Foxcroft Magazine (Fall/Winter 2021)

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Planning today for

Foxcroft’s Tomorrows

A Legacy of Unlocking Potential The Foxcroft experience transforms girls into confident, collaborative leaders ready to make an impact on the world. By encouraging curiosity and lifelong learning, our holistic approach to education unlocks students’ potential while simultaneously expanding their opportunities through our global network of more than 3,000 alumnae. Help us unlock the potential in each student with a gift to The Foxcroft Circle! Gifts can be made online at or by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement at 540.687.4510 or


Table of Contents


Planning today

for Foxcroft’s Tomorrows

10 Special Features 10 Planning Today for Foxcroft’s Tomorrows

12 Mastery Over Memorization: Foxcroft’s Portrait of a Graduate

16 An Excellent Start for The New Dean of Inclusive Excellence

20 The Time is Now to Build for Our Future

23 Keeping Our Community Connected

26 Preparing for VAIS


Foxcroft School’s Strategic Priorities

Interim Accreditation Visit

In Every Issue 2 From the Head of School 3 Notebook 40 Out & About 41 Gone Away 44 Milestones

Mission Statement Foxcroft’s mission is to help every girl explore her unique voice and to develop the skills, confidence, and courage to share it with the world. Catherine S. McGehee Published twice a year Head of School by Foxcroft School Marion L. Couzens Director of Institutional Advancement Ken LaBate Director of Admission and Enrollment Christine McCrehin Advancement Communications/ Engagement Coordinator

Please address queries to: The Office of Institutional Advancement, 540.687.4510, or Foxcroft School 22407 Foxhound Lane Middleburg, VA 20117 Design by Raison

ON THE COVER: (l-r) Elizabeth Viney ’24, Rynn Cole ’24, Alexandra Nelson ’24, Fania Mommsen ’23, and Caelyn Cyubahiro ’24. Cover Photo by Lauren Ackil ADDITIONAL PHOTOS: Lauren Ackil, Kristen Franklin, Abby Pheiffer, Ginny Riley, Molly Schlachter, Bethany Stotler, and Bob Updegrove. Foxcroft School is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Foxcroft School admits students of any race, color, religion, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national, or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions, or financial aid policies, loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered programs.

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Dear Foxcroft Community, Two years ago this fall, Foxcroft set out to envision priorities for the next five to seven years that would build upon the successes of our 2016 Strategic Plan: Her Future is Our Future. We embarked on an intentional process that involved gathering information and ideas from the entire community; researching trends, demographics, and data; and reviewing key planning documents and critical areas such as our Campus Master Plan, deferred maintenance, campaign feasibility, and financial projections. We convened several task forces to synthesize the data, help us shape our vision, and articulate four key priorities with supporting goals around teaching and learning, our campus, our community, and sustainability.

From the Head of School Catherine S. McGehee

Then in the spring of 2020 — the same spring our Board of Trustees approved our strategic plan — COVID-19 hit and any talk about the long-term vision for Foxcroft came to a screeching halt. Or so it seemed. We had no idea if we could safely open the School in a few months, much less launch a campaign to renovate Schoolhouse. Administrators were focused on positivity rates, dorm cohorts, and other COVID-19 protocols to keep our community safe. Our faculty had to reinvent their entire curriculum to be able to deliver instruction in a hybrid in-person/online model. Our Board had to assess the impact of lost revenue and unplanned expenses on our bottom line. And yet, even though the pandemic posed challenges to Foxcroft, it was an accelerant towards advancing our strategic priorities. The future and the vision became our now as faculty honed their curriculum to focus on skills over content and created assessments to demonstrate students’ progress towards mastering those skills. As a school, we had to upgrade our educational technology to support our students on campus and online. And community wellbeing became an important priority. We expedited some of the renovation called for in the Schoolhouse project to create larger classrooms and meeting spaces to promote student health. Thus, the Music Building is almost completed and several small classrooms on the second floor of Schoolhouse have been enlarged by removing walls. The focus on racism in our nation, our communities, and our School, which coincided with the pandemic, hastened our goals to make Foxcroft a more inclusive and equitable place of learning for all students and their families. And strategies for engaging and providing access for our entire community of students, parents, and alumnae — no matter where they are located — were implemented, showing us what is possible for Parents’ Association meetings, Reunion, speakers, and more. The strong position of our School, the expert leadership of our Board and administrators, and the knowledge and commitment of our outstanding faculty meant we never really took our eye off the long-term direction for our School, even as we responded to the crisis of the moment. The work was hard and still is, and we are stronger for it. Our North Star, our students, sit at the center of our priorities, always. This issue of Foxcroft magazine is dedicated to outlining our four strategic priorities and our progress to date. I hope you will enjoy learning about the inspiring vision we have laid out for our future. More importantly, I hope you will think about your role in making this future come to life to ensure that Foxcroft remains strong for generations of girls to come.

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Foxcroft Notebook

Foxcroft Notebook

Stream Monitoring Team “We created a game to teach the families at the festival about stream monitoring. Kids had one minute to scoop and sort bugs from the stream (bins) and then we would count up the number of pollution intolerant, somewhat tolerant, and tolerant bugs to see how healthy their stream was. We got many congratulations at the festival, and the families seemed to really enjoy it! I am really proud of the impact we made with our project and the work we put into it.” – Heidi Dodd ’23 STEAM Teammates: Emma Bartolomucci ’22, Elise Lanahan ’22, Chelsie Ekhelar ’22, and Elisabeth Wicht ’23

Full STEAM Ahead to Complete an EPIC Challenge Back in 2020, Foxcroft’s engineering class partnered with the Goose Creek Association (GCA) to design interactive displays to teach individuals from all age groups about how they can help preserve and protect Goose Creek, which runs through our campus. Our engineering course is designed to implement a curriculum developed by Purdue University known as EPICS, which stands for Engineering Projects in Community Service. Each semester, this class collaboratively designs a solution that solves a particular need in the community. The EPICS students conceptualized educational games that detailed the processes of stream monitoring to test the health of the creek and creating riparian buffers to provide plantings that catch runoff pollutants along the creek’s edge. Unfortunately, these student engineers did not get to see their visions realized, as the pandemic shut down their design progress just shy of the fabrication stage.

EPICS Teammates: Betsy Altenburger ’21, Agláe Hunter ’20, Marina Vanoff ’20, Emily Zhi ’21, Hako Iino ’21, and Joy Wu ’20

Riparian Buffers Team “I was able to show my artistic interest in this project as well as learn new technologies that can be used to help demonstrate an important cause. It was very rewarding at the end when we got to go to the festival and put our hands-on diagram game into play. Little kids were learning the importance of the ecosystem and adults wanted to know more about the educational outreach aspect of our project.” – Alexa Cuozzo ’23 STEAM Teammates: Marlow Buckner ’22, Eva Bret Cozby ’24, Cassie Campbell ’22, and Maeve Magner ’22 EPICS Teammates: Liliana Gallegos ’21 and Tess O’Neill ’21


Those designs were finally realized by students enrolled this fall in the course "Topics in STEAM" (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and the games were shared in September when the GCA hosted their Fall Festival at the Aldie Mill in Aldie, VA. After having to postpone the event for a full year due to the pandemic, the GCA safely celebrated the 50th anniversary of Goose Creek being designated as a Virginia Scenic River. The STEAM students picked up where the EPICS class left off, bringing their instructional games to fruition. With only two and a half weeks to prepare ahead of the festival, they benefited tremendously from the forethought and planning of their graduated predecessors. The STEAM class also enjoyed the benefits of seeing the games successfully put into action at the Festival. One member from each team reflects here on the experience.

1. STEAM students Maeve Magner ’22, Eva Bret Cozby ’24, Marlow Buckner ’22, STEAM teacher and Fine Arts Department Chair Julie Fisher, Chelsie Ekhelar ’22, and Elisabeth Wicht ’23 at the Goose Creek Association Family Festival in September, where they shared the games created by the EPICS and STEAM classes.

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Now on Board Foxcroft welcomed three experienced and enthusiastic volunteers to the Foxcroft Board of Tr ustees. LESTER LEVY P ’23 (2) is the Co-CEO of NCH Corporation, a global leader in industrial, commercial, and institutional maintenance products and services, and one of the largest companies in the world to sell such products through direct marketing. A graduate in economics from the University of San Diego, he earned his M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. An active member of the Foxcroft community since 2019, Lester most recently served on the School’s Reopening Task Force. JEANETTE (JONES) MOORE ’88 (3) is the Chief Financial and Operations Officer at LickWilmerding High School in San Francisco, CA. Prior to working with independent schools, she was an Executive Director in Investment Banking at JPMorgan. A graduate of both Vanderbilt University (B.S.) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (M.B.A.), Jeanette has remained active in the Foxcroft community by attending multiple Reunions and various events over the years since her graduation. KASSINDA USHER ’93 (4) is the Operations Purchasing Manager for SMP Automotive Global, a leading expert in high-quality interior and exterior modules for the automotive industry. No stranger to the automotive industry, Kassinda has worked in purchasing for Grupo Antolin, Magna International, and Benteler, among others. A leader in the Foxcroft community, Kassinda has served on the Alumnae Council and is currently co-chair of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. She earned both her B.S. and M.B.A. from Wayne State University.

4 Thank you! The School also extends a heartfelt thank you to those leaving the Board: KARLA EVANS P ’06, ’14, Vice Chair, and DAVID MACDONALD P ’12, ’14, ’19, Chair of the Investment Committee, as well as CAROL DER GARRY ’79, SUSAN WILFORD P ’12, and LAUREN EDGERTON ’04. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated and will impact our students and School for years to come.

A Thousand Words Lollipops and Photo-ops In early October, the campus community celebrated 107 years since the founding of Foxcroft with sweets, lollipops, and photo-ops with Miss Charlotte! A fairly new celebration, Founding Day was created to honor our fearless founder Charlotte Haxall Noland and her exceptional School, while encouraging the generations of alumnae who have lived and learned on this campus to support The Foxcroft Circle to ensure the School continues for generations to come. 5. Students enjoy sweet treats and take pictures with Miss Charlotte in celebration of the School’s founding in 1914.

