Teacher Feature: Mr. Howe


Mr. Howe, currently in his ninth year of teaching at West Potomac High School and 16th year overall, teaches English at West Potomac High School — more specifically, both English 10 and English 11 classes, including some honors classes. Howe, from a family with deep roots in our country, has had an interesting career working in politics before becoming an English teacher. 

Howe’s family believes his father’s side of the family came to the United States of America before the country was founded, in the beginning of the 17th century initially settling in New York and later moving to Wisconsin. A few centuries later, Howe’s grandfather founded the first women’s sportswear company in the United States of America.

Howe began his career after college as an English teacher. “I needed a job and when I got out of college there weren’t any, and I got a certification to teach. Then I taught for a few years and then went on to do a few other things. That was phase one of my teaching. Phase two is when I came back just a few years ago.” 

As for why he chose to teach English, Howe said, “I majored in English because it was something I liked.”

After his first phase of teaching, Howe founded his own lobbying and consulting company. He lobbied for cities and municipal governments to solve the “food desert” problem, the nationwide problem where you don’t have easy access to food in urban areas. He worked for several politicians’ politicians, including former presidential candidate, and later, secretary of state, and currently the special envoy for climate affairs, John Kerry.

When asked what his favorite thing about West Potomac is, Howe answered, “Diversity. I came here because it has a diverse student population.”

Howe’s favorite experience at West Potomac was when students wrote over 600 letters to Congress and the Virginia General Assembly, advocating for their positions regarding gun control in the wake of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018. Most of the letters were from Howe’s classes.

When asked what was the most valuable thing he was taught by a student, Howe replied, “To maintain a good sense of humor.” 

In his free time, Howe plays tennis, goes to baseball games, gardens, and travels.