiNapoli said. “I had a lot of fun with the band, and it looked like everyone enjoyed the show.”

Jazlyn Lluberes ’23 (photos: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Kiet Do ’23 

Hudson DiNapoli ’23 

Being in the audience, I can say that the show was a blast and it had something for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the performers because they worked extremely hard to put on this show for the school. Again, I want to commend all the performers because getting on stage in front of the whole community is very impressive.

Humans of Northwood: Billy Batten ‘23

“I am a 2nd year senior from Phoenixville, PA. I wanted to come to Northwood because I heard about the great hockey opportunities I could have there. I also wanted to experience a change in environment with a whole new group of people.

“I would say that after these two years, I will miss the amazing friendships and memories I have made here. Looking past Northwood, I would say the future is still uncertain, but I plan to play hockey for as long as possible and attend a prestigious university.

“I have loved being able to enjoy new things, especially being able to experience the Adirondacks with my good group of friends.

“Outside of hockey, I like to go golfing with friends. I have a rope swing behind my house, so I go swimming and mess around back there as well.”

As told to Aidan Lasky ’23. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Humans of Northwood: James Schneid ‘23

“I wanted to come to Northwood to put myself in an environment where I could play great hockey surrounded by an awesome location.

“After being at Northwood for two years, I will miss the boys the most, specifically hanging out and spending meals with them.

“Next year, I will go to Alberta, Canada, to play for the Brooks Bandits, and following that, I will attend Princeton University.

“Outside of hockey, I enjoy golfing and playing basketball with friends.”

As told to Aidan Lasky ’23. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Prep Team Ends Season on Victory Against Stanstead

The time of the year has come when the season must come to an end. Although this is sad because it is the last time many seniors will put on the Northwood jersey, we still need to appreciate how the season culminates. The prep team had two final games against Stanstead College this past weekend, and this is how it went.
The team started the weekend at the Saranac Lake rink with their game on Saturday. There was a lot on the line because the team wanted to go out with a bang and more importantly, it wanted to make these final games something to be proud of.

Coach Morris and the team in action at the Northwood Invitational Tournament this season (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

The game started with a quick lead from the Huskies and the game was going in Northwood’s favor. This quickly changed when Stanstead was able to get a powerplay goal to tie the game back up. It was a back-and-forth game with both teams being in the lead multiple times. This one came down to a nail biter in the last few minutes. Northwood scored two back-to-back goals allowing them to capture the lead with a minute and thirty seconds on the clock. I wish I could say this ended in the Huskie’s favor but sadly Stanstead was able to score one goal and then another to give them the win. Another weekend started with a heartbreaking loss to a team that Northwood knew it could beat.

This final game on Sunday was a must win for the team. With this being Coach Morris’ last game, along with all the seniors leaving, the boys had to give it their all to end the season strong. This game was much different than the previous one. Northwood came out with a fire that wasn’t there the day before. The boys were scoring goal after goal, and they were looking dominant going into the second half. Stanstead was able to muster up to goals but that is all they could do. The Huskies were not letting them take this last game away, they were not going to lose this game. James Schneid also happened to be one goal away from scoring an incredible fifty goals on the season, so you can imagine how badly the team wanted him to achieve this milestone in his last game. Schneid was trying and trying and finally he was able to hammer home his fiftieth goal. The bench went crazy, and everyone erupted in yelling to congratulate James. The boys kept the lead this game and won an outstanding 8-2. Not bad for the final game.

I have had the honor of playing for Coach Morris for the past two years and I can say that he has been a great coach. Teaching the team what it means to truly love the game of hockey. He always demanded the best from each of us and that is something to be grateful for. He came back to Northwood and led the prep team to two forty-win seasons to cap off his already outstanding coaching career. With the season done I have loved every second of playing and writing about the Northwood Prep team and I wish all the players good luck in the future. Thank you everyone for their continued support of the team and as always GO HUSKIES!

January Read Focuses on Building Culture

This past January, the boy’s hockey program was tasked with reading The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. The reading of this book culminated with a presentation to the whole school. As a hockey player at Northwood, I felt I could give a firsthand perspective of how much this book can teach the Northwood community.

