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Two Recipients Honored with Generosity of Spirit Award

Potomac’s Generosity of Spirit Award is given annually at the Thanksgiving Assembly to a faculty or staff member who exemplifies Potomac’s core values, demonstrates “generosity of spirit,” and inspires others through their actions. This year, the award was presented to two highly respected members of our community: Coach and Physical Education Teacher Barb Mays and Security Guard Marc Lucas.

Coach Mays, a Potomac employee for 28 years, is described as “an outstanding educator and coach.” She has dedicated her entire career to empowering young people through physical education and athletics. A former dual sport college athlete at George Mason University, Coach Mays has played an integral role in Potomac’s girls’ field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse programs. She also created and runs the Girl Power Sports & Leadership Camp, designed to encourage young girls to express themselves through sports and help develop self-confidence. 

Mr. Lucas, described as a “tremendous ambassador for the school,” is an officer committed to the safety, security, and well-being of the entire Potomac community. Mr. Lucas joined Potomac in 2013 after a three-decade career in law enforcement, including nine years as an FBI police officer. He is one of the first people to arrive on campus each morning. During the remote work days of COVID, he was at his post every day. The positive impact Mr. Lucas has on our community and guests is invaluable.

 Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!

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AI Assembly Tackles Hot Topics

On Tuesday, the newly formed Upper School AI student committee hosted an assembly focused on the potential benefits and challenges of generative artificial intelligence. Students moderated a panel of three leaders in AI – U.S. Congressman Don Beyer, Professor Brian Hall, and Dr. Sarah Murphy Gray (Google) – who spoke to this technology's influence in politics, sports, defense, business, social media, and beyond. All three described themselves as "AI optimists," with a real sense of how AI could transform the world positively, but they guided students not to lose touch with the humanities as we learn these tools. Student moderators Kasim K. '25, India C. '25, and Arav B. '24 demonstrated real leadership in facilitating a discussion with the panelists and soliciting questions from the audience. This assembly was first and foremost student-generated, and it was exciting to watch their work over several months pay off. View photos from the discussion.

SERC Student Earns Top Honors in Regeneron Science Competition

Imagine a world where all amputees have access to affordable, life-changing prosthetics. That's the future that senior and SERC student Arav Bhargava is working towards; tackling complex problems with ingenuity and compassion. His low-cost, 3D-printed prosthetics aren't just devices; they are tickets to a world of possibility. This isn't a science project; it's a revolution in accessibility.

Two Seniors Named Regeneron Science Scholars

Congratulations to seniors Arav Bhargava and Max Zeldes, who were named Top 300 Scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2024! Both are students in Potomac's Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) program. This contest is the nation's oldest and most prestigious science/math competition for high school seniors. Under the mentorship of Dr. Isabelle Cohen and others, they've spent the past two years researching their projects.

  • Bhargava is recognized for his research: "Low-Cost, 3D-Printed, Universal-Fit, Transradial Socket for Amputees in Developing Countries."
  • Zeldes is recognized for his research: “Improvement to Electroencephalography-Based Imagined Speech Brain-Computer Interfaces Using a Targeted, Dense Array of Electrodes With Scalp Current Density Calculations.”

Amazing work, Arav and Max!

Two Recipients Honored with Generosity of Spirit Award

Potomac’s Generosity of Spirit Award is given annually at the Thanksgiving Assembly to a faculty or staff member who exemplifies Potomac’s core values, demonstrates “generosity of spirit,” and inspires others through their actions. This year, the award was presented to two highly respected members of our community: Coach and Physical Education Teacher Barb Mays and Security Guard Marc Lucas.

Coach Mays, a Potomac employee for 28 years, is described as “an outstanding educator and coach.” She has dedicated her entire career to empowering young people through physical education and athletics. A former dual sport college athlete at George Mason University, Coach Mays has played an integral role in Potomac’s girls’ field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse programs. She also created and runs the Girl Power Sports & Leadership Camp, designed to encourage young girls to express themselves through sports and help develop self-confidence. 

Mr. Lucas, described as a “tremendous ambassador for the school,” is an officer committed to the safety, security, and well-being of the entire Potomac community. Mr. Lucas joined Potomac in 2013 after a three-decade career in law enforcement, including nine years as an FBI police officer. He is one of the first people to arrive on campus each morning. During the remote work days of COVID, he was at his post every day. The positive impact Mr. Lucas has on our community and guests is invaluable.

 Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!

Grade 2 Teacher Invited to Present at Smithsonian Teach-In

Jenni Hoffmann, grade 2 teacher and K-6 social studies chair, was invited by Renée Gokey, teacher services coordinator at the NMAI, to present and model place-based teaching practices. The teachers who attended learned to see the outdoors as a teaching tool and further embrace the diverse culture and history of Indigenous American Nations