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Funded by an anonymous donor and providing up to $1,500 to each recipient, Foxcroft’s Inspired Learning Summer Grant program was created to help students explore entrepreneurship, academic research, or other passions outside of the classroom.


Available to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, recipients work with a faculty advisor and alumna, parent, or professional mentor, ultimately presenting their project to the Foxcroft community.

Artistic Journey | NIA DOWLING ’22 (6) Nia has enjoyed jewelry-making as a hobby and wanted to broaden her knowledge of


efficient jewelry-making techniques. Her goal is to create jewelry that has a personal connection and reflects topics of deep meaning to her. Though her quest to turn a hobby into a business is still in its early stages — as she learns to put together a budget and business plan — Nia did open an online shop on Etsy over the summer and has begun selling some of her pieces.

Best Film Editor | MARLOW BUCKNER ’22 (7) You may know Marlow from Good Day Foxcroft, which she founded here at the School. She used her Inspired Learning grant to attend the Summer Film Intensive program at American University, where she won the Best Editor award! Marlow has nurtured her passion for film at Foxcroft through her Fine Arts concentration and hopes that the Summer Film Intensive will position her well for a film focus in college and affirm that this is the direction she wants to take in life.

Lucky Belts | LEXI HILL ’23 (8) As part of her Global Studies concentration project, Lexi has worked over the past


year to set up a business featuring belts that she makes out of elastic, fabric, and upcycled ties. She has named her company Lucky Belts, combining her neuromarketing research with a bit of personal superstition in the hope of associating luck and a positive identity with her belts. In addition, she has received a business license/seller permit, planned a budget, and built a website ( She has also created social media accounts to advertise her business and, as of October 6, Lucky Belts can be found in the School Store! Lexi’s grant was used to offset her startup expenses.

History Boxes | MAEVE MAGNER ’22 (9) Wanting to find a deeper connection to history, Maeve used her Inspired Learning grant to purchase the tools necessary to create the final body of work for her Fine Arts concentration, which will feature handmade boxes showing the progression of historic events, culture, traditions, and inventions for each decade of the 1900s. Stretching her artistic and engineering skills, she has made three out of a projected ten boxes so far. For her first box, the one that inspired the whole project, she created a 1940s record player. Other completed projects include a working electric guitar for the 1960s and a functioning clock that represents the 1920s.

9 6. Nia shares her hand-made jewelry journey during Morning Meeting. 7. Marlow (far right) hones her directing skills during Video Production class at Foxcroft. 8. Lexi’s Lucky Belts are now available in the School Store! 9. Maeve will offer an interactive display of her creations during Art Week in the spring.

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Foxcroft Notebook

Inspired Learning Beyond the Classroom

After 42 Years, Foxcroft Bids Happy Retirement To Mary Washington Mary Washington, housekeeper and friendly face to generations of Foxcroft girls, retired at the end of August after 42 years with the School. Her welcoming smile and genuine warmth have been daily reminders of how lucky we are that she chose to be with the School for so long. From Reynolds Dorm to the Health Center, we will miss hearing Mary's cheerful and sincere "Good morning, how are you today?" Head of School Cathy McGehee was able to surprise Mary with a special memory box filled with notes of reflection, memories, and retirement wishes from students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and friends. Many thanks to all who sent in well wishes to Mary for a happy retirement!

Exceptional Talent = Exceptional Proficiency


10. Meredith (second from right) shares racing stories with her classmates.

Developing an exceptional talent takes concentrated focus, discipline, and time — lots and lots of time. Foxcroft’s Exceptional Proficiency (EP) program enables a student with demonstrated talent and passion to spend time away from school to train, compete, and pursue her dream, while receiving the academic support to fulfill our high educational standards.

A Legend in the Making In October, Legend race car driver MEREDITH KEPLEY ’23 shared her passion for racing with the Foxcroft community. This was a unique glimpse into her world and the offcampus opportunities she pursues as part of the EP program. On their way to compete in the Legends Nationals races at Dominion Raceway in Fredericksburg, Meredith, her family, coach, and race crew stopped at Foxcroft to talk with the community about how she got into racing and give a brief

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Academic Honors

International Gold

National Merit Scholars

Senior VIRGINIA BONNIE represented the United States in September at the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth Final in Kronenberg, Netherlands, as part of the prestigious U.S. Junior Jumping Team. Competing against 12 of the top countries/teams in the world and offering a stellar individual performance, Virginia and her teammates earned top honors to bring home team gold from the event!

Seniors ERICA JOHNSON and CAROLINE MCLAUGHLAN were recently recognized as National Merit Commended Scholars. Approximately 34,000 of the 1.74 million students who took the 2020 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test were designated as Commended Students.

No stranger to elite competition, Virginia competed and won gold in the Junior Nations Cup at Palm Beach Masters in February 2020.

AP Scholars A group of 24 Foxcroft girls earned 2021 AP Scholar Awards from the College Board for outstanding achievement on Advanced Placement Exams taken last spring. In all, nine current seniors and 15 members of the Class of 2021 earned AP Scholar designations. This is the 18th consecutive year that the number of AP Scholars at Foxcroft has reached double-digits, a testament to the academic excellence fostered at the School.

12 11 11. (Top) Virginia and her horse Efodea enjoy their win. (Bottom) Virginia (far right) and teammates celebrate Gold!


12. (Clockwise) Seniors Claire Ai, Xinyi Shen, Virginia Bonnie, Emma Carmichael, Ella SiebentrittClark, Cecilia Mould, Caroline McLaughlan, Erica Johnson, and Amelia Fortsch earned 2021 AP Scholar Awards. 13. Seniors Erica Johnson and Caroline McLaughlan were recognized as National Merit Scholars.

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Foxcroft Notebook

demonstration of her driving skills (at a very low and safe speed) around the loop outside the Athletic/Student Center. Following her talk and demo, Meredith and her coach Kendall Sellers offered a short Master Class on the engineering and dynamics of Legend cars and racing.

Fabulous Faculty Feats 2021 Kenan Grant Recipients Endowed in 1979 by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to support professional development, Foxcroft was the first girls’ school to award “Kenan Grants” to faculty for summer research, scholarship, and creativity that will enhance teaching and learning at the School.

STEM teacher and Animal Science Concentration Coordinator KATIE HERGENREDER worked with faculty and student leaders to coordinate internships and mission-aligned Wintermission classes, prioritizing experiential learning, placebased learning, and student leadership.

DR. ANNE MUELLER, World Languages Department Chair and French teacher, worked to bolster the advisory program by reassessing our description of advisory in both the Student and Parent Handbook and Faculty Handbook, creating month-by-month programming for advisors to help them foresee the ebbs and flows of the work, and instructing faculty on community building techniques to use in their advisories as part of ongoing efforts to support the incorporation of Restorative Practices in advising.

Advanced Degrees and Certifications In addition to her Kenan Grant work, Katie Hergenreder received an M.Ed. in Independent School Leadership from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Director of Student Services Erin Abbott received Specialist Certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the American School Counselor Association. Kristine Varney, Director of STEM Education, and Whittney Preston, Dean of Inclusive Excellence, continued work toward their respective doctoral degrees.

Institutes, Conferences, and Workshops Multiple staff and faculty members attended various institutes, conferences, and workshops to enhance their skills and understanding of a variety of topics, from strengthening departmental curriculum and pedagogy to supporting the School’s efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Following is a sample of events, workshops, or courses attended: • International Institute for Restorative Practices: Restorative Practices for Educators • Dignity for All Students Act Training Workshop offered by Teachers College, Columbia University • PBS Learning Series: Tools for Anti-Racist Teaching

English teacher DR. LINDSAY O’CONNOR worked on the alignment of research and inquiry with the Research and Information Fluency pillars by gathering information about these practices at Foxcroft and working with the library to better plan for English teaching and assessment. She’ll then share her work with the community, offering a model of collaboration to move us toward shared definitions of research and inquiry and shared ways of teaching these skills.

• National Museum of Women in the Arts Educator Workshop • Geoconvergence Workshop, American Geographical Society • National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS) Virtual Conference 2021 • Belfer Conference for Educators (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum) • National Consortium for Teaching About Asia: Reading Contemporary Beijing Lives • AP Computer Science A Summer Institute

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Foxcroft Notebook

Moriah Friendly Selected to Loudoun County All-District Chorus Sophomore Moriah Friendly recently auditioned and was accepted into the Loudoun County AllDistrict Chorus allwomen’s choir. She will be performing in the All-District concert on February 12, and is also eligible to audition for the All-Virginia Chorus, which will hold performances in Richmond on April 21-22. “Moriah goes above and beyond each time she steps foot into my classroom,” praised Morgan Myers, Foxcroft Voice Instructor/Music Coordinator. “She always has a positive attitude and works hard to overcome new challenges, which is made evident through her acceptance into the All-District Choir. I am very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to watching her grow as a musician through this experience.”

(Back l-r) Cecilia Mould ’22, Subira Kibali ’25, Lilia Sharp ’22, Sage Wolf ’23, Lexi Hill ’23. (Front l-r) Meredith Kepley ’23, Gigi Lloyd ’25, Emmy Queen ’24, AM Clarke ’25, and Fania Mommsen ’23.

IEA Team and Two Individual Riders Qualify for Regionals The Foxcroft IEA team qualified for Zone 3, Region 3 Finals this past December. In addition, senior Lilia Sharp qualified in both the Open Equitation over fences and the Open Equitation on the flat, while junior captain Lexi Hill qualified in the Intermediate Equitation on the flat. The Finals are scheduled for February 26-27 at Meadowbrook Stables in Chevy Chase, MD. Good luck girls!

