Humans of Northwood: Elm Pentinat Llurba ‘24 

I am from Reus, Catalonia, Spain. I came to Northwood because the previous two years my brother Ïu was at Northwood, and he told me very good things about Northwood. Yes, I am enjoying Northwood, the most enjoyable thing is travelling with the soccer team because we visit new places and bond in the bus together. My goal at Northwood would be to end up at a good D1 college.  

As told to AJ Etumnu ‘25 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge) 

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!” 

Humans of Northwood: Mr. Aaron Garvey

“I love opera. Now, I’m not a connoisseur; I don’t know much about it, but when I used to have the time and ability, I had a single-season ticket, and I would enjoy going to the opera by myself and take in the performances.

“I grew up in East Greenbush, NY, which is a relatively small town east of Albany. I went to local public schools there until my sophomore year of high school, at which point I went to Milton Academy, a boarding school outside of Boston. From there, I went on to Amherst College, graduated there with a bachelor’s degree in economics and American literature. Then, I started working on Wall Street. I was the first hired at a hedge fund. My main job was assistant coffee-getter when I started out. Over the course of 17 years at the fund, I ultimately became a Senior Portfolio Manager, member of the Investment Committee, and a partner in the fund itself. I left that business in 2013. I’ve been doing more entrepreneurial stuff, working in several different areas.

“I think my greatest career accomplishment was in recognizing the seeds for the financial crisis and being able to take advantage of what I saw coming and assisting my colleagues in avoiding catastrophic losses that inflicted others in their position.

“My favorite food is eggplant parmesan, or something in that neighborhood. I love fly fishing. It’s one of my primary hobbies. When I have free time, I tend to tie flies. I’ve got a little kit down here [under his desk] in case I happen to be monitoring a test or something so I can take a little time to work on it. I used to golf a lot, although I haven’t done that in a while. Finally, I like to be outdoors: hiking, biking, camping, all the things we get to do around here.

“After spending time with students here last year in the investing club, and after observing from a distance my son’s very positive experience here, I decided that it was time for a career change. I wanted to be a part of this community—I loved what I saw here.

“Honestly, I am most excited to have a new challenge, to be trying to do something completely new and different for me. Nothing I’ve done up until this point had prepared me for this in any way. I’ve had a very long career, and by the end of that career I was very good at what I did, and I’m still always learning. For me, it’s the challenge of being new and bad at something, and it’s been a while since I’ve been new and bad at something. And I’m embracing that.”

As told to Mitchell Baker ’25.

Photo of Mr. Garvey speaking to the investment club last school year by Mr. Michael Aldridge. 

Family Weekend to Feature Student-Led Conferences

Next weekend, beginning October 7th, Northwood will have its annual family weekend. Family weekend allows families from all over the world to come and experience Northwood life. Parents will get to experience classroom life as well as co-curricular activities. For many students, this will be the first time they have seen their families since the start of the year. There are several events over the weekend that will easily welcome and entertain families from all over the world. The soccer and hockey teams will display their talent on family weekend with home games. 

A major addition to this year’s family weekend is student-led conferences. Student-led conferences were trialed with last year’s ninth-grade class. Ms. Noel Carmichael, humanities teacher and academic dean, played a significant role in the success of the student-led conferences last year. “I am really looking forward to the student-led conferences this year,” Carmichael said. “The student-led conferences are an opportunity for students to be in the driver seat for their educational journey. Students will have the opportunity to present a PowerPoint discussing their highlights, success, and challenges so far this year.”  

The student-led conferences are a terrific way to let students take charge of their conference rather than them being disengaged in a normal parent-teacher conference. Ms. Carmichael is aware that not all families will be able to attend family weekend. She expressed, “We are aware many families can’t make it which will mean several students will have to do their student led conferences virtually.” 

Ms. Wright is a teacher and a parent here at Northwood who attended the student-led conferences last year, and she believes that “The student-led conference was a wonderful way to learn about my child’s Northwood experience, from his perspective. The self-reflection was honest, and the goals were well thought out. Overall, it was a vast experience as a parent, and I enjoyed having my child guide his own conference.” It is safe to say the student-led conferences are a fantastic addition to this year’s family weekend.  

The student-led conferences, one of the many major events of family weekend. There will be several events that will portray the exquisite Northwood experience to families. Many families are coming to Northwood next weekend and the students cannot wait. Students are looking forward to the much-needed break after a hectic start to the year and they cannot wait to share their experience here at Northwood with their families. 

A full schedule of Family Weekend activities can be found here.