The book breaks creating a good culture into three areas: Safety, Vulnerability, and Purpose. These three things can be applied to a school or team setting. Safety is essential to creating a healthy environment. Everyone needs to know that others in the group back them. Trying to improve how safe everyone feels dives right into the ability to show vulnerability. Vulnerability is hard to implement because it’s not natural for us to let down our walls to those around us voluntarily. Typically, you think of a vulnerability as a weakness, opening yourself up to an attack. The book changes this stigma by showing how vulnerability can be a team’s greatest strength. It starts with the leaders of the community or team. It won’t seem as difficult for those not in leadership if leaders are role models and open up about their weaknesses. It is important to embrace the discomfort of being vulnerable, and if everyone does this, it won’t seem unnatural for the group. Purpose is the last characteristic of culture and perhaps the most fundamental of the three. If a community doesn’t share a common purpose, it will be made up of individuals, not teammates. Striving for a common purpose is much easier when the previous two characteristics are met. Implementing these simple disciplines can help a team or community become more tight-knit and more like a family.

The 2022-23 Prep hockey team during September action at the Olympic Center (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

The boy’s hockey presentation demonstrated what the book taught us. It consisted of a standard PowerPoint that allowed us to tell the school what we had learned. The real greatness of the presentation came in the form of a brief speech by Jack Kent ‘23 and a fun performance to end it. Jack Kent is a boys’ prep team member, and this is his second year at Northwood. What he shared was nothing short of impressive. For those of you who don’t know him, he has struggled with building his confidence. As his teammate, I am happy to say he has taken considerable strides in building it. He demonstrated what being vulnerable means; he doesn’t like speaking in front of huge groups and spoke in front of the whole school. He opened up about his insecurities and showed what it means to embrace the discomfort of vulnerability. It was a great sight to see, and knowing him, I and many others are proud of him for taking this on. The presentation ended with a song about vulnerability led by Hudson Dinapoli ‘23, singing with more of the team on instruments and singing for support. It went great, and seeing the program come together for this presentation was fantastic.

This book and presentation show how implementing three things into a community or team can bring it closer than ever. The boy’s hockey program came together for this presentation and had students like Jack Kent embrace vulnerability in order to make it more meaningful. Adding purpose, safety, and vulnerability to our school could allow us to become a closer-knit community. I look forward to seeing how the Northwood community uses these tips, and I hope the rest of the community can also learn from what the boy’s hockey program read about this past January.

Huskies Fall Short at PHC Championship

The Prep Team in action at the Olympic Center in February 2023. Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge.

The Prep Team traveled to Minnesota at the end of February to compete in their league playoffs. This was the culmination of their season, and after this, the team only has four remaining games left in the season, two against St. Andrews College and two against Stanstead. More on those games later; here is how the playoff weekend went.

The Boys traveled to Minnesota on Thursday, and shortly after arriving, they bused to Shattuck St. Mary’s to complete a final practice before the fight for a championship began. The top two teams in the league, Shattuck and Mount Saint Charles, received a first-round bye. That meant that the remaining four teams would have to win to have a chance at playing one of those teams. Northwood was one of those remaining four teams, and the boys were scheduled to play Culver on Friday. This was a must-win game for the Huskies, and they had previously beaten Culver, so they knew they could win. Reportedly Coach Morris would always say “that he couldn’t want it for us.” That meant that the boys were ultimately capable of going as far as they wanted to this weekend. Sadly, Culver got the lead early on, making it a 1-0 game. At the end of the three periods the boys were trying to fight back into the game, but they couldn’t prevent Culver from making it 3-0. In the blink of an eye, Northwood’s chance of winning the championship were diminished. Although this was heartbreaking, every game presents an opportunity to learn from mistakes, and the most important thing was that the boys stepped up their game so they could at least get a win in the next two games.

Going into Saturday, the boys were scheduled to play South Kent. The boys knew they had to perform much better in this game, even without a championship. The game was a back-and-forth match between the two teams, with both teams scoring in the first period. The boys were looking a lot livelier in this game and clearly were dominating South Kent. The Second period came, and South Kent scored two goals, followed by one from Northwood, making the score 3-2 for South Kent going into the third period. Again, Northwood was dominating but the boys couldn’t seem to get one in the net. The game ended with another loss, even though Northwood outshot South Kent by about twenty. This was heartbreaking for the boys, but they still had an opportunity to win from the weekend. The third game would be against St. Andrews College. It was the most back-and-forth game of the weekend. The Huskies went into the game and were able to get an early two-goal lead. This early excitement was quickly suppressed when SAC was able to make it 2-2 before intermission. SAC came out the second period with a ferocity to score and the boys were caught running around, allowing SAC to score three compared to Northwood’s one in the second period. Going into the third period, it was clear the boys needed to settle down and return to how they needed to play. Towards the end of the third, the boys were able to tie up the game at 5-5, sparking hope on the Huskies bench. Heartbreakingly SAC was able to score with just under a minute remaining. The boys didn’t have time to get back that one. This loss made the record 0-3 on the weekend.

