Steven McCarty, whose creativity, integrity, and dedication in and out of the classroom have enriched the lives of Foxcroft students for a decade, received the Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award from Foxcroft Head of School Catherine S. McGehee on Thursday (May 25) at the School’s annual Awards Assembly.
The Middleburg resident has taught English and History courses, ranging from American Literature and Creative Writing to Economics and World Cultures, since joining the Foxcroft faculty in 2007. He has also coached both softball and volleyball, and served as advisor to the Sophomore Class, the vibrant online student literary magazine, Chimera, and scores of grateful students.
A former U.S. Air Force officer with a strong sense of honor and integrity, McCarty serves on the Judicial Committee, Foxcroft’s student-faculty disciplinary body, and has worked with Student Council for the past three years to formalize the School’s honor code and create an honor pledge.
Most essentially, though, McCarty helps students find their voices and hone the skill with which they express them. His frequent jam sessions encourage girls to pick up an instrument and find their musical voices. His classroom, Chimera, and writers’ circles offer opportunities to share written expressions of those voices. Said one former student, “As he teaches, it is not finding a unique story to write about that is most important, but finding a unique voice with which to tell it.”
McCarty, who earned a BA from West Virginia University and a Master’s from the University of South Carolina, finds time to explore his own voice, too, and his poems, essays, and short stories have been published in a number of literary magazines, including The Thomas Hardy Review;The Piedmont Virginian; and Poet Lore, the nation’s oldest poetry journal.
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 honor, which carries a cash award, are STEM Department Chair Maria Evans, Ph.D., and former Math Department Chair Susan Erba.
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.