Thank You for Visiting the Mirror


Thank you for visiting The Mirror, Northwood School’s student-led newspaper. Classes resumed online on March 18, and The Mirror’s staff, who have dispersed to three states and four countries, are committed to chronicling life at Northwood from the student’s perspective, especially now that students have left campus.

(Missing from photo: Hadley Swedlund ’20)

Campus Closes and Classes Go Online in Response to COVID-19


Image: CDC

For just the second time in Northwood School’s 115-year history, the school is closing its campus in response to an emergency. Head of School Michael Maher announced the move via email on Wednesday, March 11 and Assistant Head for School Life Mr. Spear elaborated and answered questions at a hastily-announced school meeting that evening. They explained the move was intended to help stop the spread of the global pandemic known as Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. The last time school operations were suspended in response to an emergency was during World War II.

Maher’s letter to the community is below. The Mirror will have continuing and extensive coverage of the situation beginning this week.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Mr. Michael J. Maher
Date: Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 7:30 PM
Subject: Important Message from Mr. Maher Re: COVID-19
To: Northwood Community
Dear Northwood Community,

The COVID-19 virus has continued to spread, and many parts of the United States and the world have been impacted. All of us are concerned about how the virus will affect our daily lives over the next weeks and months. To best protect the health and well-being of our campus community, we need to focus on reducing its possible effects.

While New York State and Essex County have both declared states of emergency, currently there are no confirmed cases at Northwood School, or in Lake Placid and Essex County.  Given the rapid spread of the virus and its proximity to our dense residential community in Lake Placid, itself a destination for millions of visitors each year, we have made a series of decisions we believe are in the best interests of our students, faculty, and staff. The aim in all our deliberations has been to move quickly and thoughtfully to minimize, as best as we can, the risk of exposure for members of our community while continuing to fulfill our educational mission.

I have consulted with Northwood School trustees and school leaders, as well as experts in public health, and colleagues at other boarding and college institutions. I have concluded, after careful analysis, that Northwood School will cease all on-campus programming and transition all instruction online as of today, March 11, 2020. Tomorrow we will prepare students for online learning and assist them with their travel arrangements. Student departures may begin as early as 2:00 pm.

We plan to resume on-campus instruction and other programming on Monday, April 27, which will leave four weeks for classes, AP exams, and other year-end activities, including commencement and LEAP. Of course, resuming on-campus programming at that time depends on the status of the coronavirus. We will monitor the situation closely and communicate regularly with everyone in the Northwood community.

We come to this decision with mixed emotions. We believe it is the most effective approach to protect our students, faculty, and families. This allows us to do our part to contain, prepare for and cope with the spread of the virus.

As social distancing is becoming a new normal, distance learning is an effective means to continue to educate and be responsible for outcomes for our students. Northwood School is fully equipped to migrate to online learning and we are confident that students and faculty will transition effectively. We are committed to supporting our students and teachers throughout this process.

We recognize that this communication raises a significant number of questions, which we will address in communications to follow. We ask for your patience as our students adjust to this news and we properly formulate individual return and transition plans.

If you have any questions, you can reach John Spear, Assistant Head for School Life or Dr. Laura Finnerty Paul, Dean of Academics.

Thank you all for your understanding, your patience, and your partnership during this challenging time.


Michael Maher

Head of School

Today is Ring the Bell for Northwood!

RTB_2020March 5, 2020, is our fourth annual giving day called  Ring the Bell for Northwood. Students around campus are wearing their blue Ring the Bell t-shirts to class and alumni and families around the world are showing their Northwood pride by making gifts to the Northwood Fund. Students representing each of the four Peaks have submitted entries into the annual video competition and the winner will be determined at a special school meeting today at 11:30 am.

Every March, our Northwood family around the world — alumni, students, parents, friends, neighbors, faculty, and staff — come together for Ring the Bell, a 24-hour online fundraising event. Ring the Bell supports the Northwood people and programs that are important to achieving the school’s mission of fostering growth in young people so that they may engage their world and lead lives of consequence.

Excitement for Ring the Bell for Northwood has been building as Huskies everywhere have watched daily videos leading up to the event.

The annual fundraising effort, organized by Northwood’s Advancement Office, is using a  new platform to communicate with alumni, parents, and friends of Northwood and inspire their support The primary goal of Ring the Bell 2020 is to celebrate our school and support the people and programs we all care about most. We hope to reach 400 donors today and surpass the goals of previous years — join us and Ring the Bell for Northwood!


Advanced STEM Research to be Offered in the 2020-2021 Academic Year

For the 2020-2021 school year, Northwood School will introduce the Advanced Scholar Programs that will encourage achievement and accelerated instruction to high-performing students.

