New Athletic Director Takes Reins at West Po

New Athletic Director Takes Reins at West Po

Matthew Macdonald was introduced to the role in a press release last month. For the first time in 17 years, West Potomac High School is welcoming a new Director of Student Activities. 

Macdonald sequels Aaron Helmick, a 17-year DSA who oversaw 60 district championships across 21 different sports. While large shoes to fill, Macdonald carries strong qualifications. Prior to his latest move to West Potomac, Macdonald has spent his now 16-year career educating on Franconia Road at John Lewis High School. With the Lancers, Macdonald served in a multitude of roles–a former physics teacher, assistant principal, and baseball coach. 

Macdonald sees his diverse portfolio in education as an asset in his goals of building a better connected and driven West Potomac community. I sat down with Macdonald to discuss his ties to West Potomac and hear out his defined goals. 

Rainey: Why did you choose to take the DSA job here at West Potomac after 16 years with John Lewis?

Macdonald: I saw this as a really good opportunity for me given that I live in the community. My wife is a West Potomac graduate and my daughter goes to Bucknell Elementary.

Rainey: Last month’s press release referenced your vision of a ‘student-first approach’, can you elaborate on that?

Macdonald: We have big plans on tying together the pyramid community as a whole, we want our future Wolverines to be excited about being Wolverines.

Since my interview with Macdonald, we have already seen new community building steps being taken by the athletic department. West Potomac student athletes Quinn Rosenbaum (Girls Tennis) and Will Sharp (Baseball) earned Student Athlete of the Month honors in March, a new award introduced by Macdonald. During the second wellness day last week on April 13th, Macdonald organized multiple volunteer student athletes to visit a local Elementary School and assist coaching up the next generation with fun recess activities, earning themselves some extra service hours in the process. 

“Connecting with the younger students made me feel hopeful for the future of West Potomac,” said Bennett Zippel, a senior pitcher with the West Potomac Wolverines baseball team, “I would have loved a visit from the high school kids if I was in their shoes.” Zippel visited his alma-mater, Waynewood Elementary School.