Although the weekend didn’t go how the Prep team wanted, they wanted to thank everyone for supporting them throughout the season and tuning in for the playoffs. The good news is that the boys will have a chance to redeem themselves against SAC in a week, so they will show them what Northwood hockey actually is. As usual, go Huskies, and I look forward to seeing how they match up in these last few games of the season.

Prep Team Hits Forty Wins Leading into Playoffs

The team celebrates a goal at a recent game at the Olympic Center (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

This past weekend the Prep Hockey Team went on a short road trip to Clifton Park to take on CP Dynamo. Although the team had a successful 2-0 run, that isn’t the best part of what happened during the trip. With the second victory, the boys cemented 40 wins on the season. Not only was this a huge accomplishment for the team, but it was also a great achievement for Coach Morris’s last season before retiring from coaching.

This was an especially significant milestone for Coach Morris because back in 2006, Coach Morris coached Northwood Hockey to the first 40-win season in the program’s history, a record of 40-8. Not only was that the first 40-win season for Northwood, but Coach Mallaro was the captain of the squad as well. It’s pretty extraordinary that coaching brought them together for another two seasons of 40 wins, this season and last season. Before Coach Morris returned to Northwood, Coach Cassidy was also able to notch two 40-win seasons, one being an impressive 45-5 record and the other 40-8-2.

Coach Mark Morris ’77 is retiring at the end of the season.

Mr. Stephen “Reno” Reed, the unofficial historian of Northwood’s hockey program, helped with recalling these records. Since the 40-win milestone has only been achieved a few times in the school’s history, this season’s accomplishment is even more special.

Reaching 40 wins will continue to be a goal for Northwood Hockey in the future, and it will be great to see the next teams try to reach this milestone. With Coach Morris retiring this year, it will also be great to see if Coach Mallaro can lead his teams to achieve this goal.

The Prep boys were able to celebrate the milestone this past weekend, but this upcoming weekend marks an even more important part of the season—the PHC playoffs. The boys will travel to Minnesota to compete in the playoffs for the second season of the Prep hockey conference. Coming down the homestretch always produces a mix of emotions for the players: it’s the culmination of all the training that has been done and it is the end of many of the seniors’ Northwood careers. The Mirror wishes the boys continued luck for the playoffs in hopes of a strong finish to end the season. As always, go Huskies!

Wall Street Veteran Teaches New Financial Markets Class

Mr. Jeff Miller (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

A new class this semester has been a hit with many students. It is called “Introduction to Financial Markets” and is taught by varsity hockey Coach Jeff Miller. Many parents and students were asking for a class like this, and many are excited to see such a class in the Northwood course offerings. This is how the class came to be and how it went in its first few weeks.

Coach Miller, or “Millsy,” is known for more than coaching hockey at Northwood. Previously he taught statistics, and he also plays a vital role in the admissions office. Many Huskies don’t know that before Northwood, Coach Miller had an outstanding career working for investment firms on Wall Street and in Boston for 20+ years. With this resume, there is no better person to teach Northwood Students about Finance.

“Given my experience in financial markets, I figured it may be a natural fit for me to teach a course that would give Northwood students a head start into the world of finance,” Miller said. Soon after gaining approval for his new class idea, he began designing the class over the summer.

The class aims to provide students with a general understanding of financial markets. “I hope to give the students a financial foundation they can use the rest of their life, especially when it comes time to make their own investment decisions,” Miller said. The class has already started learning about Banking, Bonds, The Federal Reserve, Stocks, and Commodities.

Miller likes to make classes exciting rather than just spewing information. Just a couple of weeks ago, the class had a mock Federal Open Markets Committee meeting before the Washington meeting. This allowed students to understand what goes into these real-life decisions.

“Down the road, we will take a deep dive into the stock market and learn about mutual funds, short selling, and Warren Buffet.” Miller has the class watch clips of the CNBC financial news network and use Yahoo Finance to gain information relevant to the class. This teaches the students how they can access this information when they start making their own decisions regarding finance.

Miller is off to a good start with the class, he said. “I enjoy sharing my passion and experiences with them, and the students have been very engaged and curious in class, which is great.” Being in this class, I can attest to the fact that I enjoy it a lot. Coach Miller makes class fun, and his course always provides a nice break from the hardcore information I may be getting in some of my other classes.

I look forward to seeing how this course continues, and it’s great to hear that Coach Miller has been loving teaching this course. “It’s been a wonderful experience,” he said. If you have any questions regarding this course, feel free to reach out to Coach Miller. He would love to tell you more about the class.

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