Assistant Head of School Courtney Ulmer, beloved student advisor and tireless steward of all things academic at Foxcroft, was recently awarded the Jane Lockhart Service Award during the School’s Awards Assembly.
“It is my honor to present the 2021 Jane Lockhart Service Award to Courtney Ulmer,” Head of School Cathy McGehee remarked during the Awards Assembly. “Every member of the Foxcroft community has seen Ms. Ulmer’s selfless work to keep learning on track during the pandemic, to support individual students and teachers through classroom and personal challenges, and to ensure that we maintain the high standards that are a hallmark of a Foxcroft education while having compassion.”
McGehee went on to say, “The list of all of her responsibilities is too lengthy to share here, but includes overseeing the development of at least three different academic schedules in the past year and a half alone; making sure our course placements and classroom numbers maintained required physical distancing protocols to keep our community safe and supporting distance learners. In all her leadership, she seeks feedback from our community that directly impacts planning, all for the benefit of our students. During a difficult time of restructuring, Ms. Ulmer took on additional responsibilities as our Assistant Head of School, overseeing not only academics but also student life, and has helped rebuild trust and relationships with students, parents, and faculty. Her integrity is beyond reproach, and she has been a fundamental partner to me and to the faculty. I value her experience and unique perspective and her ability to execute plans with care and concern for those involved.”
Since 2006, Ms. Ulmer has served in numerous roles at Foxcroft — history teacher, department chair, academic dean, resident relief, dorm parent (a position she continues to hold in addition to her responsibilities as Assistant Head of School), and beloved advisor — keeping students at the center of her work always. She personifies the qualities celebrated by the Jane Lockhart Service Award by empowering students with self-confidence and instilling in them the desire to learn not only while at Foxcroft but for a lifetime. When her name was announced, faculty and students leapt to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation for a woman who is so clearly deserving of this award.
Students were eager to share their support for Ms. Ulmer’s selection. One rising senior observed, “She is honestly one of the most hard-working women I know... If I had to thank her for only one thing, I would say ‘thank you for always being there to help me reason through anything I throw at you.’” Another wrote, “Ms. Ulmer is incredibly thoughtful and intelligent, both characteristics that help her work through problems with me whether about classes or leadership. She always seems to be able to articulate and understand my thoughts and feelings in ways that sometimes I am unable to do. She is someone I can always go talk to!” A rising junior said, “Ms. Ulmer has made my sophomore year the wonderful year that it was. I genuinely couldn't ask for a more supportive figure at Foxcroft — I am so looking forward to the years ahead. We love you, Ms. Ulmer!”
Congratulations, Ms. Ulmer, for receiving the 2021 Jane Lockhart Award!
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. Previous winners of the Jane Lockhart Service Award include Lockhart, school nurses Penny Alderman and Yvette McCarty, Safety officer Warren Payne, registrar/dorm parent and Hound Backer Patty Boswell, coach Fred McMane, Brenda Trussell, who runs the school store and mailroom, and Director of Student Services and school counselor Erin Abbott.