Humans of Northwood: Ms. Andrea Farrell

Originally born and raised in Lake Placid, Andrea Farrell grew up alpine skiing for NYSEF and exploring the Adirondack Park. Attending Middlebury college, she went to school with plans to attend medical school and become a doctor. But she had a change of heart and sought a different educational path. Ms. Farrell ended up graduating with a degree in environmental science with a focus on conservation biology. Within this degree, she grew comfortable teaching both math and science.

After Middlebury, Ms. Farrell moved to Tanzania for almost a year. She worked for the African Wildlife Foundation, a group focused principally on improving wildlife and the environment in Africa. Farrell returned to Lake Placid not intending to stay but got a job as a long-term substitute at the local public school. Shortly after, she worked full-time at another local private school, National Sports Academy or NSA. The school closed a few years later when Farrell taught a Northwood for one year.

Ms. Farrell and her husband Mike have three children: Charlie is 9, Peter is 7, and Katie is 5. Farrell returned to Northwood this fall after a nine-year hiatus from teaching when she raised her family and tutored local children in math. Now that her kids have grown a little older, Farrell is ready to get back into teaching.

Ms. Farrell teaches two sections of pre-calculus and is enjoying being back. She says the culture feels comfortable and familiar. She is getting to know the school again, as it has changed a lot since she last taught, and she hopes to continue working here for a long time.

She enjoys spending time in the region in her free time because her family is rooted here. She likes to run, swim, bike, and hike. She grew up skiing for NYSEF, so she spends her winter weekends on the slopes and at Mount VanHovenberg. She loves to travel domestically with her family. They have been all over the country. During the school’s January break, she plans to take her family to Costa Rica and explore and hopes to bring them back to Tanzini to reexplore her old home.

As told to Maisie Crane ’23. Photo provided.

Humans of Northwood: Devin Bard ’23

I am a first-year senior from North Falmouth, MA. I found out about Northwood through my hockey advisor, who recommended it. I decided to come to Northwood to pursue hockey and be the best player I can be. Next year, I plan to PG at Northwood and hopefully, after that I will find a junior team to play for.

I aim to play hockey as long as I can and use it to help me get into a good school. In college, I would like to do something in history or English. History is my favorite class; I think it’s the most interesting. I like watching Family Guy or playing Xbox with my friends in my free time.

So far, I think Northwood is a lot of fun. I’m surrounded by a lot of like-minded people who drive me to push further and drive myself to work harder, and see how far I can take hockey. I like the people at Northwood, and it is starting to feel like my home away from home.

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

Humans of Northwood: Jack Kent ’23

I am a second-year senior from Manlius, NY, near Syracuse. I came to Northwood in my junior year to play hockey. Coach Cassidy reached out to me about coming to Northwood. I had already heard about Northwoods’ program through a teammate Connor Santay ’22 who went here. I wanted to go to Northwood because I liked the location and had heard good things about the hockey program.

In the future, I hope to keep playing hockey at a high level. After I graduate, I plan on playing juniors and hopefully playing D1 hockey for college. I haven’t fully figured out what I want to do down the road. If I could go professional, I would love that, but I’m not sure if that will happen.

Most of my time is occupied by hockey, whether that means playing, watching, or training for hockey. When I’m home, I like to hang out with my friends or go fishing. I fish a lot during my free time in the summer. Another thing I do while home is train or play hockey.

I think Northwood is a really awesome place. Both my years here have been really great groups of people and a great program.

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

Humans of Northwood: Landon Cole ’23

Growing up, I had to move a lot for my dad’s work. I lived in Germany, Canada, and around the United States. Raleigh, North Carolina, is my place to be, but I have enjoyed the experiences of living around the country and the world. I chose Northwood for a couple of reasons. My dad had great recommendations for the school, some of my family lives close by in northern New York, and I have also had family members attend the school in the past. I found a deep sense of home within the Northwood community, especially with my teammates. I have made lifelong friendships with most of the guys on my hockey team and throughout the school.

Looking up to my dad, I have found a love for hockey growing up so close to the sport. I appreciate all the relationships I have built from hockey; it is something I will always cherish. It is my number one focus from fall to spring, and I can’t get enough of it. In the spring, however, I love playing golf, especially finding serenity on the course. I enjoy spending time with the people close to me, like my friends and family.

I always look forward to sunny days on Lake Gaston during the summer. Near my home in Raleigh, we have a lake house where I spend most of my summer days on the water jet skiing, boating, and tubing. It is a place I hold close to my heart.

