A Fond Goodbye to our Director of Student Life

Mr. Westermann’s departure dismays students, even as we celebrate all he has done and wish him well in his career


Mr. Westermann in the Crossroads on his last Friday of school

Maren McLucas and Aryana Cayton

The end of the school year brings joy to the hearts of students, but this spring it is tinged with the bittersweet knowledge that we won’t have the friendly, welcoming presence of Mr. Westermann to greet us on our first day of school in the fall. Yes, Mr. Westermann is leaving Potomac, though not, as he puts it, to “run away,” but to “run toward,” an incredible opportunity as the new Head of the Upper School at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, VA. 

Students will remember Mr. Westermann for having kept our spirits up during the trying years of COVID. The school has had its share of ups and downs, but having a strong leader like Mr. Westermann to provide support and encouragement to students has truly been a great comfort. “There were obviously some times that were hard in the five years that I was here and the way in which students and faculty supported one another were also both coming out of low points and high points,” Mr. Westerman said. 

Mr. Westermann has been the Upper School Director of Student Life, a 9th-grade English teacher, and an advisor for the past five years. Mr. Westermann explained that what he will miss most about Potomac is his relationships with students: “I’ve tried to make sure that I’ve built relationships across grade levels, friend groups, teams, and I will really miss just being able to walk out into the crossroads and sit down and talk with people.” He recounted one of his all-time favorite memories from his time at Potomac as “Last year’s bonfire, the first major student event where we were back unmasked, people were together and just seeing people dancing and being together and having so much joy.” He also assured us that, although he will not be writing it, there will continue to be a Next Week in the Upper School even after his departure.

Shelby Willcox ’23, one of Mr. Westermann’s advisees, told us that “Although Mr. Westermann had a lot on his plate, he always made time to check on me when I was going through harder times and needed someone to talk to. High school was so much better knowing I had an adult in school that always had my back.” 

Although he will be greatly missed next year, we will openly welcome the new Director of Student Life, and know that we will be in good hands. Thank you Mr. Westermann for everything. We all wish you the best of luck and happiness as you take on your next adventure.