Vassiliki Margas Receives All-State Tennis Honor Varsity Tennis player Vassiliki Margas ’23 was selected to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division I All-State Tennis Second Team in a superb finish to a memorable season. Posting a perfect 9-0 singles season as part of her phenomenal 16-2 record in both singles and doubles this year, Vassiliki also received Greater Piedmont Athletic Conference (GPAC) Player of the Year honors. Athletic Director Michelle Woodruff offered these words of praise: “Vassiliki was new to Foxcroft this fall but quickly made an impact on the tennis team. Undefeated in singles in the regular season, she was named GPAC Player of the Year and the team's Most Valuable Player. Not only is her tennis game impressive, but she has a wonderful sense of teamwork, sportsmanship, and dedication to her sport.”

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y a d o t g n Planni for Foxcroft’s Tomorrows

By Lisa Bard Knowles ’78, Foxcroft Trustee


t continues to be a privilege to serve on the Foxcroft Board of Trustees. I enjoy working with an extremely talented, dedicated, and diverse group of people who are deeply invested in the success of this special school. One of our key responsibilities as a Board is to regularly review our progress and update our Strategic Plan, which helps us define our long-range goals as a school and make decisions on allocating resources to pursue these goals.

After the successful completion of most of the initiatives in the 2016 Strategic Plan, the Board determined it was time to update our plan. In the summer of 2019, I was asked to chair the Strategic Planning Task Force. This was important work to help ensure that Foxcroft continues to evolve and thrive in the decades to come. To make sure we were thinking about the task holistically and had the right process in place, the School hired an outside consultant, Katherine Whitney of Warren Whitney Management, to help guide the work.

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The first step was to form a task force where important perspectives were represented. The team consisted of Head of School Cathy McGehee, administrators, two faculty members, four Trustees, and two current parents. Ms. Whitney worked closely with the task force to set up a timeline within which to get the job done. She held focus groups with all faculty members, the Board of Trustees, parents during Family Weekend, and students over multiple campus visits. Online surveys were sent to alumnae, parents, students, and employees to gain insight from all constituencies. Through all of this work, the task force learned valuable information that helped create the new strategic priorities for Foxcroft. Some of the more notable learnings were that diversity, equity, and inclusion were a top priority among all constituent groups, and that environmental sustainability and social responsibility were top priorities for students.



Inspire students to learn and lead in college and beyond through innovative and adaptive teaching. • Ensure a rigorous, flexible, and forward-thinking academic program rooted in how girls learn best. • Utilize technology that supports the best pedagogical practices for girls. • Support faculty in embracing dynamic teaching strategies, outlined in Foxcroft’s Portrait of an Educator, which helps each student explore her unique voice.



Celebrate and strengthen our diverse and global community in which graduates recognize their TGURQPUKDKNKV[ VQ QVJGTU JCXG EQPƂFGPEG CPF courage to take action, and effect positive change in the world. • Grow a diverse Foxcroft community and deploy resources to support it. • Recognize, enlist, and leverage the talents and resources of Foxcroft’s constituents and the local community. • Proudly share our unique and diverse Foxcroft stories.



Strengthen our active, healthy, and sustainable learning and living environment to help graduates become socially responsible citizens for a strong future. • Enhance Foxcroft’s facilities to foster the skills, knowledge, and leadership capabilities of our students. • Prioritize environmental stewardship by utilizing our campus more intentionally.



2TKQTKVK\G TGUQWTEGU OCKPVCKP ƃGZKDKNKV[ CPF FGXGNQR KPPQXCVKXG KFGCU VJCV YKNN CNNQY (QZETQHV VQ NGCF D[ GZCORNG HWNƂNN KVU OKUUKQP CPF VJTKXG • Attract resources to accomplish our vision. • Align budget to the School’s strategic priorities. • Ensure Foxcroft’s bright future by developing and implementing a robust succession plan for key leadership.

Meet some new faces Hometown: My father was in the Air Force, so we moved often. Education: B.A in Sociology and B.A. in Women's Studies focusing on Advocacy, Salem College

Krystyna Martin Associate Director of Admission for Access and Inclusion

Greatest hope for students: That every student is able to be their authentic self and experience a strong sense of belonging. What excites me about the future of Foxcroft: The growth and diversification of our student body;

I feel extremely honored to be a part of Foxcroft's future in this way. Special skill I share with students: It’s been nice to share my insights as a former college admissions counselor when helping students with their college essays! Surprising job I’ve had: Cheesemonger with Murray’s Cheese Favorite Book: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

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Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

The updated plan has four strategic priorities, each with two or three goals. Those priorities and goals are:

Mastery Over Memorization: Foxcroft's

Portrait of a Graduate

By Steven McCarty, English Department Chair


he world has changed significantly in the time since teachers were on the other side of the educator-student relationship, so we need to be careful about teaching in the same manner that we were taught. I grew up in Generation X — the generation of “Star Wars” and Nintendo — so computers and the internet did not factor much into my high school education. I remember that my first experience with a computer — other than a Nintendo — was playing “Oregon Trail” in middle school. School seemed more spartan then — no phones to distract and no doom scrolling or shopping while the teacher was talking.

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The school of the 20th century centered on the transference of knowledge: Who was the eighth president? (Martin van Buren) What is the capital of Illinois? (Chicago! No, wait, Springfield!) A student had to know these facts unless they wanted to trudge into the library and flip the gilded pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica to look them up. Learning was simpler then. It was also slower. And to be honest, it was kind of a hassle, as any person who has searched through a newspaper on microfiche instead of Google will tell you.

Now enter today’s learners. I currently have students who were born after the first iPhone and have the capacity to research in minutes what used to take days to find. The set-up almost seems like a movie plot: What if you could obtain any information in the world with the swipe of a finger? What could a person do with such power? For today’s students, that question is not rhetorical. Today’s students are not neat little vats to be topped off with information, sealed, and shipped out the door. So what does a teacher do with such a student? Nothing. You make the student "do".

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

This isn’t Yoda wisdom. Give them a skill that they need to demonstrate. For modern education, it is simultaneously revolutionary and old-fashioned. It was in this spirit that the Foxcroft adult community created the Portrait of a Graduate and the Portrait of an Educator. The process for each document began in December 2018, right at the same time that many faculty members were exploring standards-based learning and after several had attended Mastery Transcript Consortium conferences. The Portrait of a Graduate sets out what we hope that a Foxcroft graduate will be, or more to the point, what they will be able to “do” at the end of their Foxcroft career. I like to think of it as the value proposition that the Foxcroft faculty pledges to students and parents. The Portrait of a Graduate is organized into the “pillars” of intellect, voice, and character, and under each are the attributes and skills that we want every graduate to have. The “Intellect” pillar requires students to actively participate in their learning journey, to employ scientific and quantitative reasoning, and to express themselves persuasively and creatively. The “Voice” pillar recognizes the need to leave graduates with a self-care “toolbox,” such as

accessing resources for their lifelong voices to affect positive change in

is two-fold: to state who the Foxcroft faculty aspire to be as educators and to explain our values to potential and new

the world. The portrait’s final pillar

Continued on page 14.

health and wellness and using their

commits graduates to the School values of kindness, respect, integrity, and service. Creating such a dynamic graduate requires equally dynamic teaching faculty, which is where the Portrait of an Educator comes in. Its purpose

Meet some new faces Hometown: Westerly, RI Education: B.S. in Biology, The University of Tampa; M.S. and Ph.D. in Oceanography, University of Rhode Island

Lindsay Anderson STEM Teacher, Chemistry and Environmental Science

Greatest hope for my students: That they will find joy in science. What excites me about the future of Foxcroft: The new capital campaign, which includes the addition of a STEM/STEAM wing to Schoolhouse.

(Above) Seniors Catherine Jin, Honor Council Chair; Lilly Robinson, Head Prefect; Marlow Buckner, Student Vice Head of School; and Natalie Chiao, Student Head of School embody the School's Portrait of a Graduate pillars of intellect, voice, and character as they administer their student Executive Council duties.

Special skill I share with students: Having taught biology, physics, and chemistry, I think I provide a global view of chemistry by building connections to previous content. Free-Time Fun: Spend time with my family, preferably in nature. Secret Talents: Amature sailor, potter, and tennis player.

Fall/Winter 2021 13

Continued from page 13

On To

college After Foxcroft, students have great options for college — and the skills and confidence to succeed there!

hires. The Portrait of an Educator asks that a faculty member responds to the diverse needs of students, models growth mindset through reflection and adaptation, and implements innovative teaching strategies to engage all learners. Each department at Foxcroft is now in the process of finishing “portraits” for each academic discipline, which will then inform the way that our departments and teachers shape their curriculum. For example: What does an “English graduate” look like from Foxcroft? In broad strokes, students will be able to compose a compelling narrative in stylish prose and perform in-depth research in the process of persuading a particular audience. That sounds simple, but there are many

The Class of 2021

layers involved. The Portrait of an English Graduate lays out the road map to get there. The departmental portraits will



students in the class

acceptances received



accepted at a "Five First-Choice College"

colleges & universities offered acceptances

also help faculty to find synergy points where we can create robust interdisciplinary learning opportunities. The end-game for this process is to have a tightly aligned curriculum with skill sets deliberately introduced within a department and between departments. This is not to say that these skills were not being taught before, but now we have a clearly stated goal of what a student should accomplish in their time at Foxcroft. This new curriculum performs double duty in that it satisfies a requirement for the School’s accreditation with VAIS.

2021 Merit Scholars

The collecting of facts and formulas occupies a low-rent place in the brain; that is why “remember” and “understand” form the broad base of Benjamin Bloom’s “Taxonomy of



individual scholarships offered

total dollars offered to the Class

Educational Objectives”. The tasks of evaluation and creation — the end goals of a skills-based curriculum — sit atop Bloom’s pyramid. Yes, remembering literary terms such as “anaphora” and “synecdoche” can be challenging for students,



of the Class of 2021 offered merit money

colleges & universities offered scholarships

but creating their own poems that use the tools of a poet is a much more complex cognitive task. A skills-based curriculum can be exhausting at times for a student, but the payoff is worth it. To return to my Yoda allusion, Luke Skywalker had to invest a lot of sweat equity into becoming a Jedi knight. Our students will have to work to become masters of their skill areas. And masters they will be.

