In recognition of those who lead by serving their communities, Foxcroft began our annual Leadership Day last Friday by coming together “to remember 9/11 and to bear witness to those who lost their lives and to those who served their country,” as Head of School Cathy McGehee so aptly put it in her opening remarks. The School welcomed honored guests Middleburg Police Captain A. J. Panebianco, and from the Middleburg Fire Department: Captain Jeff Garner, Firefighters Jeff Staub, Brendan Kroner, and Kyle Fogel, and Technicians Jerry Dean and Chad Micheal.
Five students achieved the premier status of AP Scholar with Distinction to lead a group of 24 Foxcroft girls who earned 2021 AP Scholar Awards from the College Board for outstanding achievement on Advanced Placement Exams taken last spring.
The first of four Admissions events takes place on Friday, October 8.
Families looking for an outstanding secondary school experience for their daughters are invited to visit Foxcroft School on Friday, October 8, when the first of four Admissions Open Houses scheduled for this school year takes place.
As we head into the new school year, we asked our seniors to share some of their best Foxcroft Hacks with our New Girls! Check them out and get excited for all that the Foxcroft experience has to offer!
School may not have been in session this summer, but the learning didn’t stop for the faculty and staff at Foxcroft. Several faculty and staff members attended institutes, conferences, and workshops; continued their pursuit of a higher degree; or dug deeper into independent projects. A few highlights are listed below.
Assistant Head of School Courtney Ulmer, beloved student advisor and tireless steward of all things academic at Foxcroft, was recently awarded the Jane Lockhart Service Award during the School’s Awards Assembly.
In acknowledgment of the countless contributions by each member of Foxcroft’s faculty during an academic year of pivots and innovation, the School took the unusual — but well-deserved — step of honoring the entire faculty with its highest teaching award, the Mary Louise Leipheimer Excellence in Teaching Award.
The 43 members of the Class of 2021 were celebrated at the School’s 107th Commencement on Friday, May 28
While many traditional aspects of their year have been upended or shifted due to the pandemic, Commencement in Miss Charlotte’s Garden, though socially distanced, felt like a gift for the Class of 2021. Together with their families in-person or virtually joining over a livestream, the graduating seniors closed the chapter of their lives as Foxcroft students and joined the ranks of alumnae. All went off without a hitch; even the Brood X cicadas, emerging from the ground after 17 years, behaved (for the most part).
This year’s collection of Senior One Woman Shows has been a visual delight on the main floor of Schoolhouse since the exhibits opened during Arts Week. Many people shared positive comments about how enjoyable it was to experience these works and to read about each artists’ creative journeys. Everyone was invited to weigh in on a favorite piece by submitting an online voting form to determine who would be awarded the “Best in Show.”
On Tuesday evening, students and faculty gathered behind Schoolhouse for an exclusive viewing of this year’s spring production. Foxcroft Mainstage students worked extremely hard to produce a hilarious rendition of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee led by Director Karin Thorndike and Assistant Director Julia G. ’21, as part of her Fine Arts concentration.
Honoring traditions and passing down leadership are important parts of life at Foxcroft, but have been challenging during the pandemic. For the second year in a row, however, members of the Athletic Association presented their annual banquet in an innovative and COVID-friendly way that truly celebrates the emotion and excitement of this special event as part of our end-of-year activities.
For their final project, physics students were asked to demonstrate their understanding of static electricity. Using their knowledge of physics, students were asked to make a video demonstrating a static electricity magic trick then explain to the viewers both how to do the trick at home as well as the physics behind it. We definitely have some future YouTube and TikTok stars in our midst!
By Julie Fisher, Digital Arts Instructor and Festival Organizer
In a year that has been more difficult than most, we have all been reminded of the simpler joys in life that helped us keep going. How would any of us have survived the pandemic without that favorite TV show, that song station we always had playing, or even that photo of a friend or loved one we were separated from for far too long? The arts are all around us and we cannot forget the important place they hold in our society and in our hearts.
