Alumnus Applies NU Experience Toward Career in Education

Alumnus Gary Pierce

When Gary Peirce first learned of Northwood University Florida he was working the business side of Peirce Graphic Services, a South Florida organization he’d founded in 1989 along with his wife Linda to provide type setting services to publishers.

“I discovered that I needed to learn more about accounting, economics and marketing, so when I first learned of Northwood University Florida, it sounded like a good fit,” said Peirce, who added that his first impression of Northwood was confirmed upon his initial meeting with an enrollment counselor at the university’s Adult Degree Program (ADP) office.

“I felt from the beginning that I belonged at Northwood and that I was a part of a school that would provide me with what I needed to succeed in the world of business. And as I fast-forward twenty years ahead, I can see that my first impressions were correct, as I continually thank Northwood for teaching me what I need to know to become a true professional in both my life and career,” said Peirce who now serves as Lower School Head at The Pine School, a college preparatory, all-faith day school that serves students from age three through grade 12.

“Northwood provided me with confidence in my abilities. Always available, friendly and willing to help in any manner, the faculty gave me self-assurance about the capabilities that I already had, while providing me with additional business tools and knowledge. It seemed almost a coaching opportunity for them, as they imparted me with the secure feeling of being able to manage a start-up business,” recalled Peirce who, along with his wife, eventually led their venture to become a national company.

Now an educator himself, Peirce uses his marketing, negotiating, management, human resource, and communication abilities towards effectively managing his team. “I can’t believe the quality of people who teach four and five year-olds every day,” laughed the former corporate leader who sold his business in 2006 to embrace his love of education. I feel fortunate to work with such a great group.”

With the mission of promoting academic excellence within a challenging, supportive, and moral environment that fosters the development of mind, body, and spirit, the Pine School is a college preparatory, all-faith day school that serves students from age three through grade 12, and is located in Stuart, Florida.

The Pine School provides a strong traditional core curriculum while striving to instill high achievement and a lifelong love for learning. The school’s objective is to develop each student’s intellectual, physical, and creative talents in a supportive and moral environment. Students are encouraged to promote service above self and are inspired to develop a sense of commitment and involvement within their community.

In the Lower School, small class sizes and a challenging curriculum enable students to learn important academic skills in a nurturing and caring environment. The children become knowledgeable in computer technology and world language. The multifaceted fine arts and physical education programs are an integral part of the curriculum.

In addition to academic requirements, graduation requirements include 100 hours of community service and a senior capstone project. Internships, opportunities for multicultural exchanges, encounters with entrepreneurs and critical thinkers, and seminars with artists and scientists advance the philosophy of the Upper School in connecting students with a wider world and preparing them for leadership positions.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.