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OUR M IS S ION To help every girl explore her unique voice and to develop the skills, confidence, and courage to share it with the world.

A Foxcroft graduate is ready to







· Recognizes her role and responsibility as a global citizen and works to effect positive change in her community and the world. · Stewards the environment for a sustainable future. · Effectively collaborates to achieve shared goals. · Advocates for her needs academically, professionally, and personally. · Develops life-long practices that support a healthy mind in a healthy body.

· Engages in and is curious about the world around her.

· Acts with integrity and responsibility andˇ values these traits in others.

· Seeks out academic challenges and creates her own learning opportunities.

· Treats all with respect, kindnessʢ and anˇ understanding heart.

· Pursues knowledge and skills to better herself and her community.

· Acts with courage to do what is right.

· Thinks critically, tackles complex problems with empathy, and uses logic and evidence to support her claims.

· Dedicates herself to serving others.

· Utilizes scientific and quantitative reasoning skills. · Adopts ethical academic practices, evaluates sources, and properly credits information. · Expresses herself persuasively and creatively for a variety of purposes, using various modes: written, spoken, and visual.


Lifetime Friendships and Connections



· Desires to learn from differences. · Exhibits persistence and resilience andˇ adapts to changes and new situations.

An Excellent Start for the New Dean of

inclusive excellence By Kristine Varney, Director of STEM Education and Catherine Jin '22, Chair of Honor Council

Meet Ms. Preston The mission of Foxcroft is to ensure that every girl explores her unique voice, and my mission as the Dean of Inclusive Excellence is to ensure that those voices are heard and represented throughout the School. I'm here to help and serve any member of the Foxcroft community in any way that I can. 16 Foxcroft Magazine

Name: Whittney Preston Job Title: Dean of Inclusive Excellence Fox or Hound: Fox Pet: Dog named Milo Residence: Spur and Spoon Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

Education: Bachelor’s in Spanish from University of Oklahoma, Master’s in Educational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University, currently working on Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Southern Nazarene University Favorite Dining Hall Meal: Macaroni and cheese Fun Fact: I'm a cellist. I played for a long time when I was in school. I started playing in fourth grade.

Ms. Preston comes to Foxcroft with a wealth of teaching and leadership experience, and her first few months have already been impactful for the community. We wanted to learn a bit more about this new role and get to know her on a more personal level. KV: You are in a new role for Foxcroft. Can you tell us what exactly a Dean of Inclusive Excellence is? WP: A Dean of Inclusive Excellence is someone that works with every member of the School — students, faculty, staff, and parents — to make sure that they are fully represented throughout the foundation of our School. So what does that look like? With our students, it’s making sure that they see themselves represented in the make-up of the faculty and the curriculum. That's why I work with the faculty, taking the

phenomenal curriculum that they've created and ensuring that it provides a variety of perspectives for people to see themselves in and to get a more well-rounded view of the world. For our administration and our operations staff, it means ensuring that they have a voice in decisions that impact them. I work with Admissions — our outwardfacing Foxcroft champions — and the messaging that they're using to ensure that people who are not a part of our community know that we represent many voices and people from all walks of life. CJ: Your role also connects to students. How will the Dean of Inclusive Excellence work with students, and how do you believe you will make an impact with students? WP: Part of that inclusive role is talking about DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) work. I hope that building relationships with students will help them to understand that I'm a resource, someone that they can come to if they have an issue, or when they feel as though they're not being included in some aspect of the School, and know

Meet some new faces Hometown: Huntingtown, MD Education: Ph.D. in Mathematics, University of South Carolina; B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science, Coker University.

James Sweeney STEM Teacher, Physics and Mathematics

Greatest hope for my students: To instill a love and appreciation for mathematics, also that they continue to develop as mathematicians and thinkers.

that I'm going to do something about it because inclusion is action. That's something that I'm very passionate about. For example, I've had some students meet with me recently and we're going to be putting together some Courageous Conversations with the Foxcroft community. Any programming I do that is specifically diversity-related, I want it to come from the students and to be impactful and meaningful to them. KV: Tell us a bit about some of the skills and experiences that you're bringing to your role here. WP: I've been working in independent schools for nine or ten years. My first little taste of diversity was when I taught Spanish because it was more than just teaching the language. I was introducing students to a culture and world outside of those they knew. About two years later, I began doing diversity work at Heritage Hall High School and started their diversity club. Continued on page 18.

What excites me about the future of Foxcroft: The growth of the School and how we will continue to use our beautiful campus. Special skill I share with students: I love to bake and many of my students have taste-tested my recipes, including my wedding cake. Strangest thing I’ve eaten: Umeboshi, a salted Japanese plum that is supposed to be very sour. It’s actually extremely salty and I couldn't finish it. I’m still searching for the perfect sour food.

Fall/Winter 2021 17

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

Honor Council Chair Catherine Jin ’22 (CJ) and Director of STEM Education Kristine Varney (KV) recently sat down with Foxcroft’s new Dean of Inclusive Excellence Whittney Preston (WP). Following is their conversation, edited for space.

Meet Our

Continued from page 17


This year Foxcroft has welcomed 159 students to campus!

Our girls hail from 17 states (CA, CO, FL, IL, KY, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NM, NY, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV) and Washington, DC, as well as nine countries (Azerbaijan, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States)!

new kids

on the block

We have 64 New Girls, representing every grade — including post-graduate. Among them, Foxcroft welcomed: • 15 ITs and Legacies

• Numerous artists, actresses, and musicians

• Poets, gamers, animallovers, muscle-car enthusiasts, deep-thinkers, and world travelers, too!

• Top scholar-athletes in basketball, riding, soccer, volleyball, dance, and more






Asian students

BIPOC students

Hispanic students

2 or more races

Other students

Strengthening the School's commitment to diversity and inclusion, 36% of our new students identify themselves as students of color, including:

It has been so wonderful getting to know our new students and getting reacquainted with our returning ones, and watching them get to know each other. 18 Foxcroft Magazine

Then I became the Associate Director of Diversity across the whole school, creating initiatives that are still going strong today. I'm currently working on my doctorate in educational leadership. My dissertation is focused on diversity in independent schools and how that can impact the teaching experience. KV: What are some of the things you've done in your first few months at Foxcroft? WP: One of the things that I've done is get a big taste of student life, stepping in for Ms. Young and Mrs. Ross while they were out having some precious little bundles of joy. I was happy that I accomplished getting to see what residential life and student life look like at Foxcroft. Another thing that I set out to do was to meet one-on-one with all of our faculty and staff to get a better sense of their experience at Foxcroft and how I can support them, and I'm happy to say that I've almost gotten through that whole list! Not just faculty, but the Business Office, the Campus Safety team, and the Operations staff. I also got to lead the student leadership retreat, which was a highlight because getting to be around students for a long period of time was great for me. KV: A big part of your role is serving as a Dean of Faculty. How do you believe you will make an impact with the faculty? WP: By providing them support. I feel as though oftentimes in schools, the teaching faculty gets kind of overlooked. We, of course, are all here to support the students. But I believe as an administrator, it's my job to support the people that are directly impacting the students. I'm looking forward to supporting them more as I step away from student life and step more into that role. KV: So as we said, you're in a new role for Foxcroft. How do you see that role evolving? WP: I see it being a sustainable pillar for our faculty, specifically, that they consistently have someone to go to and support them with anything they need involving the classroom. Right now, I work a lot with [Associate Director of Admission for Access and Inclusion] Krystyna Martin and we're kind of a dynamic duo. I foresee that potentially expanding to a whole DEI team.

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

CJ: What is your favorite thing about Foxcroft so far? WP: My favorite thing about Foxcroft is the community. From the moment I moved on campus, my “First Friend” [an assigned “point person” for each new faculty and staff member to help welcome them to campus] was there helping me move things off of the truck, and there's always someone asking me "Are you okay? Can I help you with something?" I also see that with the students. You all are so quick to want to help someone or make people feel welcome. That just let me know it's rooted in the culture here, and that's something I truly enjoy. CJ: What is something you have discovered only at Foxcroft? WP: Fox/Hound — not just the rivalry, but that you do things with it throughout the year, and the alumnae come back and participate. I know it's sometimes difficult to get alumnae to come back to a school and participate in things. That's something Foxcroft does really well and that I haven't seen before. CJ: It's part of your identity. WP: It is, it is! That's the first question I get asked — are you a Fox or a Hound? Well, I'm a Fox, are we still friends?

KV: Looking forward, what are you most excited about in the year ahead? WP: I'm excited to continue getting to know the students and the faculty, to build relationships, and to appreciate the things that come from those relationships. With those relationships comes trust, and students and faculty are learning to trust that I will be able to deliver on things that they may need or things that they may ask for.

Meet some new faces Hometown: Saigon, Vietnam Education: B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Miami

Thanh Chau (Jade) Do STEM teacher, Mathematics and Computer Science

Greatest hope for my students: That our Foxcroft girls will become graceful women of courage and confidence as they discover new abilities, cultivate strengths, learn from mistakes, develop empathy, and exercise resilience in meeting challenges.

What excites me about the future of Foxcroft: Foxcroft educators' creativity in designing new curriculums and their innovative approaches to teaching. Special skill I share with students: I share my experience in computer science programming and mathematics and hope that these skills may be valuable on their path to success! Best advice I’ve heard: Talk does not cook rice. (Fun Asian proverb!!)

