An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

Ms. Nancy Powell

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Lower School
Head of the Lower School

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“I think Lower School children are the most interesting people on the planet. They are inquisitive, compassionate and resourceful.”

When I first arrived at Potomac's Lower School 14 years ago, I was immediately drawn to its joyful climate. Children were stretched out in the hallways, collaborating on a project and brainstorming ideas with classmates while teachers facilitated and supported their efforts. It was clear to me that Potomac was a place where relationships flourished, community mattered and learning was engaging and purposeful. I was fortunate to be hired to teach first grade (and later second), where I was energized by the opportunity to work with the most dedicated and skillful educators I have ever encountered. Within my classroom, I got to witness, over and over again, the magical moment when a child first becomes a reader, which led me to pursue a master's degree in reading instruction from the University of Virginia. I shifted roles to serve as a reading specialist and literacy coach at Potomac until I was named the Head of Lower School in 2011.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was eight years old, so it was no surprise that I decided to study elementary education at Virginia Tech. I began my teaching career in Fairfax County Public Schools, where I taught kindergarten, first and second grades before taking a break to spend time with my three small children. I returned to teaching in the independent sector, teaching grades one and five. And then I found Potomac.

The Potomac that I encountered that first day continues to thrive because of the extraordinary children, parents and faculty that comprise its community. It is indeed a privilege to be a part of such a community. I think Lower School children are the most interesting people on the planet. They are inquisitive, compassionate, and resourceful. Every day I learn something new from a Lower School student. And every day, I get to laugh! You can’t beat that!

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