Catherine Smylie McGehee became Head of Foxcroft School on July 1, 2014. Cathy has led efforts to adopt a new strategic plan and a revised campus master plan as well as to pass the School’s 10-year Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) reaccreditation process. During her tenure, the School completed the $75 million Centennial Campaign, raising $79.9 million for the residential initiative and for endowment. She has overseen a new branding initiative and the roll out of a new website. Major campus projects include the opening of Court Welcome Center, construction of two turf athletic fields, renovations to four dormitories, and new faculty housing. Cathy has worked to update the School’s technological infrastructure, including expanded wifi throughout most of campus, as well as to open The Innovation Lab, a maker space designed by and for our students. The Academic Concentration program, launched during Cathy’s time as Head of School, allows students to focus their studies in Animal Science, Global Studies, STEM, and the Arts.
Cathy is a member of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Board of Trustees and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools Board of Directors. In addition, Cathy is the chairperson for the VAIS Heads Conference Planning Committee and serves on the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington Member Services Committee and the VAIS Strategic Visioning Committee. During the 2019-20 school year Cathy is facilitating Headways for Heads of Schools, the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools online conversation and networking series that addresses timely topics such as school community and student safety. She has been a frequent presenter at independent school conferences, including The Association of Boarding Schools, NCGS, and VAIS and has lectured at the University of Richmond. In May 2014, she received the Gibb Family Distinguished Alumni Award at the University of Richmond during the school’s commencement exercises.
A native Virginian, Cathy spent the previous 19 years at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, VA, where she served as the Director of the Upper School from 2006-14. Previously, she was chair of the St. Catherine's English Department (K-12) and taught English in the Upper School. Cathy also taught English in Eden Prairie, Wayzata, and Burnsville, MN, and at Fluvanna County High School in Palmyra, VA.
Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science in English from Vanderbilt University, where she also earned teacher's certification from Peabody College. She earned her MA in English from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Richmond. She is married to Dr. Read McGehee III, an ophthalmologist, and has two daughters. Eliza, a Vanderbilt graduate, who earned a master’s in history at James Madison University, teaches history at the Steward School in Richmond. Jane graduated from Davidson College with a degree in English and works in the publishing industry in New York City.