“Mrs. Abbott is a tireless champion for students on learning plans, helping them become advocates for their own education,” said Head of School Cathy McGehee during her remarks. “She also helps teachers accommodate students’ learning needs in the classroom and has educated the entire faculty on the unique strengths of each girl, helping us know and value each individual in the classroom and in the dorm. As Director of Student Services, Erin has created a Learning Center that serves all our students. And she has involved other students in helping one another, first through the peer tutoring program and now through the Academic Support Crew, an enthusiastic, caring, and approachable student group.”
McGehee went on to say, “[Erin] is appreciated for her sense of humor and unflappable response to any issue that arises. She is there for all of our girls in her role as counselor, 24-7. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic and distance learning, she and the members of the Learning Center Team have worked long days and even some nights to continue to give personalized support and counseling to students who need structure, guidance, and encouragement during these challenging times.”
As one colleague wrote in their nomination of her, “Erin's exquisite care and dedication to the well-being of each girl is evident in everything she does. She is willing to go 500 miles in pursuit of finding what will reach, inspire, and encourage each girl to learn.”
And one student described Abbott’s impact on her young constituents this way: “The world would be a better place if there were more people like Mrs. Abbott. I say that because few people are able to read the needs of those around them. Mrs. Abbott is gifted in that she can.”
Abbott joined the Foxcroft community in 2017 as Director of the Learning Center, bringing with her a wealth of experience helping students achieve academic and personal success. In her current role as Director of Student Services, she continues leading the Learning Center program while also serving as School Counselor. She earned her School Counselor certification in Maine and Virginia through her M.A. in Professional Counseling at Seton Hall University and extensive graduate-level School Counseling courses and internships.
A New Jersey native, Abbott served in the United States Coast Guard in Pensacola, FL, where she also earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of West Florida. After her military service, she taught students with learning differences for five years in a Florida public school. She also created and led an Autism Spectrum program at that school before moving to Maine. There, she continued to teach while earning her Master’s degree. Abbott then spent five years at Thornton Academy in Saco, ME, before coming to Foxcroft.
The Jane Lockhart Service Award goes to a distinguished member of Foxcroft's staff or faculty who "exemplifies a personal commitment to and understanding of all of our students.” This commitment is demonstrated among other criteria by this individual’s ability to raise the overall quality of life at Foxcroft, unselfish giving of time and energy to the School, and ability to empower students with self-confidence and instill in them the desire to learn, not only while at Foxcroft but also for a lifetime, thus exemplifying the passionate belief that “everything we do is curriculum.” This award is given in the spirit of Jane Lockhart, Foxcroft staff member from 1966-2016, by the many students and their parents whose lives have been enriched by Jane’s dedication to young women.