“That Alex is the recipient of the outstanding teaching award during COVID-19 will not surprise anyone,” said Head of School Cathy McGehee during her remarks. “Not only does he model innovative teaching, including the intentional use of technology, during normal times, but he has led the way in assisting and training our entire faculty in different technology applications to enhance teaching, assignment creation, and assessments when Foxcroft moved to a distance-learning model. He is a patient teacher and a good listener, and he cares about the success of each one of his students and his colleagues.”
McGehee went on to offer accolades from Northrup’s peers and students, specifically one of Foxcroft’s seniors, who wrote, “He’s helpful and engaging, and he finds ways to make class interesting, even if it’s not your favorite subject, which is actually pretty rare. With plenty of extra credit opportunities and test corrections on every test, he makes sure you know what you didn’t before, with the incentive of an improved grade. I find that this method drives me towards self-improvement and has given me one of the best learning experiences in my life. I believe that he deserves to be recognized for all of the incredible things he’s done to help all of his students grow into the people we are today.”
As chair of the History and Social Science Department, Northrup currently teaches AP Human Geography and AP World History. He presents frequently, including at conferences of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, and the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Northrup also helps to integrate technology tools into Foxcroft’s classrooms and worked with a student team to design and create The Innovation Lab
, of which he is the Director.
A long-time Middleburg resident, Northrup went to the local Hill School before attending St. Andrew’s School, a coeducational boarding school in Middletown, DE. He spent a year working in Mexico while a student at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown, Northrup holds a Masters of Library Science from American University and a Master of Education in Private School Leadership that he earned at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2011.
The Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 2014 by Foxcroft’s Board of Trustees to honor the retiring Head of School who spent 40+ years at the School as a teacher and administrator. The award annually recognizes a classroom teacher with a tenure of at least three years who connects with and challenges each student to develop her analytical ability, critical and independent thinking, communication skills, and personal integrity. Previous recipients are Maria Evans, Ph.D., Susan Erba, Steven McCarty, Stephanie Young '00, and John Scharfenberg, Jr.