Karin Thorndike is 9th Recipient of the Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award 

For the profound impact that her more than 25 years of service to Foxcroft have had not only on the School but the students and her colleagues within it, Fine Arts teacher, Varsity Tennis Coach, and Director extraordinaire Karin Thorndike received the Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award from Head of School Cathy McGehee on Thursday, May 25, at the School’s annual Awards Assembly.
“This faculty member touches every facet of the student experience in her many roles at Foxcroft, and yet she is not usually the leading lady,” shared McGehee. “She prefers to shine the spotlight on students, quite literally as well as figuratively.” 

Hired in 1997 by former Head of School Mary Louise Leipheimer herself to teach music, direct the musical review, and be dorm relief, Thorndike also took on JV tennis and coordinated summer programs. Over time her teaching in the Art Department expanded to multiple disciplines, including visual arts, and serving a term as Fine Arts Department Chair. She stepped in to coach Varsity Tennis and ended up building a year-round program, all while directing a Christmas Pageant and two theater productions each year and sponsoring multiple clubs. 

McGehee went on to share words of kindness and appreciation for Thorndike’s impact over the year from several colleagues and students, including this from former student and current colleague Alexis Hall ’12, “You always saw potential in me and challenged me to push myself when I was your student and advisee. Now your colleague, which is so cool to say, you continue to see me. Your impact on my life inspired me to return to Foxcroft and motivates me daily to support our students. I appreciate you so much.”
Congratulations, Mrs. Thorndike!

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, the entire 2020-21 faculty team, and Julie Fisher. 
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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.