Bernd Foecking is the fifth headmaster of Hampshire Country School, following founders Henry Patey (1948–1976) and Adelaide Patey (1948–1981); Peter Ray (1981–1996); and William Dickerman (1996–2009). Mr. Foecking continues the tradition of appointment as head after a period of employment, experiencing the school first-hand while working within its community. In various capacities for five years, he worked as an elementary teacher, German teacher, dorm parent, and academic coordinator. Before his appointment in 2009, Mr. Foecking had acquired a full understanding of and belief in the school’s mission and felt strongly committed to working with these boys of high intellect, high energy, and unusual need for attention and direction.
Mr. Foecking is an affable administrator who appreciates his responsibilities as headmaster as well as always finding time to spend with students. Indoors, they gravitate toward his quiet and cheerful nature to relax in his office or discuss a perceived unfairness. Outdoors, he shares his interests and abilities in skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and farming. He also works side by side with faculty and staff whenever the need arises for an extra pair of hands, whether in the dorm, in the classroom, or in the kitchen.
Mr. Foecking’s career has been focused on education in residential settings, including many years as director and leader of experiential learning in non-profit and for-profit summer camp settings. In some ways, Hampshire Country School imitates the basic structure of camp programming, with a simple and predictable lifestyle that allows for time and space to play and grow up and with a safe and accepting environment that allows for making mistakes and learning to learn from them.
Mr. Foecking earned his B.A. degree in 1999 in English, History, and Education from Ruhr Universität Bochum and his M.Ed. degree in 2009 in Experiential Education from Plymouth State University. He is a board member of the Small Boarding School Association (SBSA) and the Independent School Association of Northern New England (ISANNE), and he is a representative on the Contoocook Valley Regional School District’s School Board.
Mr. Foecking is married and has two daughters and several pets, one a kid-friendly dog who often accompanies him to school, much to the delight of the students. Mr. Foecking’s wife, an elementary school principal in a nearby town, also embraces a dedication to education and helping students achieve their potential.