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Seven National Merit Semifinalists from Potomac Named

Seven Upper School seniors from The Potomac School have been selected as semifinalists for 2023 National Merit Scholarships. They are Katharine Kanner-Bitetti, Abigail Park, Daniel Overdeck, Audrey Rentzepis, Kate Tuttle, Paul Witkop, and Max Zeldes.

These students were all among the top scorers in Virginia on the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which is used for initial screening. The highest-scoring students in each state are selected as semifinalists, with each state’s representation proportional to its percentage of the national total of graduating seniors, officials said in a news release.

More than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools took the PSAT. The semifinalists, scholarship officials said, represent less than 1% of the nation’s high school seniors. Semifinalists can continue in the competition for approximately 7,140 National Merit Scholarships, worth nearly $28 million in total, that will be awarded next spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a non-profit organization established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The scholarships are underwritten by NMSC’s own funds and by around 320 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the corporation’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. 

Pictured (l to r) Katharine Kanner-Bitetti, Kate Tuttle, Audrey Rentzepis, Abigail Park, Paul Witkop, Daniel Overdeck, and Max Zeldes

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Cross Country Finishes Season with a 1-2 Punch at VISAA Championships!

The top 10 runners on each of Potomac’s Cross Country teams traveled to Woodberry Forest last week. The boys team defended their title by defeating St. John Paul the Great by 41 points (54-95). Sasha Minsky ’24 led the Panthers to finish as the state individual runner up. Potomac’s depth won the day, placing six finishers in the top 20. Luke Carter ‘26 (10th), Eli Levine ‘26 (12th), Alex Mathews ‘24 (14th), Trip Moser ‘26 (16th), and Zach Dalva-Baird ‘25 (17th) also earned all-state honors. Max Zeldes ‘24 (35th), Noah Altschuler’25 (41st), Avi Agrawal ‘26 (43rd), and Javi Almonte '25 (46th) completed the team finish. Out of more than 160 competitors, all 10 Panthers finished close to the top 25% – displaying a depth of unmatched team strength. 

The girls achieved their highest place finish in Potomac’s VISAA XC history as runners-up. Audrey Rentzepis ’24 summoned a furious finish to pass several runners in the last 150 meters of the race to finish as the individual fourth place. Emmy Holland ‘24 (10th) also cracked the elusive top 10 (out of 140 competitors). Rose Barabanov ’27 stunned with an all-VISAA performance as a ninth grader while Avery Miller ‘26 (21st) finished just outside the all-state honors. Arielle Kouyoumdjian ‘25, in her first race returning from an injury, rounded out the scoring five for Potomac in 23rd. Vivi Evans ‘27 (29th), Kate Tuttle ‘24 (30th), Isabella Song ‘27 (71st), Brynn Windisch ‘27 (82nd), and Tenley Overdeck ‘24 (83rd) also ran strong for Potomac contributing to the most cohesive team performance and smallest team spread of all the schools. Combined with the girls second place finish, Potomac cross country won the day at Woodberry Forest. Read coverage of the boys and girls teams in the Gazette Leader.

Girls Varsity Win NOVA Tournament Championship!

For the first time since the inception of the tournament, Potomac’s girls varsity soccer team beat Bishop O'Connell 3-2 in a rematch of last year’s title game to emerge as champions of the NOVA Tournament. The team took a 2-0 lead and although O'Connell valiantly battled back, Potomac never relinquished their lead. Read the recent coverage in The Washington Post.

Bill Cook Award Presented to Mr. Morgan

This year’s honoree is Cort Morgan, art department chair, who is also celebrating his 40th year at Potomac. This award holds particular significance because Mr. Morgan and Mr. Cook were close friends. 

Closing Assembly

The Potomac community officially ended the 2022-23 school year today during a K-12 Closing Assembly rich with joy, tradition, reflection, and heartfelt emotion. The program began with the ceremonial procession of seniors and kindergartners, with our youngest students presenting a flower to each senior lifer.

Mr. Kowalik spoke about how generosity of spirit defines our school and has the power to make the world a better place. SGA President Yabby Maelaf ’23 and President-elect Kasim Khapra ’25 also gave inspiring remarks, and musical selections were shared by the IS Handbell Ensemble, IS/US Orchestra, IS Chorus, Third Grade Chorus, and IS/US Band.

The assembly concluded with the presentation of awards to three members of the senior class: Peyton Zarate received the Edith Blair Award, Yabby Maelaf received the Seth-Smith Award, and Ali O'Brien received the Head of School Award.

The assembly was a wonderful way to bid farewell to the school year and look ahead to the adventures of summer and our community’s return to Potomac in the fall. Watch the recording of the event and check out the photos.

If you would like to experience Potomac’s Commencement tomorrow, June 9, at 10:00 am but are unable to attend in person, please enjoy the livestream viewing option.

College Signing Day

At a ceremony yesterday, May 24, 21 scholar-athletes from the Class of 2023 announced their plans to play sports at the college level. Students, their families, coaches, and faculty gathered in the Spangler Center for Athletics and Community to celebrate their accomplishments.