Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth on Twitter

February 1926. That was when Historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week.” This resulted in the subsequent creation of the beloved National Black History Month. Since it is the age of technology’s reign, Twitter celebrated the opening of this month with a few hashtags. [Read more…]

Humans of Northwood: Ms. Noel Carmichael


I’m a tap dancer, It’s one of my favorite things in the world. I’ve been tap dancing since I was five years old and I even had a tap dancing troupe in tanzania that did Afro Fusion tap. We also had a Jazz band where everyone one was also tap dancing at the same time; from the keyboarding to the bassist. Though I loved Tanzania, I’d been living outside the US for nine years, and I finally felt like it was time to come back. Northwood appealed to me a lot because I used to spend a lot of time in the Adirondacks as a kid and loved it. I actually don’t think of myself as an English teacher… I’m a creator and an artist and right now I just happen to create English classes and young minds through English. Before here I worked at the Dar es Salaam International Academy where I taught language and literature and drama performance. When I started looking at new jobs, I made a vision board and happily enough, this location has everything on that board. The board is up in my apartment to remind myself that I can envision something and make it come to life. I was always a New York City girl, so the small town of Lake Placid is new to me, but I love it. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined myself living anywhere but NYC, so this is definitely different. Northwood is so accepting of how multifaceted life is; no one is encouraged to divide themselves. For example, I could have papers to grade but if I need to take a walk instead, no one will tell me that that walk is not a good use of my time because everyone understands the importance of stepping back when needed and the need for a work/health balance.

As told to Aude-Marie Ackebo ’18

Are Northwood Seniors Suffering from Anxiety?

Recently, a New York Times article asked the question “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?” The article started with the story of Kevin, a high school senior taking three Advanced Placement classes, who attempted suicide many times due to overwhelming anxiety. The article then gets into distressing statistics stating that over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. It also states that “In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62% in 2016 from 50% in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year.” On top of that, admissions of suicidal teenagers doubled over the last 10 years, with the highest rates being after they return to school each fall. This article spiked interest regarding anxiety at Northwood School. Are Northwood’s seniors anxious too? [Read more…]

Humans of Northwood: Nikki Kendrick ’18


“I am passionate about helping others and being there for someone that might need it. That side of me is probably why with the freshmen, away from home for the first time, I’ve tried my best to help and guide them to the best of my abilities. This trait is probably why I’ve been babysitting autistic kids for years now; I started with my neighbor who was about three at the time. It was very difficult at first and I had to figure it out, which I learned a lot from. As a freshman I was very scared and barely got out of my room. If I could talk to freshman Nikki right now, I’d tell her to be herself, not be scared of what others think, try new things and…. Let go of things. Keeping something in and holding onto negatives doesn’t do any good.”

Northwood on Main Update

Due to unforeseen structural problems, a Main Street property purchased by Northwood School nearly three years ago will need to be torn down and rebuilt.


The former With Pipe and Book store at 2495 Main St. is seen Friday with renderings hung behind storefront windows of Northwood School’s plans to convert the space into an educational hub after planned demolition. (photo: Antonio Olivero, Adk Daily Enterprise)

Late in 2015, Northwood School purchased a building on Main Street affectionately called “Northwood on Main.” The building was supposed to be used for new programs by now, but construction has yet to begin.

The change in timeline is due to structural problems that did not manifest themselves in the initial inspection.  “That’s not uncommon,” says Mr. Mike Maher, Northwood’s Head of School. “Once you get into the guts of a place you discover things that you can’t see in the conventional inspection process.”

After looking at those issues, studying them and talking with the board, Maher decided, somewhat regrettably, to tear the building down and build it anew in order to assure its sustainability and efficiency rather than try to renovate a structure that was fundamentally flawed. [Read more…]

Exit Interview: Ms. Cency Middleton

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

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When did you start working at Northwood and how long have you been here?

I started working here in July 2016 so… almost a year.

What different jobs have you done/ classes have you taught?

I have taught freshman English, helped to direct the writing center along with amazing students, helped with many rec sports, helped with admissions work and the Northwood open house. I’ve loved being a dorm parent in The House, and I am the 9th grade class dean.

Why did you decide to leave your Northwood job?

Very personal reasons. Mostly due to a lot of change in my life so it just felt like the right time. I am finally ready for a new exciting next step.

What are your future plans? Where are you going?

I’m going to be working at a day school in New York City, Herschel School, teaching 7th grade. I’m excited for a change, but it doesn’t come without a lot of mixed emotions. I’m really sorry and sad to be leaving, but I know it’s the right thing and time to start a new adventure.

Do you have a best story/fondest memory/funniest happening that you could tell?

One of my favorite memories happened this winter when we got the freshman class together and went ice skating on Mirror Lake. It was fun to watch the better skaters help the not-so-good ones learn to skate. It was an opportunity to organize something, get kids excited for it, and once we were out there, everyone had a great time. Then we went back to my apartment, had a hot chocolate. It was a really fun afternoon full of bonding, laughing and skating.

What did your time here teach you?

