Spelling Bee Musical a Huge Success [Photo Album]

Music and laughter filled the Flinner Auditorium on November 3rd and 4th as the Northwood School drama club put on a production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Most of the school attended an open dress rehearsal on November 1st in preparation for the Saturday evening performance and Sunday matinee that were open to the public. The performance marked the return of Northwood’s drama program and the first musical at the school in decades, according to longtime Northwood theatre-goers. (Story continues below slideshow) [Read more…]

Board Chair Carstensen on the Future of Northwood


Hans Carstensen is Chairman of Northwood School’s Board of Trustees

On Saturday, October 27, the Northwood School on Main project received final approval by Northwood School Board of Trustees. The building on Main Street, Lake Placid that the school has invested in since December 2015 is now ready for construction.

The announcement was made via email by Head of School Mr. Michael Maher that the project would be up and running by the 2019-2020 school year.

During a break in the October 26-27 Board of Trustees meeting, The Mirror staff writer Morgan Broderick sat down with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Hans Carstensen to learn about him and his plans for Northwood.

Broderick: Why did you decide to get involved with Northwood’s Board of Trustees?

Carstensen: Mr. Maher had worked with me as the Chairman of the Board at Berkshire School. Then Mike became the Head of School at Berkshire, and we worked together for a long time. So when Mike came up to Lake Placid, he asked me if I could join Northwood’s board. I enjoyed being a regular board member immensely. I was bit surprised and thrilled when I was asked to chair the board 18 months into my tenure on the Board when Mr. Woodman stepped down. I’m having a wonderful time being the Chairman of Northwood’s Board of Trustees.

I understand that the topic of Northwood on Main will be one of many topics this weekend. Do you know what will happen to it?

I don’t because most of the board has not revisited the question of what should happen with it since probably over a year ago, so we’ve got to bring a number of the members of the board along to update them on exactly where we stand. My intuition is we’re going to do this. And I’m firmly in support of doing it because we need that programming, and we need that academic programming, and we need the space to do it right. From my vantage point, it’s a foregone conclusion, but the board has to reach that conclusion as a whole.

Are there any other big decisions the board will be making this weekend?

Yes, there are a number of them. The briefing that I was just part of is about the academic program and how it might make sense to do the teaching and the academic programs differently. Organizing them differently, teaching them differently, and that there’s a lot of thought being given to that now. The meeting that I just left is seeking the board’s approval to move forward in the direction of change in that regard. I don’t doubt for a minute that that won’t be approved, and in my opinion, it should be. So that’ll be a big issue and a fundamental one.

What are the biggest challenges that Northwood is facing?

From my vantage point, the single biggest challenge is a competitive one. We have to differentiate ourselves and what we offer families and students here. The competition is just as aggressive, talented, and oriented toward attracting those very same families that we want to attract. We have to do a very good job at differentiating our program, our talent, our academic rigor, and we have to make sure we’re speaking to the needs of the families we want to attract. That’s a huge issue, and from my vantage point, it is made it more difficult because operating economics with an enterprise like this is very complicated. It’s very difficult to do, to make the numbers work. So we’ve got an economic challenge and a competitive challenge.

Then also coming at us is a big demographic challenge. Back starting in I think 2007, couples stopped having children. So the number of high school aged children have stopped coming our way and all of the sudden has taken a dramatic decline. That’ll make the environment more competitive. So those are the issues from my vantage point.

What do you see for Northwood’s future? In 5 years? In 10?

First of all, we will over that time frame, change the business model. We’re going to do things differently, academically, and from a teaching point of view. In order to enhance our competitiveness, we’re going to add the STEAM program and whether it’s at Northwood School on Main or at another building here on the campus, I’m indifferent, but we must have that academic programming. That I’m confident will be in place. Will it be downtown? Will it be in a facility on the campus? I don’t know, but we’re going to have that curriculum. So that’s for sure in the future.