Fall/Winter 2021 19

The time is now to

Build for Our Future A sneak peek at the plans to renovate Schoolhouse and the Music Building and to construct a Performing Arts Center and STEAM Wing. By Marion L. Couzens, Director of Institutional Advancement


pen the door of the World Cultures class on the first floor of Schoolhouse and you will see girls gathered in a circle working collaboratively as they problem-solve a recent assignment. Walk down the black and white floor past the portrait of our School’s founder, Miss Charlotte, and into FoxHound Auditorium where the notes of a piano concerto greet you and invite you to listen in the open room hung with green velvet curtains and adorned with boards where sermons and hymn numbers were posted in yesteryear. Today, a music lesson occupies this well-loved space. Tomorrow, a dramatic reading or lines from the upcoming play may ring out from its wooden stage. Climb the stairway to the second floor and run your hands over the carved boards with the names of every graduate since the

20 Foxcroft Magazine

School’s founding in 1914. Descend the well-worn stairs, where the middle of the tread dips from the footsteps of previous generations, and stroll along the cream concrete corridors where brightly colored artwork depicting a dog’s nervous system or a seahorse’s internal anatomy is painted on the walls. This is Schoolhouse, Foxcroft’s hub of learning. This is where academic challenges and learning opportunities meet creativity and exploration. This is where young minds are stretched and skills are developed that empower each student to reach her personal best. It is within these walls that young leaders develop the confidence and courage to impact their future and the world. It is where we live out our mission and our promises. For seven decades, Schoolhouse has stood in the center of campus as the heart of learning at Foxcroft. Even as

research and technology have advanced and the context for learning has changed over time, with the exception of a few minor renovations, Schoolhouse has remained much the same as when it was built in 1951. Through the incredible support of generous donors over the last decade, we have constructed or renovated almost every other building on campus as was called for in the 2003 Campus Master Plan. Now, as directed by the Board and the updated 2016 Campus Master Plan, it is time to address the building at the core of

3 1

4 1 Existing Schoolhouse 2 Performing Arts Center 3 STEAM Wing 4 Music Building

resources, technology, and physical spaces to better reflect our pedagogy of holistic learning as well as the latest tools so that our teachers can continue to deliver a transformative education to our students. Essentially, this initiative will enhance the Foxcroft experience by creating both learning and community environments that better reflect our adaptive, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and hands-on programming. It will create flexible spaces that will support teaching and learning for today and in the future, and it will enable us to continue to attract qualified students and talented faculty and give them the resources they need to excel.

our mission. Now it is time to turn our attention and philanthropic resources to Schoolhouse and its adjacent buildings. Foxcroft is a leader in innovative educational programming for girls. The Building for Our Future campaign,

also affectionately referred to as the Schoolhouse project, includes the renovation of our academic building and the Music Building and calls for the construction of a Performing Arts Center and STEAM Wing, and will address future needs by providing the

The first phase of the four-phase Schoolhouse project is already underway with the renovation of the Music Building that began in April 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for larger, flexible spaces became apparent as we sought to be in-person during the 20202021 academic year. Continued on page 22.

Fall/Winter 2021 21

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows


To find out more about this project, share your thoughts and Schoolhouse stories, or make a gift in support of the Music Building, please email or call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 540.687.4510. Scan this QR code to hear some beautiful performances from within the newly renovated space and for more information on the Music Building project.

Continued from page 21.

To meet this need and with initial gifts received in support of this project, work on the Music Building was accelerated to create more adaptable community spaces for classes and to accommodate larger groups of students. The Schoolhouse Project will breathe new life into spaces that are fundamental to the fulfillment of our

mission and values. It will allow us to continue to graduate well-rounded, highly educated members of a global community with the skills necessary to fill leadership roles, address realworld problems, and make a positive impact on the world now and in the future. It will ensure that the spirit of the shared memories of every Foxcroft alumnae, whose voices filled those halls and classrooms as they went

Meet some new faces Hometown: Rogersville, TN Education: B.M., Middle Tennessee State University; M.M. and D.M.A. in Voice Performance, Shenandoah Conservatory

Morgan Myers Voice Instructor and Music Coordinator

22 Foxcroft Magazine

Greatest hope for students: That they grow as musicians and performers, apply the skills they develop through lessons and ensemble participation to whatever paths they take in their futures.

about their academic day, will continue for generations to come. It will secure Foxcroft as a leader in educating girls. Stay tuned for further information on this project and how you can participate in making this vision become a reality. It will take all of us, working as a community, to bring this much-needed renovation and construction to fruition.

What excites me about the future of Foxcroft: Our students' willingness to explore, jump into new opportunities, and continuously adapt. With this approach, the possibilities for them and the growth of Foxcroft are limitless. Special skill I share with students: That I have been in their shoes and there are many advantages to creating and sharing through musical expression. I would love to be famous for: Opera

Community Connected By Bethany Stotler, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

Keeping Our

Norko (in green) poses with Foxcroft’s tech team (l-r): Judy Gamboa, Merrilyn Saint, Alex Northrup, and Paul Mawyer.


hat’s the one thing that connects all of our strategic priorities? Technology, quite literally! That is why Director of Technology Matt Norko and his team — Judy Gamboa (IT and A/V Help Desk Support), Paul Mawyer (Data & Systems Support Specialist), Alex Northrup (Director of the Innovation Lab), and Merrilyn Saint (Network Technology Specialist) — are in the process of executing a new technology plan that prioritizes flexibility and sustainability for the entire community.

1. Enhance Technology Use in the Classroom Working collaboratively with teaching faculty and the Academic Office, Norko and his team have a two-fold approach to enhancing the learning experience from a technology standpoint — looking both at a curriculum map for tech skills by graduation and the timeline with which equipment needs to be maintained, a “refresh cycle” if you will.

Aligning with Foxcroft's Portrait of a Graduate (Priority 1), the team is working to “identify the most promising technological tools and support their adoption” by pinpointing what hardware and software students should learn while at Foxcroft, in which classes, and to what extent before walking through Miss Charlotte’s Garden and out into the world. Continued on page 24

Fall/Winter 2021 23

Continued from page 23

2. Connect All of Campus to the Foxcroft Network

3. Provide Flexible Software and Services

Supporting the efforts behind Foxcroft's Beautiful Campus (Priority 2), over 2,500 feet of fiber optic cable were laid this past summer to continue the work of extending the Foxcroft network to the remaining parts of campus. While the inner circle of campus has access to the hard wired internal network, facilities beyond that — the Barn, Spur & Spoon, Sally's Service Center and back gate, and some employee residences, for example — have relied on the wireless third-party network for internet service. While the cable project was just one step in the process, expanding this infrastructure is essential to providing more reliable connectivity across campus — when there are network issues, Norko and his team can troubleshoot more quickly than an offsite third-party provider. Those 2,500 feet of cable have already been put to good use — the back gate and Sally's Service Center are now fully connected to the Foxcroft network!

If there was ever a motto to come out of the last 18 months, “pivot” would be up there as a top contender — and moving Foxcroft’s technology resources towards flexible software and services is exactly what needs to continue in order to maintain adaptability and continuity into the future. Students and employees alike benefit from having the ability to create and consume content remotely, breaking down barriers of the past that restricted those who couldn’t be in the classroom or on campus but don’t want to fall behind in school or work. Beyond Zoom, these include:

24 Foxcroft Magazine

• Loom, a screen capture software where teachers can pre-record and explain lessons; • Flipgrid, an asynchronous video messaging portal; and • Peardeck, a Google add-on that allows faculty to create selfpaced presentations with content/ knowledge checks embedded within.

The pandemic certainly expedited this initiative, though it was a goal before COVID hit. In fact, almost all of these initiatives were underway pre-COVID but were fast-tracked out of necessity during the pandemic. In addition to all of these objectives, improving network security (auditing network settings, for example) and following cybersecurity best practices in general (like streamlining login processes and establishing twofactor authentication for passwordprotected Foxcroft resources) have also become top priorities, given the evolution of the digital landscape in recent years. Considering the depth of these undertakings, it should not come as a surprise that forward progress has also yielded challenges. While plans can be put in place, so much is out of the Tech team’s control. Take, for instance, Mother Nature — which, as Norko reflects, doesn’t always play nice with technology. “We had a thunderstorm

recently, during which some lightning strikes damaged a lot of equipment. That’s challenging because there isn’t necessarily much we can do about it, other than to replace broken equipment. But, in this case, it took out a dorm for three or four days — which is not ideal.” Outside of including maintenance contracts on equipment to defray the cost of replacement, it’s hard to plan for scenarios like this. “You never know when something unplanned is going to happen,” Norko continued. “It can be a simple fix, it can be a complex fix, but those are generally things that affect large numbers of people, which is never a good thing.”

Another set of challenges can arise when looking at the typical life cycle of technology, which often includes software upgrades. While some can be routine, others are significant — and glitches or design flaws often become evident only after a change is made live. “Overall, there are benefits, and the pros outweigh the cons,” observed Norko. “Anytime you have a new anything, however, it definitely can add to people’s frustration.” And don’t forget that, on top of moving these initiatives along, Tech Support is responding to the entire Foxcroft community’s needs, not just those of students and employees but all campus residents.

So how exactly do these initiatives connect back to the Strategic Plan? Truly to each priority, in some way, shape, or form. In addition to specific connections to Priorities 1 and 2 mentioned above, the initiative for more flexible software and services supports reaching more people, far and wide, emphasizing Adaptability (Priority 4) and engaging an Interconnected Community (Priority 3). We hope you’ll witness this for yourself, perhaps via livestream of an on-campus event or by learning about the innovative ideas our School implements in the future. As technologies continue to evolve, Norko and his team will reevaluate and adjust their plans. While these initiatives outline the ideal technology priorities for today’s Foxcroft and current Strategic Plan, those plans will likely look different in the future as the needs of the School and our students change to keep up with the everevolving modern world. •

Meet some new faces Hometown: Philadelphia, PA Education: M.S. Ed., University of Pennsylvania; B.A., Bryn Mawr College

Katherine Tomaskovic

Greatest hope for my students: To gain skills that they feel comfortable applying wherever life takes them.

Director of International Student Support and English teacher

What excites me about the future of Foxcroft: I love to see how the environment at Foxcroft nurtures each student to find their own voice and have the

opportunity to grow into a stronger version of themselves. Special skill I share with students: I'm a linguist; language is complex, beautiful, and everevolving. I share my love and curiosity about how languages work to engage students in critical thinking about our own perspectives and biases on dialects, accents, and language varieties. Surprising job I’ve had: Obituary Writer

Fall/Winter 2021 25

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

A robust and reliable network along with flexible software and services are an absolute necessity to keep our students and School competitive in an ever changing academic landscape.

