Stephanie Young, who puts her responsibility as role model at the center of her teaching, and who challenges students — in class and out — to look at the world from different points of view, received the Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award from Catherine S. McGehee, Head of Foxcroft School, on Thursday (May 24) at the School’s annual Awards Assembly.
Young, a Washington, DC native who graduated from Foxcroft in 2000, has taught History at her alma mater since 2013. She introduces freshmen to World Cultures, prepares upperclassmen for Advanced Placement World History exams, and has presented electives in such topics as international relations, constitutional law, and “Freedom in America: On the Road to Equality.” A dorm parent and Freshman Class advisor, Young also serves on the School’s Judicial Committee and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
First and foremost, however, she acts as a role model for students. “My roles at Foxcroft are teacher, advisor, resident faculty, and role model,” she once wrote. “My position as role model is most important to me because I think it’s the one that girls will emulate most.”
McGehee lauded Young’s character as well as her classroom expertise. “Stephanie’s gift for self-reflection, her honesty and integrity, and her way of speaking truth with love was evident when she was a student here,” said McGehee, adding that as a teacher, “Ms. Young challenges students to analyze the world from the diverse lens of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and political views, and she brings real life experience into her classroom to augment discussion.”
Young holds a BA in International Relations from Syracuse University and a dual Juris Doctor degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and Université de Paris X-Nanterre, France. A member of the New York Bar, Stephanie has served as a contract attorney specializing in French language litigation support.
McGehee also called Young a “master at student-centered teaching practices and project-based learning” who uses group projects not just for absorbing the content being taught, but also for developing the skills of collaborating effectively, evaluating one’s own contributions, and learning from mistakes.
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. Young is the first former student of Leipheimer’s to receive the honor, which recognizes a classroom teacher with a tenure of at least three years. Previous recipients are Maria Evans, Ph.D., Susan Erba, and Steven McCarty.