Rachel Means '08 was going to be a physician. After graduating from Foxcroft, she headed for Davidson and began to fulfill that childhood dream by taking a pre-med curriculum, even as she continued her art studies with an art scholarship. When she began to struggle on the pre-med side and encountered some clear signs that being a doctor was not the path for her, she resisted letting go of that long-held desire; she pressed on. And, despite art classes since childhood and obvious talent, Rachel admits it took a while to embrace herself as an artist. Finally, in her junior year, those realizations came to fruition after a study-abroad trip to Zambia. Rachel graduated with a major in Studio Art and began the process of embracing this new direction for her life — a process she advises is ongoing throughout one’s life.
Last Saturday, Michele Fowlin, Artistic Director for the Washington Performing Arts’ Children of the Gospel Choir, spoke with the Foxcroft community as one of two virtual visiting artists during the final day of Arts Week.
After visiting artist Rachel Means ’08 finished her community presentation, she hosted a mixed media workshop with a few art students. Each student created a piece inspired by a written work or a poem. One student even used Means’ presentation as inspiration. The results are beautiful.
In addition to our phenomenal keynote speaker Andrea Ewing Reid ’80, eight other alumnae offered students opportunities to hear, and ask questions, about their education and career journeys. Those alumnae included: Wendy Arundel ’80, Margaret Midyette Barber ’00, Patia Fann ’16, Claire Foster ’01, Adela Griswold ’06, Caitlin Lighthouse ’06, Lisa Lowman ’87, Flora Theden ’07.
From the age of eight, Andrea Ewing Reid ’80 knew that she wanted to be a doctor.
“So I was eight years old, and I actually was very, very infatuated with my pediatrician, a man named Dr. Benjamin Cohen,” chuckled Reid. “And the reason I loved Dr. Cohen so much was, first of all, he talked to me as an intelligent human being … He explained why things that hurt still would be beneficial to me. And ... to be able to have that kind of skill was just an amazing thing. So, I wanted to be like Dr. Cohen.”
As we progress in the Student Leadership process, students and faculty alike are contemplating what leadership means at Foxcroft. Juniors, sophomores, and freshmen are thinking about their futures as leaders at Foxcroft and taking steps to realize their goals. Students submitted their Student Leadership Planning Worksheets to the Office of Student Life in early April and during Morning Meetings we have heard speeches from candidates for the Executive Council positions.
We are proud to announce the election of rising seniors Natalie C. as Student Head of School, Marlow B. as Student Vice Head of School, Catherine J. as Honor Council Chair, and Lilly R. as Head Prefect for the 2021-22 school year!
Many in the Foxcroft community noticed a bit of excitement around Schoolhouse last Wednesday when a small film crew — three people, masked and following Foxcroft protocols — from A Starting Point (ASP), a website, app, and media distribution platform co-founded by actor and director Chris Evans, filmmaker and actor Mark Kassen, and media and technology entrepreneur Joe Kiani — visited campus. During third period, the crew filmed history teacher Erika Page and girls from her class as they used the ASP Homeroom civic engagement platform, one of the tools provided as part of the CloseUp Foundation’s Empowering Female Voices (EFV) program.
By Beth O'Quinn, Experiential Learning & Student Life Coordinator
Yes, we are in the midst of a pandemic, but Foxcroft girls have persevered and many of our students have continually embodied the School’s core values of respect, integrity, and kindness through service throughout the year. They have contributed to our School community, our local community, and their communities back at home.
Our beloved Paul K. Bergan Poetry Festival has taken over Foxcroft's Campus again! And can we say, in the most beautiful way possible?! Kicking off the events Tuesday evening, April 6, 2021, students and faculty gathered on the Schoolhouse lawn to participate in a Poetry Slam, Recitation Competition, and the musical stylings of English teacher Steven McCarty throughout the evening.
This pandemic has taught us that being apart is not an excuse to remain disconnected. In fact, reaching out and maintaining our commitment to helping others is more important now than ever before. That is why I jumped at an opportunity to serve our neighboring elementary school.
