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Senior is state winner for Doodle for Google contest

Kennedy Ferguson, a senior at The Potomac School, has been selected as the Virginia state winner in the 14th annual Doodle for Google contest. Her artwork is now eligible to be included on the Google homepage for hundreds of millions to see. Doodle for Google is an annual contest where K-12 students create their own versions of the Google logo, and Ferguson is one of the 54 state and territorial nominees whose work was selected. This year the theme for the competition was "I care for myself by..."

Ferguson explains, “My Doodle represents the ways I care for myself. My self-love language is self-expression, pampering, and indulging in things that make me the most happy and hopeful version of myself.”

A student in Potomac’s selective Visual and Performing Arts Concentration program’s fine arts track, Ferguson shares, “I have been fascinated with art since I was a child, and my passion has pushed me to always study, watch art tutorials, fill sketchbooks, and make insultingly bad crayon portraits of my family. This recognition means so much to me, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share my art with a larger audience.”

The judges for this year’s Doodle for Google contest are the 2021 National Teacher of the Year, Juliana Urtubey; director, model, and mental health activist Elyse Fox; and artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Selena Gomez.

The national winner will take home a $30,000 college scholarship, and their school will receive a $50,000 tech package toward the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or technology program.

Google has postponed public voting because of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. Once it resumes, this link ( will direct voters to all the state and territory winners. Five national finalists will be announced once the voting closes, and the winning Doodle will be featured on the Google homepage for one day.

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Indonesian Music, Culture Explored at Potomac

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SERC Students Welcome Potomac Science Fellow

Last week, the SERC-11 Independent Research class welcomed Jason Lu, Potomac’s new science fellow, who shares his time between Lower School science classes and Upper School anatomy and physiology class. As a recent graduate in neuroscience from Pomona College, CA, Mr. Lu answered a variety of questions that the juniors in the SERC program had prepared, including “What advice would you give your high school self?” “What does a career in neuroscience look like?” and “What career paths will you follow using your neuroscience degree?” 

Using anecdotes from his college experience, Mr. Lu took the students on an exploration of the brain sensory reaction to bicultural norms and discussed preliminary evidence indicating that social media could trigger brain stimuli similar to addictive drugs. He also stressed that a major in a STEM field opens up a variety of job opportunities beyond science. He emphasized the importance of a holistic college experience to become “more than your major” and the influence that history, philosophy, and arts classes have had on him. Thank you, Mr. Lu, for such an amazing conversation!

Pursuing a PhD in Athletic Training

Precious Barnes, Head Athletic Trainer

While working at The Potomac School, I have had the opportunity to complete two post-graduate degrees. I have been able to broaden my skill set by focusing on topics that complement athletic health.

Civil War Elective Travels to Gettysburg Battlefield

The students in Robert von Glahn's Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Lost Cause elective took a day away from Potomac to explore the Gettysburg Battlefield last week. The focus of the trip was a 2.5-hour tour of the battlefield, where students explored the grounds and listened to engaging stories and explanations of the battle from their official guide. Reflecting on the trip, students appreciated how the battle impacted the residents of Gettysburg and how the destruction from the battle shaped the region. Several students questioned why slavery was not more central to the tour. The class will investigate this  question in their final unit on memory and the Lost Cause.