Tips and Tricks for Online Learning

Online learning and teaching can be very challenging for many students and teachers. At Northwood, students are usually able to engage in new material in a traditional classroom setting. Now, students have been introduced to remote learning via technology and online.

Don DelNegro, who is in his 27th year as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Boston Bruins, spoke with Ms. Fagan’s Honors Biology class on April 30. (Photo: Ms. Marcy Fagan)

Some students may be able to learn very quickly and easily this way; however, some find it very challenging to grasp the material. Not only is it a different way of learning, but also there are also no exact class times, study halls, or schedules.

Online learning may be intimidating, but you may find the following tips and tricks very helpful to not only make learning more successful but to manage your time more easily and efficiently.

The first tip is to stay focused on the right mindset. Before starting your work, make sure you are in a clean and comfortable workspace with no distractions. As Dr. Finnerty Paul says, “Get out of your pajamas! Get dressed and brush your hair and teeth as if you are going to your physical class.” Having a positive and confident mindset on your schoolwork will make you more likely to get it done on time and less likely to avoid it.

Having a schedule is very helpful. Schedules help get work done and aid you in steering clear of procrastination. Make sure to add personal hobbies and activities along with school on your schedule. Having a schedule gives students and teachers a better understanding of their duties and keeps them energized and motivated to get their work done. Google Calendar helps big-time at creating schedules. Having a list is also very beneficial in getting your work done because it allows you to check things off making you feel accomplished.

Although online learning may seem challenging at first you will soon get the hang of it. If you have a hard time grasping new material, do not be afraid to reach out to your teachers. We are all in this together through the whole process, just be sure to take advantage of your resources.

Looking for more tips? Try this article from edX, a leader in online education founded by Harvard and MIT.

Maher: Face shield project wraps up

NOTE: This column, written by Head of School Michael Maher, was originally published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

The newly married Leigh and Gino Riffle help make face shields at Northwood School’s Innovation Hub in Lake Placid. (Photo provided)

As fears of the virus and a lack of personal protective equipment for health care workers began to swell in our region, new uses for 3D printers began to circulate. Our Associate Head of School Tom “Brody” Broderick quickly jumped into a leadership role, teaming up with local entrepreneurs and teachers to bring together the Northern NY 3D Printing Network, a collaboration between North Country high schools, volunteer printers, residents and businesses.

Forty-five days later, the initiative has concluded at the Innovation Hub at Northwood School on Main Street, and we are proud to announce that with the tremendous support of the community of volunteers, 3,000 face shields were made and delivered.

The initiative and 3D printer network spread into three regional hubs, of which the Innovation Hub at Northwood School supported the Tri-Lakes, Beekmantown Central School District supplied the Lake Champlain area, and a group of community leaders banded together to manage production for St. Lawrence County. We delivered 1,600-plus hospital-grade facial shields to Adirondack Health, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Clifton-Fine Medical Center, Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, Elizabethtown Community Hospital and Hudson Headwaters Health Network. We delivered 300 first-responder-grade face shields to Lake Placid, Keene Valley, Wilmington, Colton Rescue, Essex County Emergency Services and Warren County Emergency Services. We delivered 650-plus first-responder-grade face shields to nursing homes in Lake Placid and North Creek, Will Rogers at Saranac Lake, and throughout St. Lawrence County through United Helpers. Lastly, we also delivered 125-plus face shields of first responder quality to individual groups, alumnae and/or community members. Groups included North Country Life Flight, North Country Life Net, local doctors, urgent care of Saranac Lake, animal hospitals and others.

The North Country community came together in a remarkable way. We would like to recognize and thank Tom “Brody” Broderick alongside the members of the core group including Andrea Audi, Brad Rafferty, Jeff Erenstone, Debbie Erenstone, Brian LaValley, Dan Mannix, Nathaniel Horn, Matt Burnett, Sarah Galvin, Marc Galvin, Michael Aldridge and Darcy Norfolk.

