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
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.

SERC Students Named Regeneron Scholars

Kat Plaza ’20 and Evrim Ozcan ’20, seniors in Potomac's Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) program, have been named Top 300 Scholars in the 79th Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. This year, 1,993 students nationwide entered the competition. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking, and promise as scientists. Being selected as one of the top 300 is a significant honor.

Kat set out to study the effects of long- and short-term exposure of microplastics on coral species. She was mentored by Dr. Jessica Reichert, a professor of animal ecology and zoology at Justus-Liebig University in Gießen, Germany, where Kat spent several months doing research. She found that different coral species react in different ways to microplastics.

Evrim’s research focuses on whether oxidative stress – a condition in which there is an electron deficiency in the body – can be measured through sweat rather than through blood. He worked with Dr. Gregory Payne, a bioscience professor at the University of Maryland, to test his ideas. Ultimately, Evrim’s research showed that it is indeed possible to quantify the amount of oxidative stress in the body through sweat. 

As a result of being named Top 300 Scholars, Evrim and Kat will each receive a $2,000 award. The Potomac School will also receive two $2,000 awards to be used in support of STEM-related activities. Later this month, the Regeneron Science Talent Search will name this year’s top 40 finalists, who will then compete in Washington, DC. We congratulate Evrim and Kat on their accomplishments and wish them continued success!

Spangler Center

On November 26, The Potomac School opened its much-anticipated Spangler Center for Athletics and Community. The opening ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual Thanksgiving Assembly, ensuring that all members of the Potomac community could take part. The celebration included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, reflections on gratitude by students from each of Potomac’s four academic divisions, musical performances, and an appearance by the school’s mascot, the Potomac Panther.

The ribbon was cut by Head of School John Kowalik, Board of Trustees Chair Sameer Bhargava, Potomac Trustee Dr. Abigail Spangler, whose family provided leadership and philanthropic support for the project, Student Government Association President Ethan Lee ’20, and Senior Class President Kat Plaza ’20, as more than 1,500 students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, and friends cheered,.

The 76,500-square-foot Spangler Center will serve a dual purpose, providing expanded facilities for Potomac’s athletics programs and flexible spaces that can be configured for a variety of academic, athletic, and social events. The center’s amenities include a gymnasium with two full-size competition courts for basketball and volleyball; seven competition squash courts with spectator seating; an indoor walking/jogging track; a student lounge area dubbed the “Panther Den”; and a fitness center, a strength and conditioning room, and a multipurpose studio, all outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

The assembly was livestreamed and can be viewed here. A gallery of pictures of the Spangler Center for Athletics and Community can be viewed here