Madie Leidt '12 was a superstar throughout her years at The Country School, setting the pace in the classroom and on the athletic field from the age of 4. A Country School “Lifer,” she contributed to every aspect of our school community throughout her 10 years on campus.
So it comes as no surprise to anyone who knew Madie back in her earliest years to learn that she has done the same at Middlebury College, where she will graduate in May with a degree in economics and the title of All-American, having helped lead the Middlebury Panthers Women’s Ice Hockey Team to a perfect 27-and-0 season and the NCAA Division III National Championship.
“Madie was such a great athlete and so good at every sport, there was never a doubt she would play something in college and excel,” said former, long-time Athletic Director Chris Wallack, adding that he also knew early on that Madie wouldn’t limit her accomplishments to the sports field (or ice rink). “Madie was a great student, athlete, and character – it’s no surprise she led her team in so many categories. … Honestly you couldn’t find a nicer kid.”
Madie’s Middlebury hockey coach, Bill Mandigo, echoes those sentiments, calling Madie, who’s a two-year team captain, an ideal leader, someone whose passion, energy, and talent have helped set the tone for the Panthers throughout her tenure. “There’s always a smile on [Madie’s] face,” Coach Mandigo said in an article published in February in the Addison Independent
. “We go how she goes.” And this year, “how we go” happened to include a 11th NESCAC title for the Panthers and a trip to – and ultimately an overtime the victory in – the NCAA Division III title game. (See highlights, including a key goal by Madie in this video
Although she had 19 goals and 12 assists on the season and was named NESCAC Player of the Year for 2022, this wasn’t the only record-tallying year of Madie’s collegiate career. Earlier seasons have brought countless honors as well, including:
- Being named NESCAC Rookie of the Year her freshman year
- Being named First-Team All-NESCAC and NEHWA All-Star her second year
- Being named an AHCA Second-Team All American, NEHWA All-Star, NESCAC Player of the Year, First Team All-NESCAC, AHCA All-American Scholar, and NESCAC All-Academic her third year
Her senior year isn’t over (and won’t be until her graduation on May 27), and as she did at TCS, Madie is still setting the pace. In the Addison Independent article, she talks about one of the business ideas she worked on this winter. As part of a “MiddEntrepreneurs course,” she developed a specialized hockey coaching glove that is capable of storing markers, erasers, and whistles. As she told the reporter, “It’s been a fun project that I’ve realized could be a side hustle to continue with.” Some of her TCS teachers can’t wait to see where she goes with this one. And with the business and innovation genes (not to mention the athletic genes) she inherited from her parents, former Technology Director Bill Leidt and marketing guru Beth Wood-Leidt, we know the sky’s the limit.
And as Coach Mandigo told the same reporter, Madie works hard at everything. “I’m continually amazed with how well she does in the classroom. She doesn’t want to be labeled as just a hockey player.”
In essence, Madie lives the Country School mission, which speaks about a union between rigorous academics and leadership development. It speaks about “every student’s unique role in the community, and the school’s commitment to “empowering each to serve the common good.” It says the goal is that graduates of The Country School will “face the future with confidence and an education that lasts a lifetime.” And, as a school that, since its earliest years, has been dedicated to educating the whole child, it says it lives its mission by “emphasizing social and emotional growth through coordinated programs,” including academic, athletic, artistic, and experiential offerings.
Back at TCS, we look forward to seeing what this walking (and skating) definition of the “Whole Child” does in the future. According to the Addison Independent article, it could involve playing professional hockey in Europe. That would be fun, and she’d have lots of fans here in Connecticut, but whatever she chooses to do, we know Madie will do it with equal parts gusto and smile. And she will set the pace.