Rising freshman Drew Donatello, left, and Tom Broderick of Northwood School help make face shields at the school’s Innovation Hub on Main Street, Lake Placid. (Photo provided)

Thank you to all of the printers, printing volunteers, schools, organizations and businesses that have supported this initiative, including Lake Placid Central School District, Saranac Lake Central School District, SUNY Canton, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, Loreman’s Screenprinting, UPS Store, Compass Printing, Bookstore Plus, Adirondack Foundation, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, North Country Public Radio, Sun Community News, Post-Star, Paul Strack, Scott Shipley, Cathy Tedford, Bill Short Jared Bandru, Bob Bever, Bob, Jennifer Bourdette, Scott Brightwell, Logan Coggins, David Craig, Terry Fishlock, Calista Fraser, Kaden Jewell, Emma Keilmeier, Kyle Lapan, Aaron Miller, Corey Moussea, Elliot Mousseau, Dylan Murnane, Kaleb Pecoraro, Brian Post, Randy Pray, Jonathon Santamoor, Kate Sears, Jo Skiff, Ben Smith, Lief Sorgule, Randy T. Todd II, Michael Walters, Sam Baker, Amelia Brady, Brian Brady, Matthew Brady, Alicia Brandes, Brian Brandes, Kate Broderick, Angie Carlisto, Dan Carlisto, Olaf Carlson, Kelly Carter, Josh Dann, Andy Donatello, Carrie Donatello, Drew Donatello, Zach Dupree, Francis Eisenger, Laura Finnerty-Paul, Lori Fitzgerald, Peter Frenette, Tricia Garrett, Trevor Gilligan, Lisa G., Woo Jeon, Mary Jane Lawrence, Sydney Lawrence, Lia Loomis, Jeff Martin, Jason McComber, David Miller, Karen Miller, Meredith Miller, Tony Miller, Chase Ormiston, Matt Paul, Olivia Paul, Wendy Poole, Trish Preston, Amy Quinn, Gino Riffle, Leigh Riffle, Alex Russo, Cammy Sheridan, Elise Stosiek, Brian Vasser, Jason Wamsganz, Carrie Wardlaw, Tait Wardlaw, Teegan Wardlaw, Wyatt Wardlaw, Ellen Yousey, Ken Yousey and Zach Zienko, and so many others that may not be named here.

We live in an incredible community, and during this challenging time, we have generously shown that we are #inthistogether.

Dispatch from South Korea: Su Hae “Jessica” Jang ‘20

Note: The Mirror’s editor-in-chief Su Hae “Jessica” Jang ‘20 has been home in South Korea since the pandemic led to all students departing campus in March. She shares her personal experience f the pandemic in this essay.

JESSICA (SU HAE) JANG ’20

Both South Korea and the United States confirmed their first cases of COVID-19 on the same day, January 20, 2020. Now, three months later, the U.S. has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the world, whereas Korea has seen a sharp decline in the number of cases reported daily since its peak in late February. On April 19, Korea announced a single-digit number of new cases. How did Korea manage to flatten its curve?

On March 11, WHO, the World Health Organization, declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Later that day, Northwood ceased all on-campus programming and transitioned all instruction online. I had been expecting the news from some time before, as I had already witnessed my home country Korea experience the worst of the outbreak when the number of daily infections reached close to a thousand. Nevertheless, I was stunned and overwhelmed. As of March 12, Korea had about 8,000 total confirmed cases, while the States had less than a thousand. Does it make sense to leave a safer country to go back home where the virus poses a serious threat to public health? Should I pack everything in my dorm room just in case? Is it even possible to do so in less than two days without anyone’s help? What will happen to my family in Korea if I catch the virus at the airport on my way back home? Will I be able to handle online learning at home? (Korea is 13 hours ahead of the States.) What if I can’t come back for graduation? What about college? But I was most scared to find the answer to this: Will I ever see my friends and teachers at Northwood again?

