Humans of Northwood: Maisie Crane ‘23 

“I am a day student from Lake Placid, NY.  I love to travel, hang out with friends, and watch TV. My favorite part about Northwood is the friends I have made. I started at Northwood as a freshman in the fall of 2019. I am now in my fourth year and approaching graduation. I came to Northwood for its education and because of my family ties here. Northwood has changed a lot since my first year, but overall, I have enjoyed my time here. I enjoy the freedom that Northwood gives me and all the amazing experiences we are offered. I hope to be able to go to a college I enjoy. I want to be able to leave Lake Placid and experience other areas.”

As told to Maegan Byrne ’24. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Pink Out Cancer Fundraiser Extra Special This Year 


To help show support for breast cancer awareness month, Northwood’s community service club, CARE, organizes a “Pink Out” each year in conjunction with an athletic contest. A Pink Out consists of students going to a home athletic contest, typically a hockey game, wearing as much pink clothing or accessories as they can. 

Pink Out is extra special this year because a beloved member of the Northwood faculty is fighting breast cancer. “This year is more meaningful to me and my classmates because we are all rooting for Mrs. Walker during her fight against breast cancer.” Walker is currently in treatment at UVM Medical Center and the entire Northwood Community wishes her well.  


This year CARE purchased pink tape so the players can show their support while playing as well. CARE chose Saturday, October 22 to host the pink out. This weekend, all three hockey teams are home as well as some other athletes and independents. Choosing this weekend allows for a larger crowd to come and support. The timing also gives students more opportunities to support each of our hockey teams.  

During the game, Care will ask students and parents for donations that go towards breast cancer research and treatment.  

LEAP Gets Students Out of their Comfort Zone

Since 2017, Northwood has offered the LEAP (Learn, Engage, Apply, Perform) program. LEAP was created to get students out of a classroom setting to learn. LEAP allows students to connect with experts from fields as well as provides them with more opportunities to get out of their comfort zone. 

Before LEAP, Northwood offered a spring program in which they would take kids for 3-4 days on various adventures in the area. When Head of School Mr. Michael Maher began working for Northwood in 2015, he wanted to expand this program. He reached out to one of Northwood’s staff, Ms. Marcy Fagan, to take on this task. Maher wanted a more experiential program for students to be able to enjoy. With that in mind, Fagan then helped design the program we now know as LEAP. 

Photos from recent LEAP courses. (Photos provided)

LEAP courses do not just take place in the Lake Placid area. Some courses are held in various places around the world. Typically, LEAP is run in the spring following graduation. However, this year, due to the FISU games, Northwood has decided to run several LEAP courses in January for students who are not traveling with their sport during the extended break. The FISU games have also helped make these January courses much more affordable, allowing more students to be able to enjoy them. 

In 2017, LEAP was run for the first time. There were 11 course offerings in the first year. Since then, LEAP has expanded tremendously to 19 different courses offered this school year. 

Northwood’s original 2017 course offerings: 

  • Adirondack Farm to Table  
  • Evolution of the Contemporary Circus  
  • Backcountry Search and Rescue  
  • The Power of Water: Dams, Electricity and Rapids  
  • Green Building and Design: Building a Cordwood Cabin  
  • The Art of Fly Fishing  
  • Great Camps of The Adirondacks  
  • Chess: The Royal Game  
  • Cultural Immersion in Quebec 
  • Iceland: A Study of Geothermal Activity and Sustainability  
  • Marine Ecology in the Bahamas 

Northwood’s 2023 January LEAPs:  

  • St. Lucia Science, Culture, and Cuisine  
  • NYC Arts 
  • Conquer One of the World’s 7 Summits – Kilimanjaro 
  • FISU Games Volunteer  

 Northwood’s 2023 spring LEAPs: 

  • Adirondack Farm to Table and Culinary Experience  
  • The Modern Circus  
  • Coastal Vietnam – Sustainable Tourism, Culture, Geography and Cuisine  
  • Geothermal Sustainability in Iceland  
  • Golf – A Swing Back in Time  
  • Introduction to Woodworking  
  • Kayaking from Lake Champlain to Lake George  
  • Mountain Rescue  
  • Muskie Madness  
  • Nutrition and Athletic Performance  
  • Explore the Adirondacks  
  • Canines – Understanding Man’s Best Friend 
  • Board Game Design 
  • Teaching is Easy? Give it a Try! 
  • Fly Fishing in the Adirondacks   

This year, there are a total of seven new LEAP courses. “I am excited for all of them and grateful for the faculty for designing them,” Fagan said. 

Northwood’s most popular LEAP selection for this year is the Iceland course. Twenty Northwood students selected Iceland as their top choice.  

