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Mary Louise Leisher Leipheimer '66

Mary Louise Leisher Leipheimer '66

Mary Louise Leisher Leipheimer is recognized as a 2009 distinguished alumna for her contributions as an educator and for her leadership in academia.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English from IUP in 1966. She continued her education in graduate studies in English and in guidance at the University of Virginia and reading at Eastern Michigan University. She also received counseling training at the Northfield Institute in Massachusetts.

Since 1989, Mrs. Leipheimer has served as head of Foxcroft School, a girls’ boarding school for ninth to twelfth graders in Middleburg, Virginia.

She began her career as an English teacher at Mercer (Pennsylvania) High School in 1966 and the following year joined Foxcroft as an English teacher. She also served as the English Department chair, prior to serving five years as the director of Emmanuel Preschool in Alexandria, Virginia. She returned to Foxcroft in 1983 to serve as director of Admissions, and later she was named director of Development and subsequently assistant head for External Affairs.

Currently, Mrs. Leipheimer serves on the board of directors of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls. She is a member of the Headmasters Association and a past chair emerita and board member of the Secondary School Admission Test Board. She also previously served on the board of directors of the Association of Boarding Schools and was the founding cochair of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools.

In 2004, the Mary Louise Leipheimer Scholarship was established by a loyal Foxcroft family to honor Mrs. Leipheimer and to support a student who “demonstrates the qualities, often overlooked in young people, most exemplified by Mary Lou: honor, dedication, loyalty, humor, grace, and an understanding heart.” In April 2008, another Foxcroft family, who had funded a new gymnasium on the campus, chose to honor her by naming it the Mary Louise Leipheimer Gymnasium. The Foxcroft Board of Trustees named her the recipient of the 2008 Anne Kane McGuire Award for Distinguished Service, its highest honor. 

She also serves the community of Leesburg, Virginia, on the vestry at St. James’ Episcopal Church and on the Board of Visitors for the Margaret Paxton Memorial for Convalescent Children. She previously served as the chair of the board of directors for the Piedmont Child Care Center in Upperville, Virginia.

She was named to Who’s Who in Executives and Business in 2000 and was the 1999 recipient of the coveted William B. Bretnall Award, given by the Secondary School Admission Test Board annually to the leading educator who has contributed significantly to the field of independent school admission.

A native of Transfer, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Leipheimer has a son, Brian; a daughter-in-law, Vienne Murray; and two grandchildren, Ellie and Cooper. She resides in Middleburg, Virginia.

Profile published on 3/8/10

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