Despite the numerous questions floating around in my head, I still believed, or at least hoped, that I would return to Northwood to celebrate the end of my high school career with my family and friends. So when I left Northwood, not knowing that I wouldn’t be able to set foot on campus for the next three months, I said neither “Goodbye” or “See you later” to my friends. Instead, I told them, “Have a nice spring break!”

But by the time I safely arrived home, the tables had turned. Americans watched the exponential growth in their number of new COVID-19 cases with growing alarm. Meanwhile, Korea, which has been a country with the second-highest infections after China, noticed its curve beginning to plateau. All of a sudden, Maybe I won’t be able to go back to the U.S. became I probably shouldn’t go back to the U.S.

Although Korea extended its social distancing measures until May 5, it has recently eased restrictions on shops, restaurants, religious services, and other facilities to allow local economies to recover from the pandemic. Yet I haven’t witnessed drastic changes in people’s lifestyles. We continue to wear masks at all times. Emergency text alerts continue to inform the routes of patients who have tested positive in the area we live in. (The patients remain anonymous.) All students, from elementary school to college, continue to take online classes at home.

What surprised me most about Korea’s response to the pandemic was the absence of any lockdowns. From lessons learned from the MERS outbreak in 2015, Korea was able to quickly contain the virus without restricting the movement of people. By tracking locations of phones, records of credit card transactions, and footages of surveillance cameras, health officials identified and tested people the patients had been in contact with. Once tested positive, the patients were promptly treated. This method of contact tracing, which is used only during disease outbreaks, along with the widespread availability of test kits, which were developed and distributed early on, and drive-through and walk-in testing centers allowed the testing of up to 140,000 samples a week. As of April 27, 601,660 tests have been performed.

Another striking aspect was the absence of hoarding. As I read “Week in Pictures: Pandemic Leads to Suspension of Campus Activities and Moves Classes Online” on The Mirror, I realized that Koreans, including myself, did not stockpile toilet paper, hand sanitizers, face masks, or any type of daily necessities. Before leaving the States, I had heard from my family and friends that they had to line up at pharmacies to buy masks and were allowed to purchase two per week. Now, I can buy up to three masks a week and check the number of available masks at nearby pharmacies with an app. Without panic buying, the public has managed to remain calm.

South Korea, my home country, has been maintaining a comparatively low fatality rate of 2.26%. As of April 27, there has been a total of 10,738 confirmed cases—8,764 have been released from quarantine, 1,731 are still isolated, and 243 have died. Only 10 new cases were added to the data on the 27th. Yet the United States, where I study and where my friends and teachers live, is experiencing a surge in new cases with 999,237 accumulated cases—137,243 have recovered, 56,173 have died.

As health officials around the world warn the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus outbreaks if vaccines are not developed soon, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. I eagerly anticipate seeing my friends and teachers at Lake Placid sometime in the near future.

Classes Incorporate Pandemic Into Curriculum

The global COVID-19 pandemic will soon appear in history and biology textbooks and will eventually be something future generations of students study, along with the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu of 1918. Several Northwood teachers are using the pandemic as a teaching opportunity today, while students are taking classes online as a result of the outbreak. Students in Statistics, Biology, Macroeconomics, Entrepreneurship, and Journalism classes have studied the pandemic from the point-of-view of their respective disciplines.

In Mr. Jeff Miller’s Statistics class, students have used the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases in the United States as a way to study exponential and logistic growth and linear regression:

Ms. Jill Walker has also been teaching how easily the virus can spread and who will most likely suffer the most from the disease in her Human Biology class. According to Ms. Walker, the virus can change so often that when the doctors and scientists come up with a cure, it may not last very long because the virus can mutate.

Dr. Laura Finnerty Paul teaches Entrepreneurship and Macroeconomics, and both classes have been including the virus in their studies. Zachary Ellsworth ’20, who is in Macroeconomics, said, “We’ve been discussing government’s stimulus package, looking at how the government is using expansionary fiscal and monetary policies in an effort to pump the economy back up. Although what’s happening right now is horrible, it’s nice to be able to apply Macroeconomics to understand what is going on in the world.” Meanwhile, Entrepreneurship has been studying about what the virus has done to education systems around the world and how life will go back to normal after the pandemic. As a student in Entrepreneurship, I’ve been talking to other classmates and reading articles online, which has helped me realize that the virus is promoting online learning and that this change has been hard not only on students but on teachers.

