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The Spangler Center for Athletics and Community 

A Potomac School education integrates academics, arts, and athletics, challenging students to develop their interests and talents in diverse areas. Physical education and athletics are an important part of the overall picture, reflecting Potomac's commitment to health and well-being, sportsmanship, teamwork, and the development of leadership skills. 

The Spangler Center, opened in November 2019, supports Potomac's robust athletics program, which fields 71 teams at various levels (intermediate, junior varsity, and varsity) in 25 interscholastic sports. The facility also offers resources to promote health and wellness, including a fitness center, a strength and conditioning room, a multipurpose studio, and an indoor jogging/walking track. 

The Spangler Center's flexible spaces can be configured for a variety of academic, athletic, and social events -- and its gymnasium is an indoor space large enough to accommodate the entire Potomac community for K-12 assemblies and other gatherings.

At Potomac, school spirit and a strong sense of community are important. The Spangler Center is an amazing resource that brings the campus community together and fuels our PANTHER PRIDE!

Spangler Center for Athletics and Community
Spangler Center
Thanksgiving Assembly

The Center will include:

  • a gymnasium with two full-size competition courts for basketball and volleyball, and divider curtains that allow for three full-size cross-court practice spaces
  • an indoor jogging/walking track
  • seven squash courts with spectator seating
  • a fitness center, strength and conditioning room, and multipurpose studio, all outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and technology
  • a team meeting room, athletics offices, and conference room
  • the "Panther Den" student lounge
  • flexible gathering spaces that can be configured to accommodate a wide variety of academic, athletic, and social events
Kay Rollins Potomac School

Led by junior Kay Rollins, Potomac’s speech and debate team turned in an impressive performance at the annual Tournament of Champions (TOC) National Championship, hosted virtually by the University of Kentucky last weekend. To be eligible to compete in the TOC, a student must have placed in the final rounds at two national circuit qualifying events during the regular season. Potomac had eight students qualify in nine events as part of the 1,100-student field. 

Head Coach Harry Strong notes, “Our team achieved incredible results this year. Just making the TOC field is a big deal, let alone winning at this level. And to perform so well when the game was changed to a virtual format says a lot about our students.”

Kay Rollins won not one, but two individual national championships at the tournament, adding to her rapidly growing trophy case. She ranked first in the nation in extemporaneous speaking and original oratory. Last year, Kay ranked first in extemporaneous speaking. Additionally, as an eighth grader, she won the extemporaneous speaking category at the NSDA Middle School Championship and accomplished a dual win in the TOC Middle School Championship. Her extraordinary career now includes six individual national titles, with three of them won as an Upper School team member. She is the only “extemper” ever to win two TOC championships in a row, and the second-ever person to win two TOC championships in a single year.

Competing alongside Kay in the original oratory category were two impressive Potomac quarterfinalists: Samira Abbasi ’22 and Christian Herald ’21. Maryam Abbasi ’20 (public forum debate), Sara Abbasi ’20 (public forum debate), and Valentina Raghib ’22 (original oratory) also gave strong performances.

In addition, Kaitlyn Maher ’21 achieved a phenomenal third-place finish in congressional debate. Alex Joel ’21 was a semifinalist in the same event. Both Kaitlyn and Alex finished significantly better than the tournament seeding that they began with.

Reflecting on her performance at the TOC, Kay notes, “My big goal this year was to do as well in extemp as I did last year – I was really proud of last year’s speech, and I wanted to do that well again. Meanwhile, my oratory is very special to me; it expresses what I wish someone had told me as a middle schooler and as a freshman.” Coach Strong observes, “Kay is one of those special students who are both talented and driven to succeed. No one is going to outwork her; she is always well prepared!” 

He concludes, “Potomac’s performance at the TOC was really remarkable – the best we’ve ever done at the national championship level. I am so proud of our entire team.”

To view videos of Kay’s and Kaitlyn’s speeches from the TOC, click here.


Alejandra Monzon ’21 was recently awarded a Certificate of Accomplishment by the Washington, DC, Princeton Prize in Race Relations Committee. She is one of only 12 Washington-area high school students to receive this honor, which was given to her in recognition of her work leading Potomac’s Hispanic Student Alliance and serving as a member of the Representation and Equity at Potomac Committee. The selection committee was impressed to learn that Alejandra is expanding the HSA for Intermediate School students and that, along with other volunteers, she helps to host an annual picnic for Potomac’s Hispanic families. Congratulations!

Seven Potomac School Students Named National Merit Finalists

All seven of the Potomac School seniors who qualified as semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program in the fall have been named as finalists. Only 15,000 students in the United States receive this honor each year. The finalists then compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $31 million in total.

The Potomac School finalists are Dan Alexander, Courtney Brandt, Christopher Gaston, Jodie Kuo, Addison Marin, Katherine Plaza, and Caroline Semel.

Doug McLane, head of Potomac’s Upper School, notes, “I am incredibly proud of these students and impressed by their dedication to academic excellence. I’m also happy to know that The Potomac School encourages and empowers students to achieve at this level.”

Photo: The Potomac School’s 2020 National Merit finalists. From left: Chris Gaston, Addison Marin, Courtney Brandt, Katherine Plaza, Jodie Kuo, Caroline Semel, and Dan Alexander.