Preparing for

VAIS Interim Accreditation Visit We are very proud to share how much we have accomplished since 201516 and where we are going in the next five years as we launch exciting strategic priorities.

By Cathy McGehee, Head of School Foxcroft is a proud member in good standing with The Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS), a leader in advancing and advocating for independent schools in Virginia since 1973. Today, VAIS is a service organization comprised of 95 member schools that “promotes educational, ethical and professional excellence.” Membership requires that each school have a clearly articulated mission and guiding principles of education and inclusivity; uphold non-discriminatory policies and practices in admissions,

26 Foxcroft Magazine

employment, and all other aspects of school operation, as provided by law; are incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization; adhere to governance by an independent Board of Trustees; practice academic integrity, “including academic freedom to promote diversity in pedagogy and curriculum without restriction to any single dogma;" and aspire to the Principles of Good Practice of the National Association of Independent Schools. Being a member school provides Foxcroft with many benefits including:

• Professional development offerings that are grounded in best practice and responsive to current and future needs of independent schools • Prominent representation and recognition at the national level • Legislative representation that safeguards independence of member schools • Networking opportunities within a broad range of independent schools

When Foxcroft went through our ten-year accreditation in 201516, Foxcroft chose to do a strategic self-study that coincided with the development of the School’s Strategic Plan. We prepared a self-study report with the help of every employee and informed by feedback from Foxcroft’s entire constituency, which conveyed the School's assessment of its strengths, challenges, opportunities, and plans for Foxcroft’s second century. In March 2022, Foxcroft will welcome a visiting team for our 5-year interim visit (deferred for one year due to the pandemic). We are very proud to share how much we have accomplished since 2015-16 and where we are going in the next five years as we launch exciting strategic priorities.

*The State of Virginia recognizes VAIS as a fully approved accrediting member of The Virginia Council of Private Education, which is authorized to oversee the accreditation of nonpublic schools. In addition, VAIS also is recognized and commended by the International Council Advancing

Foxcroft enjoys a leadership role in VAIS. Since 201819, Head of School Cathy McGehee has served on the Board of Directors for VAIS and currently serves as Secretary of the Board. She is also a member of the Accreditation Committee. Prior to her appointment to the Board, Cathy led the Northwestern VAIS Regional Heads group and she chaired the annual Head’s Conference planning committee. In the past four years, 12 faculty, staff, and administrators have presented at major VAIS conferences, some presenting more than once. Administrators and faculty are asked to serve as members of visiting teams to schools going through the accreditation process; one wrote for a VAIS publication; and one created and taught a VAIS boot camp for new business officers. Dr. Anne Mueller was one of three educators to receive a 2018 VAIS Innovation in Education Award.

Independent School Accreditation and voluntarily and regularly submits to a rigorous and impartial review of its accreditation program.

Fall/Winter 2021 27

Planning Today for Foxcroft's Tomorrows

Most important at this moment for Foxcroft, our membership in VAIS ensures a “rigorous and proven accreditation process.”* The accreditation process occurs every ten years, with an interim visit at the five-year mark, and focuses on the school’s demonstrating adherence to the VAIS Standards for Membership. In addition to the accreditation visit, the school provides all required documentation to demonstrate adherence to legal requirements and membership standards. A visiting team of administrators and faculty from member schools verifies and votes that the school adheres to each standard.

Reunion 2021 Foxcroft’s first-ever Virtual Reunion (April 15-17) was unlike any other! The new format allowed for more than 200 women to virtually celebrate reunions spanning from the 5th to the 65th! The weekend included Reunion cornerstone events such as Career Day, Courageous Conversations, and (Virtual) Cocktails at Covert. And despite their physical distance, alumnae were able to reconnect and share stories with classmates they hadn’t seen in decades.

Reunion 2021 kicked off Thursday evening with the ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION DINNER. Alumnae Council President GINNY ROBBINS ’91 welcomed the Class of 2021 into the Alumnae Association and recognized the newest class representatives, ELSIE ROSE and HAYS TURNER. Former and current Board Chairs, ANNE MICHELE LYONS KUHNS ’87 and KATE HASTINGS ’78, presented the Anne Kane McGuire Distinguished Service Award to REGINA “REGGIE” E. GROVES ’76 (page 30) and 2020 Foxcroft Sports Hall of Fame Inductee CHELSY COIL ’08 shared heartfelt words of gratitude. Just before students and alumnae connected in breakout rooms, Reunion Committee Chair ALDEN DENÈGRE MOYLAN '05 announced long-time Alumnae Council member BARKLEY BOUTELL HENNING ’73 as the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award (page 29). Even from the comfort of a computer screen, the energy was high and the evening was a great way to start the weekend’s events.

p. 33

28 Foxcroft Magazine

p. 29

p. 30

p. 31

An Understanding Heart Barkley Boutell Henning ’73 Named Distinguished Alumna The Distinguished Alumna Award is given by the Alumnae Council to honor an alumna who embodies the core values of Foxcroft (RESPECT, INTEGRITY, KINDNESS, and SERVICE), has honed a passion that she discovered while at Foxcroft, and is sharing it with the world. An alumna can be nominated for her expertise and her accomplishment in her profession, or her contribution to positive, long-lasting change within her community.

BARKLEY BOUTELL HENNING ’73 was selected as this year’s Distinguished Alumna as she is a shining example of a Foxcroft woman. Her compassion, motivation, work ethic, and wonderful sense of humor have made her an invaluable member of the Foxcroft community. Having served on the Alumnae Council for many years, Barkley continues to attend meetings and support decisions as one of four women in the School’s history honored with the distinction of Alumnae Council Emerita. Her support also extends to having served as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee and Chair of the Celebration Committee for Foxcroft’s Centennial Weekend. She undertook moving mountains (or more literally a few dozen trees) to make Centennial Weekend the rousing success we all vividly remember. To quote her nominator Liz Hanbidge ’00, “Barkley showed extreme grace under pressure and a cheerful attitude that serves as an example to us all.” In her personal life, Barkley is dedicated to her family and many rescue animals. She started transporting rescued dogs in 2014, just after Foxcroft’s Centennial Celebration was completed because, in her words, she “needed a new hobby.” Barkley volunteers as a transporter of abandoned dogs from high kill shelters to various rescues and homes all over the country for organizations like “Furbaby Transport” and “I-81 Transport Group”. These organizations are most active in states with a high number of kill shelters or puppy mills. She has logged as many as 39,500 miles in one year!

now has a lovable farm dog named Bolt, and Stacey Ahner ’73 who needed help getting Baron, a Great Pyrenees mix, from Sacramento to Purcellville! Volunteering to drive as many transports as she can, Barkley once had 18 rescues lined up in a single weekend! In 2020, even as she adapted to life after brain surgery, and in the midst of COVID-19, she still logged over 7,000 miles! We can say with utmost certainty that Barkley Boutell Henning ’73 serves as a wonderful example to the Foxcroft community and is the embodiment of an understanding heart. This is why we have chosen to honor this incredible alumna, mother, animal advocate, and friend!

Barkley showed extreme grace under pressure and a cheerful attitude that serves as an example to us all.

— Liz Hanbidge ’00

Barkley has become a rescue-dog whisperer and has even stepped in to find furry family members for alumnae, including Liz Hanbidge ’00 who

Fall/Winter 2021 29

Intellect, Voice, and Character Regina “Reggie” E. Groves ’76 Honored for her Service to Foxcroft For her leadership, loyalty, and outstanding service to Foxcroft, the Board of Trustees and Cathy McGehee, Head of School, honored Reggie Groves, Class of 1976, by presenting her with Foxcroft’s highest honor, the Anne Kane McGuire '52 Award for Distinguished Service. Established in 1984 this award is named for ANNE KANE MCGUIRE ’52 who served Foxcroft with loyalty and distinction for 13 years as a Trustee including six years as Chair of the Board during a period of extraordinary difficulties for the School.

REGINA E. GROVES '76, or Reggie as most know her, arrived for her junior year at Foxcroft in 1974 from Miami, FL. She quickly proved herself to be talented, insightful, competitive, and driven. A field hockey and basketball player, a CAP, a member of the Riding Officers Club and the Cum Laude Society, a winner of the Math Award, the Haythe Science Award, and a Soggie Cheerio, this determined Fox took full advantage of every opportunity as a student. Her two years at Foxcroft should have been an indicator of her future impact. After graduating from Foxcroft in 1976, Reggie received her B.S. in Pharmacy with high honors from the University of Florida before matriculating to Harvard Business School where she was awarded her M.B.A. with distinction. For the next 45 years, she would alternate between her love of science and her keen interest in business — specifically strategic business consulting, strategy development, and finance — by working in various management positions for companies and organizations including Medtronics, Kaiser Permanente, Egleston Children’s Hospital, the Florida Pharmacy Association, McKinsey & Company, and Scient. During all of this, Foxcroft was never far from Reggie’s mind or heart. In the years since her graduation, she supported her School generously, served as a Class Representative and on the Alumnae Council, co-chaired her Reunion, participated as a Career Day speaker, and served as a Trustee during two different times in the School’s history. First, she served during the recession of the 1990s, a financially challenging time, especially for Foxcroft. During her second tenure on the Board, she co-chaired the Search Committee that brought Cathy McGehee to the School in

30 Foxcroft Magazine

2014 as Foxcroft’s ninth Head of School and served as Chair of the Board during this important transition in the School’s leadership. Today, she continues to lend her expertise as an ex-officio member of the Investment Committee. Reggie once wrote that her goal for Foxcroft was, “Financial stability and educational excellence.” During her first term as a Trustee, Reggie led the School in the development of its most comprehensive strategic plan; a plan that has served as the basis for future strategic plans. In her second round of service on the Board, she served as Chair of Finance, Treasurer of the Board, and then Board Chair when Foxcroft received Ruth Bedford’s extraordinary bequest of over $40 million. Knowing that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the School, Reggie led the Board in financial modeling, generative discussions, and careful deliberation so that this transformational gift would address the current and future needs of the School while honoring the woman whose legacy ensured Foxcroft would survive for many generations to come. These are just a few of the many intangible gifts that Reggie has given the School over the last four decades. When asked about her hopes for the School’s future, Reggie wrote, “I would like to see Foxcroft continue its traditions yet keep up with the changing world in which we live. I believe it is important for each student to graduate with self-esteem and a will to achieve, for it is only through one’s image of oneself that they will be able to strive for those ultimate goals.” In all she does, her work, her service, and her care for her family — son Robert Gelly, parents Una and Asa — Reggie embodies the qualities of a Foxcroft graduate: intellect, voice, and character.