Of course, Northwood’s journalism class and The Mirror has been chronicling Northwood’s response to the pandemic by publishing articles that explore life from a student’s perspective.

Despite the uncertainty, the students and faculty of Northwood have been making the most of their online classes through useful discussions about COVID-19, which has been changing the world day by day.

 

Father John Reflects on the Church in the Pandemic

Rev. John Yonkovig is the parish priest at Saint Agnes Church in Lake Placid. Staff writer Olivia Paul spoke to Yonkovig to learn how he is staying connected to God and his parishioners during the pandemic and what the Church’s food pantry is doing for people during this tough time.

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The Rev. John Yonkovig of St. Agnes Church on Easter Sunday 2019 (photo: Peter Crowley/Adirondack Daily Enterprise)

Yonkovig is concerned about the volunteers and clients of the church’s food pantry. “As always the Interfaith Food Pantry is supplying food to anyone who is in need,” said Father John. “The Interfaith Food Pantry is supported by faith communities in Lake Placid. Hannaford’s Grocery is a very vital part of this outreach. What is different today,” he added, “is our concern for the well-being of all patrons and volunteers in this Coronavirus time.  In the past, people would freely gather in the basement of St. Agnes and socialize while getting their needed supplies. No longer is this possible.” Father John described how the food pantry is practicing social distancing and keeping everyone safe while also meeting the community’s needs. “Now, pre-packaged parcels of food for families of 2 or 4 or more are prepared. Volunteers distribute the packages at the curbside.

How the parishioners practice their faith has also changed because of the pandemic. “The Governor has prohibited all large gatherings; therefore, we can no longer celebrate public Mass,” said Yonkovig.  “For Catholics, this is a very difficult time because we are a community-based church, a family of faith, the Body of Christ.” Father John has given his parishioners guidance for continuing their faith practice when going to church isn’t possible. “I have encouraged people to pray at home using the sacred scriptures,” said Father John. “The technological world we live in allows for people to participate in Mass on TV or on the web.”

In fact, St. Agnes Church is modifying its practices and using technology to bring its community together during the Holy Week that includes Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter. “On Holy Thursday, April 9, the day we celebrate the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples,” said Father John, “St. Agnes will have its first ‘drive-in’ Eucharistic Adoration. People are invited to sit in their cars in the [St. Agnes Elementary] school parking lot and a small altar will hold the Eucharist for all to see. The parish radio station, WCLP 98.3 will have sacred music and scripture readings so that we can pray together at a safe distance in our cars,” he added.

On the St. Agnes Church website for Holy Week, Rev. John Yonkovig shares a reflection on Psalm 23, followed by a sung rendition of Psalm 23 by the Parish Music Ministry Team:

Father John emphasized the importance of community and faith connections during this difficult time. “Staying connected to God may well be easier during this time of solitude and quiet.  Without all of the normal activities of life, this quiet time allows one to open their hearts to God who is always with us. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ is a line from the Bible that has great importance today,” said Yonkovig.

Father John observed that there might be a silver lining in this pandemic. “In our fear and anxiety, God tells us, ‘Do not be afraid.’ In the quiet of our hearts, we hear that message.  I believe the world will become closer to God through this crisis.”

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

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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.

Regards,

Michael Maher

Head of School

Clear Majority of School Community Favors Trump Impeachment

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Donald Trump leaves Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on September 26, 2019. (Reuters Pictures / Jonathan Ernst)

Two-thirds of Northwood School support the impeachment of President Donald Trump according to a recent poll of Northwood students, faculty, and staff, which was conducted this week by Mr. Jeff Miller’s statistics class. No matter how the community is sliced — faculty/students, male/female, domestic/international — a clear majority of all subgroups is in favor of impeachment.

