Exit Interview: Mr. David Vitale

Math teacher Mr. David Vitale is leaving Northwood to pursue graduate school. Staff writer Sarah Bennett ‘19 sat down with Vitale for this exit interview.

Why are you leaving Northwood?

I am leaving to go back to school, I’m starting a masters program in logic at Carnegie Mellon University in August.

What will you miss about Northwood?

I’m definitely going to miss teaching and coaching. I think I’ve really grown a lot as a teacher and coach in the last five years, and I’m going to miss growing more. It’s what I enjoy doing and I’ll miss that. I’ll also miss the people I work with and the people here in general.

What do you plan on doing after grad school?

Probably keep teaching. I don’t know if after two years I’ll want to stay in school and pursue a more advanced degree or whether I’ll want to get back to teaching, but I think that this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I think I’m a teacher.

What’s are some of your favorite Northwood memories?

Our last game of the season, last year on the prep team, we won four to nothing against OHA, a pretty good team, and Drew Goldberg who was a senior had a shootout and we had four different seniors score. Some of those players I had coached for four years, it was pretty special for that season to end that way. Other great memories would be just getting off topic talking about math in class and playing chess in the living room.

Dear Mr. Vitale,

TLP_0329I have had many teachers. Some are better than others. Some are nicer than others.Some failed me. You stand out among them all. You are the first teacher that challenged me not only in the classroom but outside of the classroom, as my hockey coach too. I was always learning from you, whether it was some wild math theory or a simple break-out, every day I could count on you for a learning experience. When I was zoning out in math class, you could draw me back in by relating the topic to some aspect of my life. Your math class never ceased to amaze me, whether it was a conspiracy theory talk on a lazy Friday or walking in to class on the last day of school and learning Mr. David Vitale has a girlfriend. I would like to thank you for being a great hockey coach and math teacher, and for helping make my first year at Northwood one to remember. Good luck next year in graduate school. Hopefully your grades will be better than mine.

Thank You,
Cisco DelliQuadri ‘20

Ski Racers Struggle to Keep up with Schoolwork on the Road

Sarah Bennett is a junior at Northwood and is one of the top North American ski racers in her age group. In this essay, she describes the challenges ski racers face to stay on top of their school work during the ski season.

When it comes to ski racers, especially on the FIS level, missing school is common. Missing five school days in a week can be pretty normal during the season. Compared to any other sport offered at the school, skiing is the most time-consuming. Even though Northwood is accommodating for students to be able to miss some school, the busy ski racing schedule makes it very difficult to catch up on all the assignments that I miss, especially after being absent for a couple weeks.

 

On an average race day, inspection starts at 9am and the race usually goes until 2pm. If the race occurred at the end of a race series, nets will have to be taken down the hill, which could take up to an hour. When I arrive back at the hotel, I have to prep my skis for the following races. With this kind of schedule, it is very hard to fit in any type of work.

Since mountains are usually not close to each other and far from Lake Placid, I have a lot of time on the road, which means missing more school to travel. Some camps and races involve taking a plane and traveling to places in different time zones, which can make communicating with teachers difficult.

Northwood’s traditional academic schedule involves having all students take every class every day, and it’s challenging to have to focus on every class every day. If we had a block schedule, with longer classes that don’t meet every day, it would be easier to catch up on work by having to focus on fewer classes each day. Off periods would also be longer, allowing more time to meet with teachers.

Another helpful solution would be for teachers who take a lot of notes on the board, to use an interactive SMART Board, which allows everything written on the board to be saved and shared. Sure, a student who attended class can send the traveling student the notes by taking pictures of their notebook pages, but the notes are often incomplete or inaccurate, and the photo can be difficult to read. I have found that most of the best note-takers in my classes are involved in other sports, so their notes are missing pages from the days they missed. Having a SMART Board in a classroom where teachers take lots of notes on the board would mean that the teachers could send all of the notes taken during class, directly to the student. Mr. Ben Runyon was my geometry teacher, and he uses a SMART Board, which was very helpful. Having his class notes while I was away from school made it much easier to understand the concepts. I wasn’t the same as being in class, but it was close.

Although Northwood is a school where teachers are accommodating for students who miss school for their sport, I think the suggestions I made here could make the school even more welcoming to elite student-athletes. The number of students who miss school often because of their sport or co-curricular activity will only increase at Northwood. The school has to adapt to these changes and use technology to facilitate the student’s ability to learn while not being in class.

Fisher Podiums at USSA Eastern Finals

Over the weekend, Beth fisher competed in the USSA Eastern Finals at Gore Mountain. The first race was a Super G and her starting position was 13th. She was out by .19 seconds after the first interval, but managed to find some time at the end of the course and win by half a second. [Read more…]

U16 Ski Racers Earn Podiums at States

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Audrey Higgins-Lopez ’21 after a recent race.