I think I’ve learned more about myself during this singular year at Northwood then I have at my last school, where I worked for 3 years. I’ve learned that I really love being in the classroom; it is probably when I am the happiest. I’ve learned that, like everyone, I have good and bad days and that’s okay. I’ve learned that I am a lot stronger and more independent than I thought I was before. I’ve learned that sometimes the hardest decision is still the right decision.


Dear Ms. Middleton:

This whole year has blown by so quickly. Even though I was never in one of your classes, you have still made a great impact on my everyday life at Northwood.

As a freshman, it was great to know that there was a teacher who was always looking out for me. No matter what I needed, from late-night boy drama to S’mores and sandwiches, you were always there for me. You always went the extra mile even when it did not seem like I appreciated it.

Over the course of the year, we have formed a unique bond that I’ve never had with a teacher. You and I have heard each other’s drama and issues and we helped each other through all of the tough times. I see you more as an older sister rather than another faculty member. My next three years at the school will not be the same without you and our emergency Starbucks runs. However, I wish you the best with anything you pursue in the future, and I greatly appreciate everything you have done for me this past year.

Thank you for making this school year as tolerable as possible.


Lexi Hooper

Exit Interview: Ms. Linda D’Arco

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


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!

Maddie McCarthy


Getting Comfortable with Myself


Aude-Marie is a junior and the editor-in-chief of The Mirror.

When I was a child, like most young girls, I played with Barbie dolls. My Barbies had a wide range of jobs varying from astronaut to doctor. Yet all my Barbie dolls were Caucasian or mixed. I had no black dolls because they didn’t sell any in my home town in Ivory Coast.

Having no toys that match my complexion might seem minor, but it had big repercussions on how I viewed myself. It was no surprise when, at age eight, I asked my mother if I could use hair relaxers so I could straighten my hair. My pre-teen role models, including Beyoncé, my grandmother, and my mother, all had straight hair, just like Barbie’s. The popular girls at school also had straight hair. I felt like an anomaly with my natural hair. [Read more…]

Dear Mr. President: Here’s What I Think of Your Wall

Dear President Trump:


Aude-Marie Alexandra ’18

Since you can’t see the light, I’ve decided to let you know why your wall is a bad idea. Where to start? The wall was estimated to cost at least $25 billion. If the United states has $25 billion to spare, that money is enough to build 1,500 new elementary schools, send more than 300,000 people to college, or install renewable energy to power more than 5 million homes. But instead of using that money to help hard working American families and help the country move forward, you decided to build a wall to keep immigrants out. [Read more…]

New Standards for Dean’s List Creates Controversy

Northwood School’s returning upperclassmen have been complaining about how hard it is for them to be on the Dean’s list, the highest form of Honor Roll recognition at Northwood School. Ms. Jill Walker, the Dean of Academic Affairs, publishes the list at the end of each marking period. The requirements to be on Dean’s List were changed at the beginning of this academic year. The current Dean’s List standard for upper classmen is a GPA of 4.0 with no grade lower than a B+. For underclassmen, the current standard is a GPA of 3.70 with no grade lower than a B+. The previous standard for Dean’s List required no grade lower than a B-. Many juniors and seniors complain that the changes have unfairly excluded them from Dean’s List because grades in AP and honors classes are weighted for the GPA but not for the “no grade lower” requirement.

Take this hypothetical student for example:

AP English Language:    A-
AP Biology:                        B-
AP Psychology:                 A
AP Calculus AB                 A-
Spanish 4/5                        B+

This student would have a 4.38 GPA, which would give her one of the highest GPAs in the senior class; however, she would be excluded from Dean’s List because of the B- in AP Biology, even though that B- is weighted as an A-  when calculating the GPA.

Changing the minimum grade requirement from B- to B+ seems insignificant, but that minor change resulted in a drop in representation of upperclassmen on Dean’s List. Last year,  forty-five percent of the first semester Dean’s List was upperclassmen compared to just twenty five percent this year.

So what caused the twenty percent decrease? “It’s definitely the new [minimum grade] requirements. If I don’t take multiple AP courses or if I have all As and one B-, then I have no chance of being on Dean’s list,” said an upperclass student. It seems to the student body that the upperclassmen are the only ones penalized by this change. The representation of underclassmen last year and this year is nearly the same.

Also remarkable is the fact that none of the sophomores on last year’s Dean’s List made the list this year as upperclassmen.

Students have differing explanations for the disparity on the honor roll. One argument is that underclassmen have easier classes than juniors and seniors. Another explanation is that upperclassmen take more honors and AP classes, which are significantly more challenging. AP students are rewarded for taking challenging courses with a weighted GPA, but individual letter grades aren’t weighted when measured against the minimum grade standard, which kept many underclass students off the Dean’s List.

Veteran faculty member, Mr. Reed, supports the current honor roll standards.“Because we have both an honor roll and a high honor roll to reward strong achievement,” he said, “I believe we should reserve the Dean’s List for exceptional across-the-board performance. The more people who make the Dean’s List, the less significant making it becomes.”

English Teacher and School Counselor Mr. Don Mellor has a different opinion and shared the view of many Northwood juniors and seniors: “Although I haven’t given this subject a lot of thought, it seems to me that if one A doesn’t get a student on any lists, then one B- shouldn’t take any student off the list. The lists should only have a GPA requirement because we shouldn’t expect kids to be great in every class.”

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