The first program to be offered, Advanced STEM Research, will provide a platform to engage in independent research within the fields of biological sciences, physical sciences, behavioral sciences and engineering. Students with a deep interest in scientific discovery will have the ability to design and implement their own research projects throughout this year-long honors-level course.  By engaging in literature research, generating a testable hypothesis, implementing an experiment and analyzing the results, students will develop the mastery to critically think about the scientific world. Formal presentations, or publications, of the results at the end of the year will further develop the students’ communication and critical thinking skills.

“We are very excited to provide a catalyst of encouragement for Northwood students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” states Jill Walker, Dean of Faculty, Science & Math Faculty.

Enrolled students must hold an interest in problem solving and a deep desire to conduct independent research.  Depending on the students’ interests, mentorships with regional scientists may be arranged to support the student with expert advice and exposure to a higher level of academic engagement.  Placing a special emphasis on research directly related to systems within the Adirondack Park will further develop the relationship between Northwood School and the community and foster with these young scientists a deeper awareness of their living environment.

“The new Advanced Scholar Programs, alongside the official opening of the Innovation Hub at Northwood School, fortifies our commitment to excellence in academics,” states Michael Maher, Head of School. “Our talented and accomplished faculty are poised to teach and inspire an interest in advanced thinking.”

Students Win Photo/Video Contest

Four Northwood students recently earned recognition for their photography and video skills. Ms. Darcy Norfolk, Northwood’s Marketing and Communications Director, congratulated the winners of Northwood’s photography contest for capturing the incredible winter beauty surrounding us in Lake Placid and the Adirondacks:

1st place (tie): Haley Donatello ’21 and Peppi DelliQuadri ’22
2nd place: Macie Eisenhart ’23
3rd place: Cisco DelliQuadri ’20
The winning video: also by Haley Donatello ’21

Photography Contest Winners:
Peppi DelliQuadri_1stplaceTie PhotoContest

Peppi DelliQuadri ’22 (First Place – tie)

Haley Donatello_1stplaceTiePhotoContest

Haley Donatello (First Place – tie)

Cisco DelliQuadri_3rd placePhotoContest

Cisco DelliQuadri ’20 (Third Place)

Macie Eisenhart_2ndplacePhotoContest

Macie Eisenhart ’23 (Third Place)


Video Contest Winner:

Haley Donatello ’21

Six Students Earn STEM Honors

Six Northwood female students recently won recognition for their computing-related achievements. It’s the third year in a row that Northwood’s girls have received such recognition and more girls were honored this year than ever before. Two girls were honored in each of the previous two years.

73314886_579731255902376_5698522987259494400_nThe NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors 9th-12th grade students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education.

Comp Girls

Top row, from l to r: Emilie Venne ’20, Angie Castillo ’21, and Braelyn Tebo ’20
Bottom row, l to r: Kate Hagness ’21, Lexi Hooper ’20, and Miranda Bookman ’20
All photos: Mr. Michael Aldridge

The multi-tiered award structure includes Winner, Honorable Mention, Rising Star, and Certificate of Distinction designations at National and Regional Affiliate levels, serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all U.S. overseas military bases. Regional Affiliate Award programs are hosted in 79 locations nationwide by NCWIT Alliance member organizations—a powerful, national network of universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations working to increase the influence and meaningful participation of girls and women from every community.

The Northwood School winners at the regional affiliate award level include:

  • Emilie Venne ’20 – Winner
  • Angie Castillo ’21 – Honorable Mention
  • Braelyn Tebo ’20 – Honorable Mention
  • Kate Hagness ’21 – Honorable Mention
  • Lexi Hooper ’20 – Rising Star
  • Miranda Bookman ’20 – Rising Star

Venne is the first Northwood girl to win the award and Tebo earned the recognition for the second-straight year.

Congratulations to the amazing women for this accomplishment and thank you to Mr. Jeff Martin, robotics team coach and chair of Innovation, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship at Northwood.

For a complete list and to learn more visit 2020 Aspirations Award Recipients.

Huskies Fare Well at Clarkson Carnival

Northwood’s ski team performed well at the Clarkson University Carnival at Whiteface Mountain on the second day of the GS series at the Clarkson Carnival on Saturday, January 25.


Jake Reynolds ’19 (right) on the podium at the 2020 Clarkson University Carnival (Photo: NYSEF).