The other thing that’s going to happen is when we begin to do business differently, the endowment is going to walk right into the spotlight. Because we have to begin to truly endow programs. People, faculty, we’re going to begin to shift our attention out 5 to 10 years from now on generating endowment. We have to come up with ways to finance other than by compensation through tuition. How to finance these kinds of huge strategic issues. Like how do you endow financial aid? How do we endow academic excellence in our faculty? Academic chairs, etc. How do we endow brand new buildings, or old buildings, so that we can maintain them? So those are going to be the things that we will begin to focus on and accomplish 5 to 10 years from now.

Movember Raises Funds for Cancer Research

The boys and men of Northwood School have a distinctly scruffy look, as many of them have not shaved all month. It’s not mass civil disobedience in protest of the dress and grooming policies. November is “Movember” (a combination of “mustache” and “November”), which is also the name of the foundation whose goal is to raise awareness about a number of men’s health issues, including prostate cancer. [Read more…]

Students Get Ready for Winter Schedule

As the trimester comes to an end, so too does the fall schedule. Beginning after Thanksgiving break, Northwood School will be on the winter schedule: classes go from 12:30 until 6:15 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Mondays, classes start at 9:00 am and last until 3:45 pm, with flex going until 4:15. Friday is the “squish day” schedule, with each class shortened by five minutes and no flex.

Winter Schedule

Winter Schedule begins on Tuesday, November 27, the beginning of the second trimester.

Co-curricular activities, including athletics, don’t meet on Mondays and take place in the morning Tuesday through Thursday; Friday co-curricular activities happen after lunch and school meeting.


Senior Sarah Bennett (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Senior Kevin Quinn describes Winter schedule as being “game time,” when the school community is most-focused on both their extracurricular activities and schoolwork. This view is shared by others who feel that the schedule is beneficial. Senior Tommy Boulais said, “I appreciate the extra time [winter schedule] gives me to sleep.”

Some winter sports athletes find that they lose free time with the change to the winter schedule. Senior ski racer Sarah Bennett said, “We have no free time in the winter to relax. Class ends at 6:15 pm, then we have dinner, and then we work out from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, which is right before study hall starts. It’s a grind.”

The first two weeks of the new schedule often require some adjustment to the later classes.

Community Responds to Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

It was just another Saturday for many at Northwood this past weekend.  Some took the ACT while others slept in or got up and had breakfast. Some were in the Boston area for a big hockey tournament, and others were gearing up for another weekend of exciting Black Rock FC soccer matches. [Read more…]

10 Things You Might Not Know About Brody


Mr. Tom (“Brody”) Broderick in the 1988-89 Epitome during his first year of teaching at Northwood School.

  1. He’s the middle of 5 kids. He had 3 brothers and a sister. [Read more…]

Northwood to Offer Aviation Science Course Leading to Pilot License

Northwood School will offer an Aviation Science program beginning the second trimester. Students enrolled will learn to fly single-engine airplanes. The course will prepare students for the Ground School Certification and Private Pilot’s License Exam.


Students will learn to fly single-engine planes like this one (Photo: Adirondack Flying Service)

[Read more…]

Humans of Northwood Andrew Van Slyke ‘20

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Andrew Van Slyke ’20 (Photo provided)

My name is Andrew Van Slyke. I was born and raised in Lake Placid and have lived here ever since. I came to Northwood to join the Alpine Ski Team. I have been skiing ever since I was one year old. I’ve been to Colorado, California, all over the East Coast, Alberta, and other parts of Canada for ski racing. Ski racing is something I really enjoy doing, and I hope I can do it for a long time. I like to fly drones, fix old boats, water ski, run and take photos in my free time. [Read more…]

Mirror Poll: The Northwood Community Leans Left

On this election day in the United States, President Donald Trump and the Republicans have the support of less than twenty-five percent of the Northwood School community, while more than forty percent prefers Democrats and former President Barack Obama. Support for Trump and the Republicans equaled those who say they “Don’t know and/or don’t care.” [Read more…]

Students Question $300 Book Fees

With students regularly adding money to their accounts to pay for snack bar charges, there is a new awareness of account activity, and some students are concerned about the charges they see. On September 19, the Business Office charged every student account $300 for the use of books in the 2018-2019 school year. [Read more…]

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