New Students Adjusting to Northwood

Head of School Mr. Michael Maher addresses families on opening day of the 2022-23 school year (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

School is officially back on track with new and returning students, both international and domestic, settling down for this new year. The Mirror spoke with several brand-new students to learn they are adjusting to life at Northwood  

An interesting student we want to share with you is Diego Alfonso Rios ‘25 from Chile. “I think Northwood is really nice, I like the faculty and the campus. It’s not very easy for me because I’m not used to English, but I think at the end of the day it will be better for me in many ways and it’ll help my future,” Rios said. Diego’s interview shows  how  Northwood  provides  students with many opportunities culturally and academically to further yourself  

Another student who brings a unique view is sophomore Gracie Hurlbut. She is part of the girl’s hockey team and appreciates how quickly the team has bonded. “The school has started great. The girls have been very welcoming and I’m enjoying my time,” Hurlbut said. 

Staying with hockey, The Mirror also interviewed Parker Asbridge ‘24 who is on the Boys Prep hockey team. He described his start to Northwood as welcoming and said he’s enjoying meeting new people. He’s focused on hockey: “Good first weekend. The last two games against Mount were rough but looking to bounce back this week.” 

Northwood has begun and the staff of The Mirror hope that this year can be the best year in Northwood’s history. GO HUSKIES! 

Players and Coaches Optimistic About Soccer Season

Husky soccer players huddle before a match at the Jay Brady Kickoff Tournament in Vermont (Photo provided).

The Northwood soccer program is off to a great start, with 9 matches having been played through September 18. The U17 squad is undefeated so far and the U19s have won the Jay Brady kick-off tournament.

This is the first full year that the new on campus artificial turf field will be Northwood’s home pitch, allowing the Northwood family to support the soccer team year round.

Mr. Kelvin Martinez, the U17 head coach, is happy with his team’s start. “So far it has been really good,” Martinez said. “Guys are getting to know each other well, there is a good energy. Tactically, everyone is binding to the system and individually everyone is fighting hard to be on the starting line-up,” he said. “Our number one goal is to develop everyone so that all the players at the end of the year have improved and that they have developed a lot in the time they have been here. As a team, we want to play our best football, offensively and defensively, and for the team to fully execute the game plan for the full 90 minutes,” Martinez added.

Players are also optimistic for the year. “We have gotten off to a good start, and I believe that the U17 has a lot of potential to grow from here and that we’re going to do very well this season,” said U17 player Lohkoah Paye ‘24.

U19 veteran Noah Leddel ‘23 is hopeful about his squad. “The U19 team has had a good start, but there is still more we need to work on, but the season is looking incredibly positive,” Leddel said.

The soccer team is looking very promising this year and everyone is working extremely hard to keep this team successful and to grow on the success of last season.

Fabric of Boys’ Prep Hockey Team Begins to Show

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

As tryouts came to an end and the boy’s hockey teams began their seasons, the Prep Team had their first tests against CP Dynamo and Mount St. Charles. With only 5 returners and the rest of the roster consisting of new players, it was safe to say that the team needed to get some experience playing with each other so the chemistry could develop. Here is how the first games played out.  

The games versus Dynamo stood as a good opener for the team, by allowing the boys to get moving and see how they could mesh. Northwood had a promising, dominant start to the season against the Dynamo with two wins, one tallying in at 6-0 and another 7-1. A handful of new Huskies like Ritter Coombs ‘25 and Owen Flynn ‘24 tallied their first goals for the team, building confidence in the mostly new team. Beyond the sensational victories, however, it was more important that they are prepared for the next weekend’s games versus a daunting Mount St. Charles—a member of the Prep Hockey Conference and last year’s U18 National Champions.   

Looking back on the games, CP Dynamo was just a warmup for the real challenge against Mount St. Charles. These games would show what the team really needed to work on and how they would stack up against elite competition. Going into the weekend confident from the performance of the previous weekend, the team would quickly realize that Mount was much different than CP Dynamo.  

The first game on Saturday was a huge wake up call for what the team had to dial in on. With a stunning 4-1 loss, the coaches knew there was more effort to give and preparation that needed to be done for the next game. As Coach Morris said, “I am a bad loser and I want you guys to hate it like I do.” It was clear that the team needed to bounce back and buy into what needed to be done.  

Daniel Buchbinder ’23 during action at the Olympic Center in September 2022 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

Against a cocky Mount St. Charles team that was ready to play the second game, the Huskies looked light-years better than the night before. The team played stronger defense and was able to fend off the Saints until late in the third period. Ultimately, the game ended 1-0 in favor of Mount St. Charles. Despite the result, the performance was far superior compared to the night before.  