Reunion 2021

CAREER DAY: The event began with a moving keynote address by ANDREA EWING REID ’80, Director of Diversity and Faculty Development, MGH Gastroenterology at Mass General and Associate Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs; Director of the Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs at Harvard Medical School. Afterward, ten alumnae panelists representing a diverse range of careers hosted virtual breakout sessions with students where they tapped into the School's co-curricular theme for last year, “Use Your Voice for Good.”

Andrea Ewing Reid ’80: Physician, Educator, Dean, and Advocate

After Foxcroft, which “was the first place I've been, other than my family, where it was really good to be smart,” Andrea attended Brown University to study psychology. While there, she joined and then led the Black Premedical Society, noting that their work in the community and the inspirational stories she heard from individuals who were underrepresented in medicine were an important part of her life.

From the age of eight, ANDREA EWING REID ’80 knew that she wanted to be a doctor.

Upon receiving her degree with honors from Brown, Andrea enrolled at Harvard Medical School, another pivotal point in her life, but one that she almost didn’t take advantage of.

“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. To be able to have that kind of skill was just an amazing thing. So, I wanted to be like Dr. Cohen.” As the Career Day Keynote Speaker for Foxcroft’s Virtual Reunion, Andrea walked students, alumnae, and faculty through her amazing journey from an eight-year-old hopeful doctor to a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General), then the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, and finally to her current professional homes as Director of Diversity and Faculty Development, MGH Gastroenterology at Mass General and Associate Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs; Director of the Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs at Harvard Medical School.

“I almost didn't go because I didn't like Boston,” she explains. “I didn't like what Boston represented. You have to remember this was in 1984; Harvard Medical School hadn't been diversified for very long. Medicine was still largely male, and Boston was known as a very difficult city for people of color who had gone through a tumultuous time in the late 1970s around busing and discrimination in the school system, and I never wanted to be in Boston, but I decided to come because of Harvard Medical School.” Following Harvard, Andrea did her residency and gastrointestinal training at Mass General, as one of the very few women and even fewer women of color. “We began to push for equity really against a void. There were no minority faculty on staff that were teaching us, there were very few other minority residents, and we could see that there was different treatment for some of the minority patients.” Continued on page 32.

Fall/Winter 2021 31

Continued from page 31

As she was finishing her training, she was asked to stay on faculty, which solidified her interest in medical education and accreditation. “I was pushing for change, but I was also changing myself,” she explained. “I was the first black individual to train in internal medicine and GI [gastrointestinal] training — or any training — and stay on faculty. So when I stayed on faculty, talk about being alone, there were very few people who looked like me or shared my perspective. But slowly, as we began to galvanize with the leadership and talk about ways to diversify, things began to change.” During this time, Andrea received her master’s in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and became Associate Director of the Multicultural Affairs Office at Mass General, eventually moving from there to the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, and ultimately back to Boston where she serves in her current dual roles with Harvard and Mass General.

No Reunion celebration would be complete without COCKTAILS AT COVERT. Guests donned their green and white swag, filled their Foxcroft cups sent in this year’s Reunion Care Package, and virtually joined Head of School CATHY MCGEHEE at Covert. Classes swapped stories and reconnected in separate breakout rooms before coming back together to hear a School update from Board Chair KATE HASTINGS ’78 and an exciting announcement: Reunion 2022 will be an All-Alumnae Reunion and every single alum is invited back to celebrate!

32 Foxcroft Magazine

“It has been an interesting journey,” shared Andrea as her presentation wound down, “to go from being one of the few willing to break through some of the barriers of Harvard Medical School and Mass General, but also to now be in a position to influence some of those same systems that have kept these numbers very, very low and to think about them in much broader ways than thinking about myself.” She ended with this poignant quote from James Baldwin, one of her favorite authors. “Not everything that's faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it's faced.” Not one to shy away from the hard and important work of changing systems, Andrea continues to use her voice for good in medicine and medical training.

Alumnae Using Their Voice for Good Though the venue was different, the honest and thoughtful conversation among Foxcroft girls and women remained the same, as the School took its fourth annual Courageous Conversation with Foxcroft Women online during Virtual Reunion 2021. With more than 100 attendees spanning the decades from current students back through the Class of 1955, participation was as broad and diverse as the topic of discussion.

personal activism journeys. While their journeys were unique, all mentioned some level of beginning to explore and use their voice for good during their time at Foxcroft. Explaining that she “just couldn't be complacent,” Tonita shared her experiences advocating for change, whether on campus or by attending protests in Washington, DC. Julienne, on the other hand, discussed how she challenged her classmates to think more broadly and ask questions, offering that oftentimes it’s as easy as “asking why something happens a certain way or why it is done in the first place.” Regardless of the means and context, each of the participants used her voice to try to make change in their communities and advocate for what she knew was right.

Moved by the School’s co-curricular theme of “Use Your Voice for Good” which was inspired by the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the United States, and by various current events happening all over the world, the Alumnae Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee chose to adopt that as the theme for this year’s event.

From there, using questions submitted by students and alumnae, GABRIELLE BENSON ’14 moderated an hour of meaningful exploration into the panelists' advocacy. When asked how to stay energized for your cause, “I build community,” offered Adriane, “so I have other people who are also doing the same work and we support each other . . . [so] I don't have to carry any part of this work by myself.” And when asked how students can support the hard work of others, “There are no shortcuts,” Maniecsha advised, telling students to read, do research, and get their news from multiple sources in order to fully form their opinions.

As the event began, panelists M. TONITA AUSTIN ’83, JULIENNE BROWN ’09, MANIECSHA HOLMES ’09, and ADRIANE JOHNSON-WILLIAMS ’92, PHD were asked to briefly introduce themselves and share a bit about their

Many thanks to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs KATE HARTSHORN DOMANSKI ’96 and KASSINDA USHER ’93 and their committee for putting together such a wonderful event.

New this year was our first-ever HEALING CIRCLE hosted by the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Alum Group for Foxcroft School. Dedicated to the emotional and spiritual healing of our community, this event provided an opportunity for meditation and reflection and was a peaceful way to close out the weekend!

Fall/Winter 2021 33

Reunion 2021

Courageous Conversations with Foxcroft Women:

Reunion 2021

2021 REUNION GIVING AWARDS WINNERS! Congratulations to the Class of 1985 for winning the 25th-60th Reunion Giving Award with 50% participation and to the Class of 2006 for winning the 5th-20th Reunion Giving Award with 20% participation!* We are appreciative of their incredible leadership and grateful to everyone who supports The Foxcroft Circle — thank you!



Class of 1985

Class of 2006

25 –60 Reunion Giving Award

5th–20th Reunion Giving Award


*Only classes originally scheduled for Reunion 2021 were eligible to win Reunion Giving Awards.

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Commencement 2021

Leaving with Knowledge, Friendship, and So Much More W 1 hile many traditional aspects of their senior year had been upended or shifted due to the pandemic, celebrating the School’s 107th Commencement in Miss Charlotte’s Garden, though socially distanced, felt like a gift for the 43 members of the Class of 2021.

Together with their families in-person or joining over a livestream, the graduating seniors closed the Foxcroft student chapter of their lives and joined the ranks of alumnae on Friday, May 28. All went off without a hitch; even the Brood X cicadas, emerging from the ground after 17 years, behaved (for the most part). Commencement Speaker Joyce Chang, Managing Director and Chair of Global Research at JP Morgan Chase, shared stories of her experiences over the course of her career. Her own journey began in a setting much like Foxcroft — at the boarding school Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, where she was a classmate of Senior Class President Julia Clark’s father. “I thought that I would be a diplomat, a policymaker, or in the Foreign Service,” she reflected, noting that while her path from there was not as linear as she originally anticipated, she “still looks back on prep school as the place where I took hold of owning my own narrative, a skill for life, but not necessarily a career roadmap.” As these students know all too well, flexibility and adaptability are essential life skills.

1. Chosen by her classmates, Senior Class Speaker and Student Vice Head of School Bianca McNeely used her trademark humor and sentiment as she spoke of the knowledge and friendships gained at Foxcroft.

Fall/Winter 2021 35



In addition to emphasizing timeless advice such as working hard, being curious yet prepared, and advocating for yourself and others, Chang grounded Commencement for the Class of 2021 in this moment in history. “In a single year, together you have weathered a global pandemic, an unprecedented policy response, volatile elections, and heightened tensions on racial and social justice. What I have come to learn and respect most about the Class of 2021 is the way that you did not let a crisis go to waste. You were at your most creative and resilient this past year, and you took it upon yourself to create your own opportunities.” Following Chang’s inspirational address was the Senior Class Speaker. Chosen by her classmates, Student Vice Head of School Bianca McNeely was poignant and sentimental in her remarks, surprised by her own tears as she started her speech. Reflecting on unexpected moments in Reynolds Dormitory that led to strong connections and love between classmates, she wove in the trademark humor and inside jokes that our community enjoyed as she led Morning Meetings throughout the year. Describing an impromptu “Harry Potter” movie marathon in the lounge following a long day of teambuilding early in freshman year, Bianca offered, “If you had described this scene to me two weeks earlier when we first arrived on campus, I wouldn’t have believed you. See, the smiling girls in the welcome pamphlet didn’t tell you this was going to happen ... Only through experiencing every moment — good and bad — with your class by your side, [do] you discover those girls are smiling because their friend just brought back a plate piled high with spring rolls on General Tso’s night.” Through her remarks, Bianca highlighted the two most valuable gifts the graduates would leave Foxcroft with — “knowledge and friendship.” She noted some lessons occurred in the classroom

36 Foxcroft Magazine

2. Commencement Speaker Joyce Chang (far right) poses with her former classmate Tom Clark and his wife Hiroko, parents of Senior Class President Julia Clark. 3. Members of the Class of 2021 celebrate graduation with cheers and selfies!

while others were self-taught through experiences in the dorm, the Dining Hall, and across campus. “Our teachers gave us knowledge from the four years of labs, essays, and group projects which will help us to pursue our passions and tackle the world’s problems,” she said, “but we taught ourselves friendship.” In closing, Bianca challenged her classmates with these words: “Let’s walk out of Miss Charlotte’s Garden today as a class of friends. Let’s continue to surprise the world with our humor, compassion, and commitment. Let’s go do good things today, tomorrow, and for the rest of time.” Seeing how this group of individuals has grown, persevered, and thrived in their time at Foxcroft, there is no question they will do just that. With the gift of knowledge came the recognition of academic achievements. Chair of the Board of Trustees Kate Hastings ’78 awarded diplomas to the impressive group. Collectively, the members of the Class of 2021 received 218 offers of admission from 137 colleges and universities and were offered more than $3.1 million in merit scholarships. Among the class, there are 14 AP Scholars, nine students selected to the Cum Laude Society (five of them as juniors), ten students who completed the requirements to earn an Academic Concentration designation on their diploma, and one National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Scholar.