On the Men’s side, the Huskies had an outstanding representation in the top 30:

Jake Reynolds ’19 (above)placed 2nd
Andrew Van Slyke ’20 placed 15th
Wim Roney ’18 placed 20th
Christope Garon ’20 placed 23rd

On the Women’s side, the Huskies competed against collegiate athletes and improved their international rankings. Results included:

Audrey Higgins-Lopez ’21 placed 31st
Maddie Kostoss ’22 placed 32nd
Gabby Cote ’21 placed 33rd
Jaden Klebba ’21 placed 36th
Julia Geraldi ’20 placed 42nd

Next up for some of these athletes are Empire State Games, January 31 – February 1.

Jan 21 is a Headmaster’s Holiday!

In the final minutes of study hall on Monday, Headmaster Mr. Michael Maher sent the following message to students:

Dear Northwood Community:

I have officially declared tomorrow, January 21, 2020, a Headmaster’s Holiday! Jack Dugan ’17, a sophomore at Providence College, a Hobey Baker Award candidate and currently the leading scorer in NCAA Division I hockey, has agreed to help me with my announcement:
Our hockey teams and their coaches worked so hard this past weekend, and they deserve some downtime after our hockey tournament. I’ve been impressed with the work of all of our students and faculty this school year and take this occasion to acknowledge their collective commitment. Go Huskies and enjoy the day off!
– Mr. Maher
Tuesday’s Schedule
The “Headmaster’s Holiday” is a nearly annual tradition at Northwood that is much-loved by students and welcomed with mixed feelings among faculty.
Jack Dugan, the Northwood alum Mr. Maher enlisted to help announce the Headmaster’s Holiday, is having an amazing sophomore year for the Providence College hockey team, which is currently ranked #10 in the nation. The Vegas Knights draft pick has been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award due to his strong play this season. He is currently the leading scorer in the nation.
Dugan is the second Northwood alum in two years to be nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey’s top men’s player. Corey Mackin ’13 was nominated last year, his senior year at Ferris State.

Students Come and Learn Mindfulness (CALM)

Come and Learn Mindfulness (CALM) introduces students to a variety of mindfulness techniques to help them bring these practices into their daily lives. Each daily session approaches mindfulness differently and taps into the diverse expertise of our faculty. Scholarly research confirms that mindfulness practice decreases stress and anxiety, increases attention, improves interpersonal relationships, strengthens compassion, and confers a host of other benefits.


“Over the past several years we’ve noticed that teens seem to be coming under increasing pressures. To help our students learn a variety of techniques to manage their stress, we’ve created CALM. We’re excited to be able to offer these daily opportunities for our students’ well-being,” says John Spear ’88, Assistant Head for School Life.

Northwood Launches Dance Program and Partnership with Local Studio

Dance SanctuaryIn a statement released to the press and on its social media feeds, Northwood School yesterday announced new programming in dance for the 2020-2021 academic year. The program will be distinctive among high school programs, the statement says, as a result of having both a performance-based and an academic component. It will have options for students wanting a high-level dance experience to further their opportunities at the collegiate level and for students with limited or no dance experience who are looking to experiment or strengthen as an athlete.

The new dance program is in partnership with Dance Sanctuary founders, Mandi Maiore and Vanessa Pillen. From their Saranac Lake location they have has been instilling the skills and technique of dance as an art form and teaching classes since opening their studio in September 2016.

“The new partnership with the Dance Sanctuary builds on our existing partnerships in our growing visual and performing arts program,” states Michael Maher, Head of School. “We see the Adirondack region as an extension of our campus and we are fortunate to have organizations like the Dance Sanctuary, Lake Placid Center for the Arts and others, that help us expand the opportunities for our students.”

Dance infused into Northwood’s schedule will provide the flexibility of being able to layer dance and academics simultaneously allowing students to push themselves to higher limits. This will provide Northwood students with first-hand learning experiences to help develop and deepen their interests in specific subject areas while being able to perform and dance at a high level.

“During the school year, the Northwood dance program will allow students the time to dive into several different kinds of genres of dance, and really build that good foundation in all those genres while also pursuing to study the art of dance,” states Mandi Maiore.

The dance programming through agility training will also benefit the ski racers, hockey players, soccer players, and more. The foundation of dance will integrate flexibility, strength, agility, and core strength into all athletics benefiting different athletes. Whether experimenting and taking a course to see how it develops their flexibility or core strength or becoming a serious dancer at the collegiate level, offering these courses is going to benefit them all.

“It may surprise some athletes to know that dance actually benefits all athletes,” states Vanessa Pillen. “That includes soccer players, hockey players, and skiers. The foundation of dance, especially when you’re talking about flexibility, strength, and agility, carries over into all athletics and this program will benefit all different athletes.”

Northwood will host an information session for dancers interested in this new partnership. The event will be on Saturday, January 25 at the Dance Sanctuary studio on Main Street in Saranac Lake.

Dance Info Session

Compiled from the Northwood School news release.

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