Some of the players recalled what Coach Morris declared in the locker room: “The fabric of the team was starting to show.” This was a much more prospective statement, one that gave the team confidence in knowing that they were heading in the right direction. 

The perspective of how the team veterans view the first games of the season is no less important. Senior Daniel Buchbinder, a three-year veteran of the team, said, “It was a great first test for our team and for our new players to get their first league games under their belt. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”  

It will be exciting to see how the team grows from these games and progresses throughout the season. 

Girls’ Hockey Off to a Promising Start 

Postgrad Natalie Zarcone is the captain of the 2022-23 Girls’ Hockey team.

The Northwood girls’ hockey team is off to a slow but encouraging start with a 4-6 record. The team has extreme potential which is exciting for Northwood. The girls are playing in a new league called the Junior Women’s Hockey League, and this will be the first year they participate in this league, which is considered the best pre-college girls’ hockey league in North America. This will be a big challenge for the team, but Coach Gilligan believes that they are up for it.  

“Our hockey team this year has been fantastic. There are 11 new girls, so it will take time for the girls to settle in and understand each other as players and people. I am very encouraged with the amount of progress the girls have made in such a short period of time,” said Head Coach Trevor Gilligan ’03. “This is a very special team that I am really looking forward to work with. This year our leaders in the team are Natalie Zarcone and Georgia Bailey. They have impressed me with their leadership so far this year,” Gilligan added. 

Head Coach Trevor Gilligan ’03

The team has already travelled to Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Stoney Creek, Ontario. This weekend, they are at Harvard University to play 4 showcase games and to tour Harvard. The girls are really looking forward to this fantastic opportunity. Their first home game will be during family weekend, on October 7th. This will be a very big game for them, and Northwood encourages everyone to attend home games.  

This year, the captain of the girl’s hockey team is postgrad Natalie Zarcone. Natalie is a senior here at Northwood who is a leader on and off the ice. “We had 11 new girls that came in this year, and they were a perfect fit,” Zarcone said. “Our whole team is willing to put the work in on and off the ice, whether that’s in the classroom, practice, or fitness center. We have only had two weeks of practice and two weekends of games, but when we step on the ice, we make improvement each time,” she added. “I’m super excited for our team to continue to grow and bond off the ice while on the ice we show teams how good Northwood girls’ hockey is,” Zarcone said. 

Chloe Lewis ‘23 is a new player for the hockey team this year. She describes her experience with the team as “Really fun. The girls are awesome and we’re really coming together as a team on and off the ice. It’s already starting to feel like a family.”  

The girls’ hockey team is very exciting this year. There are several new players who have impressed the coaches and will continue working hard to get better. Coach Gilligan is a fantastic coach who is constantly caring for his players. The team has several leaders this year which will definitely help them achieve big things. Once again, their first home game will be on October 7th, so make sure to show them your support. 

Headmaster’s Council Works to Improve School

The Headmaster’s Council is a group of about eleven returning students in the senior class. A unit selectively chosen by Head of School Mr. Michael Maher, in consultation with former students, administrators, and teachers, to ensure that it is a hardworking and diverse group of students working cohesively to make Northwood a more positive environment.  

The purpose of this group was introduced by Mr. Maher when he began in 2015, an idea he brought from previous schools he worked at. He thinks that to run a high functioning school it is important to have a group of students helping. They give honest insight into what is seen from their peers and their own perspectives, with the goal of helping the constant development of Northwood’s values.  

James Schneid ’23

Abby Sinclair ’23

The Mirror talked to a few people that work in this group and they had some interesting and different perspectives about the school, and how they believe it can be improved. Mr. Maher, the core leader of this council, uses this group to readjust the social dynamic of the school and to take charge of large responsibilities that we feel passionate about. Some current goals he mentioned that the group is working on: a safer environment where students can express themselves, reinforcing rules about a more respectful outlook of the beautiful building that we use, a smarter approach at the collision between athletics and academics, and some ways we can take better advantage of the surrounding areas, forests, and town our school is in.  

Abby Sinclair ’23, an independent from Long Island, said she wants a “good vibe” for the year. But she is also looking for a change in school dynamic and the way cohorts intermix. James Schneid ’23, a hockey player from Syracuse, is working to make a memorable senior year with his fellow classmates and is passionate about changing the meal plans at Northwood to better sustain athletes. It is important to make the Northwood community more inclusive and welcoming so that everyone is comfortable to be themselves. Hopefully, this strong group of seniors can work together to improve the already well-run institution that is Northwood School. 

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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