Last Lessons

Class of 2019 receives diplomas, prizes, and good advice at Foxcroft’s 105th Commencement
The weather could not have been any better nor the spirits any higher Friday morning when the 46 members of the Class of 2019 representing seven countries, 11 states and the District of Columbia gathered in Miss Charlotte’s Garden for Foxcroft School’s 105th Commencement.
Under sunny skies and the proud gazes of parents, faculty, and friends, senior speaker Kayla L. reminisced about their years at the School, prizes were presented, Head of School Cathy McGehee acknowledged the Class’s achievements, and Board of Trustees Chair Anne Michele Lyons Kuhns ’87 awarded diplomas to the impressive group. Collectively, the members of the Class of 2019 received 177 offers of admission from 120 colleges and universities in five countries and 29 states and were offered more than $2.4 million in merit scholarships.
But first, the soon-to-be-graduates attended one more class — courtesy of featured speaker, Stephanie Young ’00. Reflecting that a Foxcroft education goes far beyond the facts and skills imparted in classrooms, the history teacher and dorm parent noted that she teaches “all day, everywhere,” with life being an essential subject. In her address she delivered four key lessons in a “cram session” because, “This is my very last opportunity to prepare these girls for life off this campus.”
Young’s lessons were pertinent and profound: forego negativity in favor of singing your own praises; rise above the desire to fit in by becoming the person you want to be, a person that you can love and respect; savor your relationships, but don’t be afraid to let go of the unhealthy ones; and remember that you teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself.
“When you put yourself down, others will put you down, too. When you accept less than you deserve, repeatedly, people will believe that that’s all you are worth,” she pointed out, suggesting instead, “Respect yourself and others will respect you.
“When you all leave through these gates, you will be in a position to meet new people, forge new relationships, and have new experiences. Remember that your actions towards yourself will influence how others treat you. This includes everything from what you put on your body to what you put in your body. It includes the things you stand up for and the things you march against, the things you’ll give voice to and the things you suffer in silence. Ultimately, we accept the things we think we deserve. Trust me, you don’t just deserve the best — you deserve to define what the best is, for you,” Young concluded.
In some ways the Class of 2019 already defines the best. It includes two National Merit Scholarship Commended Students, 15 AP Scholars, and nine students selected to the Cum Laude Society, four of them as juniors. Members of the class will attend Stanford, Clemson, Howard, Mount Holyoke, Ohio State, Parsons School of Design, Washington and Lee, and the Universities of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming. Visit our website for the full list of college acceptances.
The highest honor presented to a graduating senior, the Charlotte Haxall Noland Award, went to Kayla L., an Austin, TX resident who plans to attend Clemson University in the fall. She was also the salutatorian and winner of the Best Rider trophy. Valedictorian Sylvia Y., who plans to attend Stanford University, earned Pillsbury Prize, Foxcroft's Valedictorian honors, along with the STEM Mathematics and Gunnell Creative Writing awards.
Other top awards went to seniors Bella B., Lizzie S., and Wendy X., while the highest honors for younger students went to junior Abby A., sophomore Betsy A., and freshman Ella S-C. For a complete list of awards and prizes please click here.
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.