The U16 team traveled to West and Gore Mountains for States Championships. The team consisted of Imani Hawman ‘20, Ava Day ‘21, Ana Spencer ‘20, Amelia Brady ‘21, Audrey Higgins-Lopez ‘21, and Gabrielle Cote ‘20 on the women’s side and Zach Zientko ‘21, Martin McDonough ‘20, Ben DeGirolamo ‘21 and Magnus Sheffield ‘20 on the men’s side.   [Read more…]

Race Recap: U19 Girls Gore Super G and GS

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Sarah Bennett ’19 at the start of a recent race at Whiteface (Photo: provided)

The U19 girls’ alpine team day-tripped to Gore mountain this week for some Super G and Giant Slalom races. The girls departed from school at 6am on the first day of Super G racing. One training run was available on the trail before the inspection of the course which the girls did. The track was very firm, which was good for the girls starting with high bib  numbers. Sarah Coombs ‘19 finished in 18th, Chelsea Smith ‘19 in 35th, Joanna Rosenbluth ‘19 in 39th, Beth Fisher ‘19 in 38th, and Sarah Bennett ‘19 and Jane Baumer ‘19 DNF (did not finish). [Read more…]

Race Recap: U19 Girls in Sunday River and Mt. Tremblant

To start winter break, several U19 girls ski racers had five races in a row at Sunday River and Mt. Tremblant. Chelsea Smith ‘19, Sarah Coombs ‘19, Jane Baumer ‘19, Joanna Rosenbluth ‘19, Sarah Bennett ‘19 and Beth Fisher ‘19 left for Maine on December 16th to attend races at Sunday River.

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Northwood and NYSEF U19 girls racers in Sunday River. (Photo: Sarah Bennett ’19)

On the first day of GS, all of the girls DNF (did not finish), except for Beth Fisher who ended in 78th and scored a 266.65. The course was about 1 minute and 17 seconds long, which is longer than usual. The conditions were holding up pretty well, which meant that the girls who started 100th still had an okay track. On the second day of GS, the conditions were pretty similar. Sarah Bennett ended in 30th, scoring a 75.58; Sarah Coombs in 36th, scoring a 89.70; Chelsea Smith in 62nd, scoring a 152.7; Joanna Rosenbluth in 69th, scoring a 164.87; Beth Fisher in 85th, scoring a 258.94; and Jane Baumer DSQ (disqualified).

The course was very short on the first day of slalom, with a time of about 37 seconds. Sarah Bennett ended in 13th, scoring a 53.22; Chelsea Smith in 56th, scoring a 156.92; Joanna Rosenbluth in 61st, scoring a 177.02; Beth Fisher in 70th scoring, a 236.75; and Jane Baumer DNF.

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Sunrise at Mt. Tremblant (Photo: Sara Bennett ’19)

Joanna Rosenbluth, Sarah Coombs, and Sarah Bennett left Sunday River after the race to compete at Tremblant while the other girls stayed an extra day. On the last slalom day, Chelsea Smith finished 62nd, scoring a 155.39; Beth Fisher in 82nd; and Jane Baumer DNF.

While in a giant-slalom at Tremblant, Sarah Bennett ended 16th, scoring a 63.60; Joanna Rosenbluth in 32nd, scoring a 87.61; and Sarah Coombs DNF. On the second day of giant-slalom, Sarah Bennett finished 14th, scoring a 56.56; Joanna Rosenbluth in 36th, scoring a 94.04; and Sarah Coombs DNS (did not start)  due to an injury.

On the last day of racing, the team raced slalom in St-Sauveur. Sarah Coombs ended in 38th scoring a 129.91; Joanna Rosenbluth in 57th scoring a 160.48; and Sarah Bennett DSQ.

News Brief: Food Committee Gives Students Voice

The school has established a food committee to allow students a say in what is served in the dining hall. [Read more…]

Austria Training Camp: Video Recap

Austria Training Camp Diaries

The Mirror staffer Sarah Bennett ’19 is a member of Northwood School’s Alpine Ski Team, and she kept this journal of her training camp.

The skiers left school at around noon for Boston’s Logan Airport with three vans and one truck. It took us around five and a half hours to get to Boston. Our first flight to Switzerland took seven hours. Our luggage stayed in Switzerland while we departed for Munich, Germany. We waited approximately two hours at the Munich airport to solve the luggage problem. The whole team left for Austria on the bus while Ms. Fagan and Coach Haggerty took one for the team and stayed behind to wait for our luggage. We arrived at the hotel at around 6:30pm local time and ate dinner at 7:00. The luggage finally arrived at 9:00pm [Read more…]

Students Unhappy With Saturday Classes on Family Weekend

welcomefamilyweekendStudents will attend class on Saturday, usually a day off, during Family Weekend this year. Changes to the Family Weekend schedule include having four classes on Friday, three on Saturday, and some meetings the following afternoons.

There was a lot of  controversy among students concerning the Saturday classes. “I think it is very inconvenient to the students who want to go home and see their family members,” said Jacob Mucitelli ’19.

Some Students will not be able to attend the Saturday classes due to the SAT, another reason why students don’t agree with the schedule change.

Some Canadian students will be leaving right after Friday classes due to Canadian thanksgiving and some others will be leaving to spend time with their family back home.

The faculty point of view, however, makes a lot of sense. “Fitting all 7 classes and parent meetings in a day is demanding,” said Dean of Students Mr. Gino Riffle. “Expending the parent meetings and classes over two days gives parents the opportunity to really see classes and meet with teachers,” said Riffle.

Students will still have the opportunity to have a two day weekend due to having no school on Monday, but will not have the opportunity to have a three day weekend like the previous year.

The Mirror was established in 1927
© 2015 by the Staff of The Mirror
The Mirror is funded by gifts to the Northwood Fund. Thank you.

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