History Overview

Charlotte Haxall Noland founded Foxcroft School in 1914, at the age of 32. Her dream was to create a school that "girls would want to come to and hate to leave because they loved it." More than 100 years later, it’s clear that she accomplished her goal. Foxcroft girls work hard, and they play hard, and they love their school. Each year, ITs (daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters) and Legacies (sisters, nieces, and cousins) of alumnae average between 20-25% of the student body, reflecting this love, belief, and commitment, fueled by the sense of joy and playfulness that Miss Charlotte created.

From the beginning, Miss Charlotte’s highest aim and Foxcroft’s greatest responsibility has been to educate the whole student. Her efforts to instill high purpose, integrity, leadership, understanding, and empathy in students, along with — as the School's motto states, "mens sana in corpore sano” (A healthy mind in a healthy body) — guides Foxcroft to this day.
At Foxcroft's heart is still the belief that a school for girls is better than a school with girls. Miss Charlotte knew this to be true even before she founded Foxcroft more than a century ago, and Mary Louise Leipheimer reaffirmed this notion when she became the ninth Head of School in 1989. During her tenure, Leipheimer served on the first board of the National Coalition of Girls Schools and supported research that demonstrated the “Girls’ School Advantage." The School's enrollment and endowment both grew and an excellent faculty refined its forward-thinking curriculum. Believing firmly that “Everything we do is curriculum,” co-curricular programs from sports and activities to community service, leadership, and residential life were treated as opportunities to fulfill the School’s mission.
Foxcroft celebrated its first century of girls' education with a centennial celebration April 25-27, 2014. Following the close of the 2013-14 school year, Catherine Smylie McGehee, a girls’ school veteran and passionate advocate for pursuing 21st Century opportunities, was installed as the 10th Head of School. Then came the stunning news of a $40 million bequest, left by the grateful and generous alumna, Ruth Bedford '32. Bedford's gift is the largest ever bestowed on an all-girls secondary school. The future is bright indeed.


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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.