I’m looking forward to a great senior year ahead of me. I hope to continue my hockey career in juniors next year.

As told to Jackson Smith ’23. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

Northwood Trustee Elected State Supreme Court Justice

Ms. Allison McGahay (photo provided).

Northwood School Trustee Allison McGahay was elected to the state Supreme Court in November, and she will be sworn in to serve a 14-year term next month. The New York State Supreme Court is the highest trial court in New York. It has general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases and hears cases involving contracts, torts, real estate, and criminal offenses. The New York State Supreme Court is organized into four judicial departments, each of which is responsible for hearing cases in a particular geographic area of the state. McGahay received the most votes of the six candidates who ran for the three open seats. She is the first woman to win a State Supreme Court seat in the 4th Judicial District, which encompasses the Adirondacks.

McGahay is a Lake Placid local who lives in town with her husband, Bill, and two young children, Liam and Grace. She has been a lawyer for 17 years and graduated from Albany Law school. In 2020, she joined the Northwood School Board of Trustees, where she serves on the legal committee.

McGahay began her election bid in 2021 and campaigned all over the state for over a year. She spent her days visiting small Adirondack towns and the Albany region. In the Adirondacks, her yard signs were ubiquitous.

Her jurisdiction ranges from north of Albany to the Canadian border. Once sworn in, she will split her time between Lake Placid, Elizabethtown (the seat of Essex County), and Albany.

She is a dedicated attorney, mother, Trustee, and now State Supreme Court Justice!

Humans of Northwood: Rafael Pereira Borlido ‘23 

“My name Is Rafael Pereira Borlido, but people call me Rafa. I am from Brazil. I joined Northwood in September of 2021 in my Junior year. My experience at Northwood has been very fun. I have gotten to know many like-minded people and people of different cultures. A benefit of this is that my English has improved significantly. I came to Northwood for the excellent Soccer program and the academics. It’s just something that you cannot find in Brazil, which is why Northwood is so special to me. In Brazil, I have a sister who is two years younger than me, and I hold her to my heart dearly. A change from Brazil is living on my own and not being with family as I was very close with them My favorite food is a good old American classic steak.”

As told to AJ Etumnu ’25. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

From Cairo to Placid – Student’s First Snow 

Ahmed smiles as he experiences his first snow outside the school’s main entrance (photo provided).

Ahmed El Ganainy, a junior from Cairo, Egypt, started at Northwood School this year. Having lived in Cairo his entire life, Ahmed had never seen snow before this week. Cairo stays mild or hot most of the year, with temperatures often hitting 92 degrees F in summer and 65 degrees F in winter. Wind and sandstorms are common, and pollution contributes to uncomfortable afternoons in the city. Now, nearly 8,000 miles away, Ahmed is in Lake Placid and experiencing tremendous amounts of snow. 

Coming to Lake Placid was an eye-opener for Ahmed, with the Adirondack region featuring nature at its best. Sparsely populated, extremely quiet except for wildlife and trees everywhere was the opposite of traffic jams and horns in a crowded major world capital.  

Last week, Ahmed saw snow for the first time. The last time it snowed in Egypt was on the 10th of January 1855 in the mountainous southern region of Sinai.  

He was walking between buildings and saw white flakes falling from the sky. “At first, I didn’t really know what it was,” Ahmed exclaimed. “I had to ask people if it was snow. It was such a surreal moment. Magical, actually.” 

Ahmed said, “It was a truly incredible moment seeing snow for the first time. I wanted to tell my family. I spent half an hour playing in the snow with my roommate Sam. I felt like a kid. I was so excited and immersed in the moment that I didn’t even feel the sub-zero [Celsius] cold. The pure joy I experienced from the snow will never be forgotten!” 

Before coming to Northwood, Ahmed didn’t know what to expect. It was a brave move for him. However, he’s enjoyed life at Northwood, and the fact that the school has become more diverse every year makes moments like these so special.  

So, look out for Ahmed on the slopes at Whiteface this ski season! 

Alumni Serving in the Military Featured in Recent Pathways Program

The Pathways Alumni Career Series, which connects Northwood students interested in a particular career to graduates who have had success in that career, began in the 2020-21 school year and each session is organized by moderated by Luke Daniels ’14. Not only does this program help students interested in certain fields to have models, but it also shows that the alumni were in the student’s shoes at one point in their lives.

