Julie Fisher, whose leadership as Fine Arts Department Chair has elevated the arts program at Foxcroft, received the Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award from Head of School Cathy McGehee on Thursday, May 26, at the School’s annual Awards Assembly.
“A quiet but transformative educator, Julie has expanded and raised the bar for our arts program through her vision, leadership, and hard work,” shared McGehee. “From building our digital arts program and our STEAM design courses to submitting student work to a variety of juried shows, she has found ways to showcase our students' voices through a variety of mediums. Nowhere is this more evident than in Arts Week, a herculean effort to celebrate the creativity, expression, and talent of our student artists.”
Fisher’s innovative and collaborative approach to learning has helped her students connect with other schools and organizations in the surrounding community by curating student art shows at the Artists in Middleburg gallery and completing Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) projects benefitting Banneker Elementary, Aldie Mill, and the Goose Creek Association. Fisher herself collaborates across departments at Foxcroft, working with her colleagues in the STEM Department to add the “A” (for arts) to a growing STEAM curriculum.
McGehee shared reflections from Fisher’s colleagues collected in their nomination forms. One wrote, “She teaches several different classes that force students to think outside of the classroom setting and think about the larger community. Her classes create meaningful projects that benefit others.” Another offered, “she meets her students where they are, then supports their growth, challenges them appropriately, and holds them to the high standards she believes they are capable of.”
As Fine Arts Department Chair, Fisher leads a team of faculty that inspires students to use their voices through creative expression. She teaches photography, engineering, and graphic design while also serving as the Tally-ho! Yearbook advisor and mentor to students pursuing their academic concentration in The Arts.
Before joining the Foxcroft faculty in 2017, Fisher taught photography, art, and graphic design at Atlee High School in Hanover County, VA, serving as the Fine Arts Department Chair and National Art Honor Society Sponsor. She holds an M.F.A. from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and a B.F.A. from James Madison University.
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. It 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 of the award are Maria Evans, Ph.D., Susan Erba, Steven McCarty, Stephanie Young ’00, John Scharfenberg, Alex Northrup, and the entire 2020-21 faculty team.
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.