Foxcroft is pleased to announce that Ms. Whittney Preston will join us as our inaugural Dean of Inclusive Excellence. Ms. Preston is on campus today and tomorrow, taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather to meet with faculty and students as well as to learn more about Foxcroft.
The 2021 Paul K. Bergan Poetry Festival continued on Wednesday when we were introduced to visiting poet Sarah Kay who captivated and enchanted the entire community with dramatic readings of her poems and stories of how they came into being.
On Wednesday afternoon, visiting poet Sarah Kay hosted a workshop for students interested in strengthening their skills in writing poetry. She asked the participants to write three things they know to be true, things they are carrying around right now. It needed to be longer than one short line and something that felt like “theirs.” She then asked the students to ask themselves three questions. What do I write about? What language do I use to write about it? And, how do I make this both compelling and authentic to me?
Foxcroft’s Investment Club hosted three speakers from Fidelity Investments for a lunchtime talk on Wednesday. Kate Hastings, Vice President of the Tri-State Region at Fidelity Family Office Services (and Foxcroft’s Board Chair) along with Lacey Johnson, CFP, a Vice President in the Family Office Services in Boston and Amanda Topping, CFP, a Director in Fidelity’s Digital Asset Services shared their career journeys and some eye-opening statistics about women and investing, and answered a few excellent questions from a large group of students gathered over Zoom to talk about all things financial.
On March 15, we had a chance to meet and talk to Chris Evans and Mark Kassen. A Starting Point (ASP), a program they started to help people stay/get engaged with current political issues and how our states plan to deal with them. We also got to speak with two Representatives from Texas.
Four girls from Foxcroft were chosen by ASP to ask their questions. Sarah F. ’24 and Madison B. ’24 got to ask Chris Evans and Mark Kassen about ASP. Madison asked, “Do you feel in your mind ASP has changed anything in any way, and how big of an impact do you believe it’s made?” and Sarah asked, “What obstacles did you face in trying to start up the program ASP to bridge the gap between the Democrats and the Republicans, and what other organizations did you find like yours that inspired you?”
Congratulations to senior Dami O. on being a 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards National Medalist! She recently received a Silver Medal when the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced the results of the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12.
On Sunday, March 21, 2021, the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Alum Group for Foxcroft and Foxcroft School hosted a virtual workshop on racism. Engaging current students, faculty, staff, and alumnae and centered around BIPOC experiences and voices, the Foxcroft community came together to discuss past traumas that have affected our School and the steps Foxcroft is taking and will continue to take moving forward. With over 100 participants from various backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and races, the workshop offered an important step towards acknowledging our past and healing as a community.
By Junior Class President Amelia F., Vice President Clare T., and Representative Lillian W.
The Junior Class has chosen to collaborate with and fundraise for The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) as our class philanthropy project. With their motto and rallying cry “Save the Bay,” CBF works to decrease pollution and improve conditions for the animals and plant life living in the bay.
Foxcroft’s Black Student Union and Spanish Club, along with faculty members Stephanie Young ’00 and Peachie Robinson, collectively offered a phenomenal Black History Month program to the Foxcroft community.
Run as a virtual event for the first time, Foxcroft’s 10th Annual STEM Challenge drew 48 middle school and 36 high school students from around the country and globe to compete for prizes on February 20. Designed for middle and high school girls, participants used their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math in challenges revolving around this year’s theme of “Code for Good.” This annual challenge showcases Foxcroft's innovative and appealing focus on the STEM fields and allows girls to develop collaborative skills working with others and gain confidence in fields so often dominated by boys.
Sunday afternoon’s delicious lunch from Luis’ Peruvian Food Truck followed by a delectable dinner of Chinese foods kicked off a scrumptious week of food and fun in honor of International Week. Foxcroft brings together a variety of cultures, which is exactly what the Global Cultures Club celebrates through the exploration of culinary delights and experiences from around the world during International Week.