Lt. Col. David Fink ’97 (Photo provided)

Capt. Jake Garrison ’08 (Photo provided)

Capt. Jess Brennan ’13 (photo provided)

This most recent Pathways, held earlier this month, was about careers in the military, and it accumulated great interest from the students, in part due to the attendance of the Psychology of Performance class. Here is what it was all about.

The four alumni that were at the center of the session were Lt. Col. David Fink ‘97, Lt. Col. John Beatty ‘96, Capt. Jess Brennan ‘13, and Capt. Jake Garrison ‘08. The four alumni shared their experiences throughout the years and how they got into their positions. A few of them took ROTC-style routes through college. For students who may want to explore ROTC options in college, we asked how the alumni recommend doing this. In response to this question, Capt. Brennan of the Marine Corps said, “Get in touch with your local recruiter, and they can sit you down for an NROTC scholarship interview and fitness test.” She also shared that she would send Brody the information about our local recruiter. Capt. Brennan also said, “What they are looking for is a well-rounded student with an excess of co-curricular activities, leadership roles, and a high level of physical fitness.” She shared how much the program did for her and that it could be extremely beneficial for certain students.


As all the participants in the online program were either students or alumni. A great question was “How did Northwood help you in your journey?” Lt. Col. David Fink, a rescue helicopter pilot who had tours in wartime, responded first. He said, “Without Northwood, I would have never made it through college. What Northwood taught me was how to teach myself.” This is a great testament to the impact that our school can have on a life. Capt. Brennan also chimed in by saying “I came into myself at Northwood, I figured out how to be a leader, I figured out how to just be myself, because of such a great environment, and that ultimately teed me up for college, and to be a successful leader in the military.” Capt. Jake Garrison was also another great example of the kind of people Northwood produces. He also took the ROTC route and ultimately ended up going through Special Operations training in the Army. Another inspiring journey that started with the Northwood experience.

I wish I could include everything the alumni said, but I will share this link for anyone who wants to watch the session. These four alumni represent Northwood School in the best way: in serving our country and as Lt. Col. Beatty put it, “working to build a pretty darn good world.” So, Northwood students looking for role models, here is another handful that you can look up to. These four went through the same things we did and have continued to build great careers and make the world a better place. We thank them for their continued service to this amazing country. We hope you tune in for the next pathways to see what other amazing things alumni do with their lives.

Student-Athletes Make College Commitments

Many of Northwood’s seniors are in the process of submitting college applications or waiting for responses. However, some of Northwood’s student-athletes have already decided where they will go and have committed to colleges to continue their athletic and academic careers.

Daniel Bucci ’23

Daniel Bucci, a postgraduate on the Northwood soccer team, recently committed to Merrimack College. Bucci chose this school for its division 1 soccer and location near the ocean and Boston. “I am most excited to play soccer and live at college,” Bucci said.

Natalie Zarcone ’23

Natalie Zarcone, a 2022 Northwood graduate and current postgraduate, has committed to the University of Vermont to play division 1 hockey. Natalie chose UVM because Burlington is a beautiful college town and the school’s culture feels similar to Northwood and her home. “I am most excited to meet new people, focus on my academics, and play hockey in the east,” Zarcone said.

Ean Malay ’23

Ean Malay ’23 committed to play soccer for division 3 Gettysburg College in Pennslyvania. He chose Gettysburg for its academics as well as being able to be a starter right away. “I am most excited to progress in life and meet new people in a completely different setting,” Malay said.

Kaitlyn Cielo ’23

Kaitlyn Cielo ’23 committed to play hockey at division 1 Assumption University in Massachusetts. She chose Assumption because the campus is smaller and made her feel more at home, similar to Northwood. “I am most excited to meet new people and to play hockey there,” Cielo said.

Georgia Bailey ’23

Georgia Bailey ’23 committed to play division 1 hockey for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Georgia chose RPI because of its location, coaching staff, and the academic program she has chosen. “I am most excited to play D1 hockey and experience the incredible opportunity RPI has to offer,” Bailey said.

Chloe Lewis ’23

Chloe Lewis ’23 committed to division 3 hockey powerhouse SUNY Plattsburgh. She chose Plattsburgh because of the culture of the hockey team. “I’m most excited to be able to play college hockey and be a part of the team,” said Lewis.

Kroll Takes Second at Ski Jumping Event

Sophomore Jack Kroll stands on the podium after taking second place in the Under 16 Norge Fall Ski Jump in Fox River Grove, Illinois. Kroll began ski jumping when he was 8 and currently trains and competes with NYSEF (Photo provided).

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