ALL NW

The 67% of the Northwood community in favor of impeachment is significantly higher than support for impeachment in national surveys, which currently hovers at just 50.2%.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2019, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives which passed two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — on a mostly party-line vote that illustrated just how divided Congress and the nation are today. Trump’s impeachment came after a formal House inquiry found that he had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election to help his re-election bid and then obstructed the inquiry by instructing administration officials to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony. The inquiry concluded that Trump withheld military aid and an invitation to the White House to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in order to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Trump’s political opponent, Joe Biden, and to promote a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind interference in the 2016 presidential election. The president is accused of withholding military aid to pressure Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to start a corruption investigation into Biden, and his son Hunter.

Being impeached by the House does not remove the President from office, but rather refers to the US Senate the decision about whether or not the President should be removed from office. Most political experts believe the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate will vote to acquit President Trump as soon as this Wednesday, one day after his scheduled third State of the Union Address.

Northwood’s statistics class surveyed members of the school community about their opinion of President Trump’s impeachment, and the results of the survey show clear majorities of the Northwood community — when examined by age, gender or country of origin — are in favor of Trump’s impeachment.

Female members of the community favor impeachment significantly more than males, and males are more likely to have no opinion on the matter:

GenderA larger majority of faculty/staff favor impeachment than students, and students are more likely to not have an opinion on Trump’s impeachment:

Fac vs Students

More than a third of international students have no opinion of the impeachment, but just 4% oppose it:

Intl vs USA

At tables in the dining room, in class discussions, and on the couches in the living room, Northwood is talking about the impeachment of President Trump.

Zach Sedlacek ‘22 is opposed to the impeachment. “I think the whole thing is due to the fact that they lost the 2016 election and how they [Democrats] can’t get over it they are stuck in the past when they should be working with Trump and the Republican congressmen to further American development,” said Sedlacek. “He should not have been impeached because he was just trying to make sure that an American wasn’t using his father’s power in Washington to gain financial benefit,” he said. “Honestly, the impeachment doesn’t even matter because he not gonna get convicted because the Republicans have control of the Senate,” added Sedlacek.

Mr. Jeff Nemec ’05, the chair of the social science department and senior class dean was in favor of impeachment, “because I think a person in that position should be held accountable and if the representatives or government feels that it is an impeachable offense we need to go through the process to hear it out,” he said. “I don’t think he will be removed from office because of the Senate structure,” added Nemec.

“I think Trump is a good president and does a lot for our country,” said Anneliese Munter ‘22. “I don’t think he should have been impeached,” she added. Munter acknowledges the President’s imperfections but doesn’t think they rise to the level of impeachment. “Despite lying, I think he has done a lot for our country and I think he has been blamed for a lot of things,” she said. Munter pointed to high-profile summits and meetings with world leaders that Trump has had. “I think that was very important in his presidency, the steps he took to make our country better,” Munter said.

“I agree that Trump should have been impeached because he’s been abusing his power and him being the president doesn’t seem to be benefiting America, even though he says ‘Make America Great Again”, said Miranda Bookman ‘20. “However, I don’t think he will be removed from office but the right thing for America, in my opinion, is that Trump should no longer be our president,” Bookman added.

Students in Mr. Miller’s statistics class conducted the poll as a class project to apply the statistical concepts they are studying to real-world problems. The poll was an internet survey open only to students and staff with Northwood School email accounts. Responses were limited to one per account and were collected between study hall on January 29 and the afternoon of January 30. The survey was sent to all 68 faculty/staff with email addresses and all 189 students. 107 people (42% of the population) responded.

The poll did not ask for respondents’ opinions on Trump’s removal from office, so it’s unclear whether this poll predicts sentiment on that issue.