We The People, Foxcroft’s diversity and inclusion club, has been utilizing Foxcroft’s new “WeekendMission” times to have meaningful and thought-provoking discussions about pieces of literature and important issues. This past Friday, my co-head of We The People, Elaine P. ‘22, facilitated two hour-long discussions that counted towards WeekendMission’s Civil Discourse badge. To earn a badge for a WeekendMission category, you must complete eight hours of participation in certain weekend events that fit that category. Each student is required to participate in some form of WeekendMission events; whether it be eight hours in one category, or one hour in each category, which can grant you the “Stretching Your Comfort Zone” badge.
On Tuesday morning, my classmates and I had the opportunity to hear from alumna Natalie Jasmine Harris ’16 about her short film, Uma Fruta Estranhas(which translates to A Strange Fruit).
Ms. Harris detailed her background as a graduate of the NYU Tisch school, and how through attending NYU, she was able to study abroad in Brazil. On this trip, she was able to learn more about movements for racial equality in Brazil and connect them to similar movements in the United States. She also went on tours where she learned about a kind of fruit which when translated from Portuguese translated to “The Black Man’s Heart.” She detailed how hearing about that fruit led to her connecting the fruit to the famous song, “Strange Fruit” and then wondering about the Black Woman’s Heart.
Four seniors, four juniors, and two faculty members have been elected to the Foxcroft School Chapter of the Cum Laude Society, President Lindsey Bowser announced during a recent Morning Meeting. They join five members of the Senior Class who were named to the national high school scholastic honor society a year ago as juniors.
By Betsy A. ’21, CyberPatriot Club Head and STEM Concentration student
As a part of Foxcroft’s STEM Week, Randi Kieffer spoke with students via Zoom on February 17. Ms. Kieffer is the Managing Vice President of Cyber Operations and Intelligence for Capital One Financial Corporation. She brings a vast array of skills to the table that she uses to manage the 24x7 Cyber Security Operations Center at Capital One. A diverse skill set is something Ms. Kieffer highlighted in her talk. Despite what one might think, communication and soft skills are still vital in STEM fields, especially in order to work up the corporate ladder. Ms. Kieffer spoke about how her high school activities helped to give her a strong foundation in the importance of teamwork and communication.
A group of 14 Foxcroft students created 15 outstanding works of art and three exceptional written works that recently received special recognition in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regional competition.
Four students each achieved the coveted Gold Key status — the highest regional designation. The “golden” artists are seniors Ellen B. (sculpture) and Dami O. (mixed media) and juniors Natalie C. (digital art) and Jordan M. (ceramics).
The School’s work with the Empowering Female Voices program, hosted by the Close Up Foundation and the Hockaday Institute for Social Impact, continued when nine students attended the first sessions of “Empowering Female Voices: President’s First 100 Days,” which kicked off last week and runs through February 11, 2021.
Foxcroft has been recognized as one of two schools in Virginia and only 56 in the world to earn the prestigious College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in both AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) courses during the 2019-20 academic year.
This is the third academic year in a row that the School has received an AP Female Diversity Award. The two prior Awards were for AP CSA during the 2018-19 academic year and AP CSP for the 2017-18 academic year.
Our work with the Empowering Female Voices program, hosted by the Close Up Foundation and the Hockaday Institute for Social Impact, will continue when a new cohort of students participates in “Empowering Female Voices: President’s First 100 Days,” which kicks off January 25 (the week after the inauguration) and runs through February 11, 2021.
Last December, I had the opportunity to attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) and dialogue with such a diverse group of peers. Though we all had different experiences that formed the different lenses with which we perceived the world, our uniting factor was our determination to effect change regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our campus communities. Thus, in the conference, we discussed topics ranging from socioeconomic privilege to our own personal experiences.
From Dr. Anne Mueller, Global Studies Concentration Coordinator and French Teacher
On the Wednesday morning before Winter Break, students and faculty welcomed Tom Clark (parent of Julia ’21) as our latest Global Studies Concentration speaker. Currently working at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Clark has had an exceptional career in the arena of international law and development. He explained his journey, which began with an inspiring professor at Harvard who encouraged him to seek a path of purpose in his work. Clark’s goal has long been to seek justice in a variety of settings, but most recently through financial inclusion at Asia’s foremost public bank.
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.