The Iceland course consists of students traveling to Iceland to work and stay at GeoCamp Iceland. While in Iceland, they will explore glaciers, volcanoes, lava tubes, geothermal pools, geysers, and the rift valley. Students will be able to learn more about plate tectonics, climate change and the significance of geothermal activity in Iceland.  

Each year, at the end of LEAP, Ms. Fagan sends an anonymous survey to all the students, faculty and parents involved in LEAP. Over the years, she has found that nearly all of the reviews are positive. Most students and staff would agree that they enjoyed their LEAP and would recommend it to others. Marcy Fagan concludes, “I have found LEAP to be very successful!” 

FIS Alpine Ski Racers Train in Chile [Slideshow]

Photo: Lea Lambert ‘ 24

On September 11th, four of Northwood’s FIS (Federation of International Ski) alpine ski athletes traveled to Valle Nevado, Chile. Each year, Northwood’s ski team travels to various places around the world in search of the best snow for preseason training. Usually, the best option is traveling to glaciers in Europe. However, the summer of 2022 brought Europe a heat wave that heavily affected its snow. Due to this, Northwood’s FIS team decided to travel to Chile for their fall pre-season.

While in Chile, these athletes have been extremely busy. Each day, the athletes spend around 4 hours in the morning training on the hill. Each athlete has specific areas they need to improve in which they focus on during training. Lea Lambert, a junior at Northwood training in Chile, says, “I am working on cleaning my turns and keeping my shoulders square.”

Olivia Levesque, another Northwood athlete, says, “I am currently working on my transition technique, which will help me go faster!”

Training is followed by a lunch break before heading off to study hall. The athletes meet in the lobby of the hotel where they have desks and tables to complete schoolwork. Study hall is two and a half hours long, giving them enough time to stay on top of all their work.

Athletes receive videos of their skiing after each training day to know where they need to improve. After study hall, athletes meet with coaches for a debrief of the training session where they review footage and discuss.

Finally, the athletes will have some free time at the end of each day. Most of this time is spent preparing skis and tuning them for the next training session. During additional free time or days when the athletes are not on the snow, they keep themselves active and busy. These skiers have various dryland activities they work on off the hill, consisting of agility work, hiking, and lifting in the gym.

Northwoods FIS skiers will be in Chile for a total of thirteen days before returning to school. The team is working hard and improving every day, while enjoying every minute of their time in Chile.

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New Schedule Gets Mostly Positive Reviews 

The new schedule, as it appears in the student planner (Photo: Mr. John Spear).

For the 2022-2023 academic year, Northwood has introduced a new schedule. In recent years, Northwood’s schedule consisted of 7 classes with 5 periods in each day. This allowed students to have variation in their daily schedules. On Fridays, Northwood had “squish days,” which consisted of 30-minute classes instead of the usual 45 minutes. The shortened Friday allowed for athletic training and travel to begin after lunch without conflicting with classes.  

This year, Northwood put in place a new class schedule, having 6 classes and 6 periods a day instead. This means that students will now have all their classes every day. Fortunately, this opens a new opportunity, as many students will have no classes on Friday.  

Fridays now consist of specific “G Period” courses that meet for three hours only on Friday, including Applied Robotics, Choreography, Art and Music. The new Friday schedule also allows athletic teams to travel to competitions without the stress of missing school or to offer team-building activities. Fridays allow students to branch off more with their flexible time to try new things. 

Noel Carmichael, the Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs, said, “Having a full day of classes on Friday is asking kids to be two places at once and is setting them up for failure.” In previous years, Northwood found that traveling athletes struggle more to keep up with assignments while missing Fridays during their playing season. Northwood’s new schedule allows students to stay busy and active without as much pressure if they are away. 

Most Northwood students agreed that they like having no classes on Friday. For students new to Northwood, this is all they know. However, many returning students had more to add. Senior Maisie Crane has an art class on Friday. “I like not having traditional classes on Friday, but I don’t like how we have all our classes everyday Monday through Thursday.”  

The majority of the returning students agreed with this statement. They feel that it is a lot for a day and will take some time to adjust. However, they also agreed with Nori Fitsimmons ‘24, who observed, “I would rather lose some free time on school days and be able to have Fridays off.”  

Many of the new students don’t observe an overload in their class schedule but agreed that having Fridays to co-curricular gives them more time. “Fridays give me more freedom, and more time for my homework,” said Hudson DiNapoli ‘24. 

The new schedule overall has had a good impact on Northwood. Students and faculty both agree that they enjoy the new Friday schedule with all the new opportunities it offers, and the amount of time it leaves open for them. 

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