 

Northwood Honors MLK

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Dr. Martin Luther King (Photo: Wikipedia)

Today is the annual observation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King was the most prominent leader of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.  He lived from January 15, 1929 until April 4, 1968 and was a Baptist minister and activist whose speeches and writing about justice, equality, and freedom were the foundation of the movement for racial and economic justice that King led from his arrival in Alabama in 1955 until his assassination in Memphis in 1968.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, a philosophy inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi and American Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. In 1955, King led the Montgomery bus boycott, and in 1957 he became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which is widely considered one of the most inspiring and influential speeches of all time. This speech is still quoted by many people to this day.

This spring, a group of Northwood students and faculty members will have the opportunity to walk in King’s footsteps and learn about the Civil Rights Movement up close and personal. As a part of the school’s LEAP program, they are going to the cities of Selma, Birmingham, and Montgomery in Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia for one week. They will visit King’s birthplace, sights of his most important acts of protest, and the churches where he worshipped, preached, and organized. It is going to be an enlightening and educational experience for all of the students.

In recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, two Northwood students Angelia and Adelia Castillo, both juniors who are the President and Vice President of the Multicultural Students’ Club (MSC), have organized a viewing of King’s famous speech followed by a discussion. It will be held today at 5:00 pm in the Multicultural Affairs Office in the Student Center.

Martin Luther King died a hero and we need to make sure his legacy lives on and that he is never forgotten.

Young Alumni Speak to Students About College Life

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From left to right: Morgan Broderick ’19, Sarah Coombs ’19, and Sara Donatello ’18 at the young alumni panel on Monday, January 13 (Photos: Michael Aldridge).

At Monday’s school meeting, three young Northwood School alumni spoke to current students about life in college and the transition from Northwood to their current schools. The event was organized and moderated by the College Counseling Office and Mr. John Spear, Assistant Head for School Life.

The panelists were Morgan Broderick ‘19, a first-year student at Goucher College, Sarah Coombs ‘19, a first-year at McGill University, and Sara Donatello ‘18, a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire. All three alumni spoke about how Northwood School prepared them well for college, even if they weren’t aware that they were being prepared at the time.

“The structure of Northwood sets the stage for the transition and the new freedoms and structure of college,” said Sara Donatello ‘18. “Northwood habits transition with you, they are ingrained within you.”

Morgan Broderick ‘19 was excited to get back to her alma mater. “I was really happy when Mr. Spear sent me the email asking to be part of the panel,” said Broderick. “When I got to the auditorium and saw Sarah and Sara it just felt like old times. I got the same little bit of nervousness I did before we went out on stage just like I used to before making an announcement,” she said. Broderick said the discussion at school meeting felt similar to conversations she’s had with friends since starting college. “When it came to the questions students asked, it felt similar to conversations I’d already had with some of my friends who are currently seniors. It also felt similar to the advice that had been given to me. It was nice to be back on the Northwood stage again.”

On the Firing of Hockey Legend Don Cherry

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Don Cherry pictured at the CBC Winter Launch in 2010 (Photo: Wikipedia)

On November 9th, Don Cherry, a legendary ice hockey commentator, made some controversial comments during a Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada. During Cherry’s Coach’s Corner, the former NHL coach made remarks that suggested Canadian immigrants benefit from the sacrifices of veterans and do not wear remembrance poppies. Cherry was fired after almost four decades of broadcasting NHL games.

Remembrance Day is a holiday in Canada similar to Veteran’s Day in the United States. On this day and the weeks leading up to it, red poppy pins are worn by many as a sign of respect. During the broadcast, Cherry asserted that immigrants in Canada fail to recognize Remembrance Day. He said, “You people love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that. [The veterans] paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”

Northwood students have mixed feelings about the incident. Most agree that Don Cherry deserved to be fired but they are disappointed that “Coach’s Corner is no more,” as stated by co-host Ron MacLean.

Ray Fust ‘21, who has lived in Canada for most of his life, said, “Don Cherry is a very old-fashioned and arrogant guy, but he’s also a great hockey guy. Without Grapes, there’s no more Hockey Night in Canada!”

Regardless of the controversy, those who have seen Don Cherry every Saturday night for the past 38 years will have to get used to his absence in Hockey Night in Canada.

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