Relatively Speaking All parents become part of the Foxcroft family when their daughters matriculate — unless they are already connected through work, other children, or having attended the School themselves. When the first daughters of alumnae came to Foxcroft, our beloved founder Charlotte Haxall Noland (aka Miss Charlotte) created a special name for them: ITs, which stands for Ideals and Traditions. At Commencement, we celebrated the seven Class of 2021 ITs girls and their families' sense of pride and lasting connection to the School.



1. Mike and Heather Malone Garrison ’91 have two ITs in the family: Julia ’21 and Gabby ’23. 2. Chanler Jewett is the great-granddaughter of Eleanor Pratt Hunt ’26. 3. Tess O'Neill and her parents Molly O'Neill and Vicki Threlfall ’81. 4. Susannah Manucy and parents Orian and Amy Milbrandt Manucy ’82. 5. Ellen Burke and parents Landon and Martha Spencer Burke ’80.



6. Teagan Skinner and her parents Kristen and Chemain Broadway Skinner ’87. 7. Gracie Schriner and her mother Ellen Harkins ’86.

Fall/Winter 2021 37

Commencement 2021



Accomplishments Abound


ur end of school year Awards Assembly is a time to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of our students and to recognize outstanding contributions by individual community members.

MARY LOUISE LEIPHEIMER EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD GIVEN TO FOXCROFT’S ENTIRE FACULTY 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. “Each member of our faculty has worked tirelessly to help students achieve success during this unprecedented and challenging time, not only for teaching and learning but also for social-emotional wellbeing,” declared Head of School Cathy McGehee during her remarks. “They adapted their classrooms for both in-person and virtual learning, concurrently sometimes, which is extremely hard. They stretched themselves professionally, they learned many new skills and methods for the classroom, and no matter how long each one has been teaching, they had to rewrite their entire curriculum for this year. While they, too, had personal, family, and health considerations to contend with during COVID-19, they centered their energy on and gave their hearts to their students. There is no better way for me to share what this means to Foxcroft than to read what the student body sent to me about how much they value their teachers.” Some of those many comments included: “I appreciate my teachers because they make me smile even if I’m having a bad day.” “Foxcroft teachers are special because they care about you beyond just your grades — they care about you and your learning process, your growth, and your mental health, too. Each one of my teachers this year has made it clear I can reach out to them when I am in need and they are there. I can tell teaching for them goes beyond a job; it's a passion and that makes all the difference to students.”

38 Foxcroft Magazine

“They have really helped me this year by always being there if I'm having trouble. Some of their classrooms have really become a safe space, and that has helped a lot.” “I appreciate how one of my teachers wakes up early to have class at 8am to accommodate those not learning in Eastern Standard Time.” “My teachers have really helped me this year by working harder than ever to keep learning fun and engaging. Distance learning presented a great challenge to our typically interactive and hands-on way of learning at Foxcroft, but I am so thankful I had teachers who kept me wanting to learn more.” 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.

JANE LOCKHART SERVICE AWARD PRESENTED TO COURTNEY ULMER Since 2006, Assistant Head of School Courtney Ulmer has served in numerous roles at Foxcroft — history teacher, department chair, academic dean, resident relief, dorm parent, and beloved advisor — always keeping students at the center of her work. She personifies the qualities celebrated by the Jane Lockhart Service Award by empowering students with self-confidence and instilling in them the desire to learn not only while at Foxcroft but for a lifetime. When her name was announced, faculty and students leapt to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation for a woman who is so clearly deserving of this award. “Every member of the Foxcroft community has seen Ms. Ulmer’s selfless work to keep learning on track during the pandemic, to support individual students and teachers through

Pillsbury Award/Valedictorian SIJIA DONG ’21

She is honestly one of the most hard-working women I know ... If I had to thank her for only one thing, I would say ‘thank you for always being there to help me reason through anything I throw at you.’

Salutatorian XINRUI YANG ’21

Josie Betner Mallace Prize JENNIFER CRAMER ’21

Ida Applegate Award MONICA CORONA PERERA ’21

Dudley Prize HAYS TURNER ’21

Charlotte Haxall Noland Award BIANCA MCNEELY ’21

classroom and personal challenges, and to ensure that we maintain the high standards that are a hallmark of a Foxcroft education while having compassion,” Head of School Cathy McGehee remarked during the award presentation in May. McGehee went on to say, “In all her leadership, she seeks feedback from our community that directly impacts planning, all for the benefit of our students. During a difficult time of restructuring, Ms. Ulmer took on additional responsibilities as our Assistant Head of School, overseeing not only academics but also student life, and has helped rebuild trust and relationships with students, parents, and faculty. Her integrity is beyond reproach, and she has been a fundamental partner to me and to the faculty. I value her experience and unique perspective and her ability to execute plans with care and concern for those involved.” Students were eager to share their support for Ms. Ulmer’s selection. One rising senior observed, “She is honestly one of the most hard-working women I know ... If I had to thank her for only one thing, I would say ‘thank you for always being there to help me reason through anything I throw at you.’” And a rising junior shared, “Ms. Ulmer has made my sophomore year the wonderful year that it was. I genuinely couldn't ask for a more supportive figure at Foxcroft — I am so looking forward to the years ahead. We love you, Ms. Ulmer!” The Lockhart Award was established in 2012 in appreciation of Jane Lockhart, who worked for Foxcroft for 50 years (1966-2016).

Junior Award For Scholarship CLAIRE AI '22

Elebash Award KENNEDY CAWLEY '24


Mildred Greble Davis Award AMELIA FORTSCH '22

National Merit Scholarship Commended Students JENNIFER CRAMER ’21

Miss Charlotte's Trophy (Best Rider) EMMA PELL '21

Teresa E. Shook Award (Athletics & Sportsmanship) ELIZABETH ALTENBURGER '21 *A complete list of awards may be found at

Fall/Winter 2021 39

Commencement 2021

A Selection of Student Awards*

(Left) Keeping students at the center of her work always, Ms. Ulmer catches up with girls between classes.

Washington, DC

Out & About Gatherings around the country — whether official Foxcroft events attended by Head of School Cathy McGehee or informal outings

A lively lunch and conversation was had by (l-r) Pickett Randolph ’56, Lisa Kelly ’87, Cathy McGehee, and Maggie Stehli Kelly ’49 in August 2021.

organized locally — celebrate the shared experience of Foxcroft.

New York, NY

Visit to see if

Many thanks to Sarah Hope de Mayo for arranging a gathering with some of her classmates from Class of 2007 and Cathy at Refinery Rooftop.

there are any upcoming events near you!


Alumnae Social Committee Events The Plains, VA The Social Committee organized a School Spirit Night at Twilight Polo sponsored by The Great Meadow Foundation.


Cathy had a wonderful lunch visit with Heidi Nitze ’51 at Pappardella.


Alexandria, VA

Gia provided the perfect atmosphere for a gathering with alumnae from the 80s.

A spooky time was had by all at the Old Town Alexandria Ghost Tour on October 1.

1. (l-r) Catherine Kushan ’10, Meaghan Hogan ’10, Allie Mackey ’14, Maddie Travell ’14, Rachel Cline ’10, and Tess Mackey ’11. 2. (l-r) Lydia Bubniak ’14, Catherine Kushan ’10, Ashley Matthews ’02, Meredith Parrish ’02, Annie Belt Hamman ’96, Bea Hamman, Tess Mackey ’11, Florence Lodico, Priya Desai Lodico ’02, Nya Mozelle, Lisa Washington Baker ’84, Noah Mozelle, and tour guide Sarah (front).

40 Foxcroft Magazine


3. (l-r) Allie Fitter Hoffman ’07, Cathy McGehee, Caitlin Lauer ’07, Sarah Hope de Mayo ’07, Madeleine Rafferty ’07, and Jessica Mirshak ’07. 4. (l-r) Kendall Blythe ’83, Courtney Maier Burbela ’85, Jeannie Ryan ’85, and Cathy McGehee.

Know a future Foxcroft Girl? We’d love to meet her! If you know a girl who you think would be a great fit for Foxcroft, we invite you to visit or contact the Office of Admission at 540.687.4340 or

3,000+ Foxcroft Alumnae

Countless Memories and Lifelong Friends | | 540.687.4340

100+ Years of Great Women


22407 Foxhound Lane Middleburg, VA 20117


UPCOMING EVENTS February 25-26 • Fox/Hound Basketball

April 29 • Admissions Open House

April 1 • Paul K. Bergan Poetry Festival

April 29-30 • Spring Theater Production

April 6 • Fox/Hound Riding

May 27 • Commencement for Class of 2022

April 21-23 • Alumnae Reunion Weekend

Please note that these dates are tentative and subject to change.



Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

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