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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

A Q&A with Mr. McMahon

The editors at the West Po Wire sat down with Interim Principal Mr. Kevin McMahon for a Q&A session last week. Here are some highlights:
Credit: Kevin McMahon
Mr. McMahon posing with the Wolverine at Back to School Night

What was your previous title?

My previous title was Director of Student Services. [And so] when they name our principal, that’ll be the position I go back to. 


Could you remind us how long you were Director of Student Services for?

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This is my 16th year in education. I was a school counselor here at West Potomac for five years.  I briefly went down to be a school counselor at South County for a semester… that December of that year, I had the opportunity to interview for the Director of Student Services position here at West Potomac. 


How were you notified and what was the process for becoming interim principal?

I was contacted by our regional office about it, and they asked if I’d be willing to step into the role and help out during this transition period. We got the information from Dr. Millard’s departure right around the same time the parents got the email.


I have a question about the process of selecting a new principal because I know they sent out emails to some students asking if they want to be on a panel. So, how are they choosing a principal and what is the timeline of that?

The region reached out to the community about the principal selection process, and I know they had a night where they gathered community members to come and share their thoughts. Anybody could submit their name if they’re interested in being a student panel representative. The regional office goes through all that and makes a decision on who’s going to be on the interview panel, with the 


It’s kind of a big, open-ended question, but what do you think is your favorite part of West Po? 

I like our community. You know, I think we have so many students and faculty and from different backgrounds that come together, I think the idea of working together with the community is my favorite thing about what’s been going on.


How did you react to becoming Interim Principal? 

I was honored to be thought of for the position; that our regional office thought that I could be someone to step into the role… In addition to being honored that I was considered and asked, a lot of different things came to my head about starting school… when you’re in one position for 10 years, you kind of get familiar with all the responsibilities. I quickly tried to shift as best I could during a busy time of year to  “okay, what are some of my new responsibilities?” Obviously having a strong start to the school year is our number one priority…Luckily, we have a very experienced administrative team at West Potomac. We have a number of administrators that have been here for a long time and that I’ve been working alongside that we work really well together. We were able to come together, and I think the first week of school was pretty smooth. 


What’s been your favorite part of being the interim principal so far?

When you’re in a new role, you’re learning a lot. So, in addition to just the honor of, you know, being grateful for the opportunity to support our students and our faculty in this role… I’m learning some different things, some things that as director of student services I wasn’t involved in.


What are some things that have come up just within this week that you’ve had to start tackling? I don’t know if you’ve heard it, but some of us seniors are wondering about leaving 10 minutes early…

So I have been contacted by SGA, some senior class leadership, and I’m meeting with them and Ms. Williams, who’s the senior class administrator after school today. So I anticipate that kind of senior privilege as part of the conversation… We had a pretty significant shift last school year when the addition got finished, and we went from being able to basically go outside or whatever you needed… I know it was a big shift in our school culture, but students did a great job… I think we’ve come a long way since last December when we made that change. I think, more often than not, students understand the why behind it. We can still brainstorm ways to improve transitions to try to help folks. So I think, yeah, those would be the things from my perspective, and from the student perspective, that I’ve heard the most over the first few days of school. 


What West Po fall sports are you looking forward to supporting?

My hope is to get out there and support all of the teams. I know the field hockey opener was last night. Then of course, we got the dance team. We got the cheerleaders, and then the football team…I’m excited to have our home opener and we can open the garage door to make it easier with parking… should be a fun Thursday night. 


Do you have anything else you would like to say to West Po?

I just want to thank you guys for reaching out. I thank all the students, I’ve had students reach out to me, after they shared that I’d be serving in this role. I mean, I can’t thank our community enough for the support, the messages, and the positive energy. It’s always great when you’re stepping into a role and everybody wants to support you. That’s just very humbling… I’m originally from New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey. My whole family is in New Jersey, my brother, my sister and my parents, some extended family. So I’m the only one that kind of left New Jersey to come down here. I’ve kind of adopted the community as my own and I’m just really thankful for all the support that everybody’s given. I’m so excited for these next few weeks to do all I can to support students, faculty, and support our new principal [when the time comes].


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About the Contributors
Miguel Tsang
Miguel Tsang, Co Editor-in-Chief
This is senior Miguel Tsang's third year writing for The Wire. Not only the president of West Po's Asian-Pacific Americans Club (APAC), he’s also active on the Crew and Debate teams. He is excited to be back in journalism to keep up with current events, and help other people to do the same. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the violin, traveling, and planning for the next APAC meeting and talking about Nope ;).
Jaylan Post
Jaylan Post, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Jaylan Post, senior, is in his third year of Journalism and hopes to continue his important work as an editor and writer. He uses the class as a way to refresh his knowledge on news and writing. He enjoys basketball, volleyball, and cooking in his free time. He also enjoys a large variety of music, TV shows, and movies.
Phoebe Schultz
Phoebe Schultz, Editor-in-Chief
Phoebe Schultz is a senior editor and member of the West Potomac Dance Team. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends and trying new coffee places in the area. She’ll listen to any Fleetwood Mac, Taylor Swift, or Lorde song on repeat. She looks forward to journalism every Blue Day and writes for the newspaper because it keeps her involved in the school community. Phoebe shows her creative side in journalism through posting on the social media accounts (@thewpwire) and working on the layout for quarterly newspapers. It's her 4th and final year on The Wire, and she couldn't be more excited for all that the 2023-2024 school year has in store.
Sara Lainez
Sara Lainez, Hispanic Culture Editor
Sara Lainez, a senior, enjoys going to dog parks with her very small feisty Yorkie name Bella. She spends lots of time watching dramatic Spanish novelas. She enjoys reading and seeing sunsets or sunrises. One of her biggest accomplishments was being able to work into writing the first ever Spanish story last school year. This year she looks forward to writing more bilingual stories for the quarterly paper and the stall.
Ali Ahmed, Writer
Ali Ahmed, a local artsy freshman, enjoys drawing, going on walks, and making comics. In his free time he either plays with his cat, doodles in his sketchbook, or works on his webtoon (Hollow Phantasm The Crimson Magus Incident). He also does jujitsu along with his older brother and likes to drink iced coffees–half decaf most of the time. His favorite food is sushi, favorite video game is Super Smash Bros Brawl (Project + mod), and his favorite anime is Steins; Gate.  
Emily Butler
Emily Butler, Social Media Editor
Emily "Emmie" Butler is a senior here at West Po. It’s her 4th year in journalism and 3rd as a Social Media Editor for The Wire. When not at school she enjoys any time spent being active or with her friends who bring out her social personality. She has been a member of West Po’s crew and swim team for the past three years and plans to continue. This year she is president of the crew team. She aspires to be a positive person in all aspects of life and she looks forward to the little things like blasting music with the windows down or a sushi dinner with her best friends.
Mercedes Henwood, Social Issues Co-Editor
Starting her junior year at West Po, Mercedes Henwood likes journaling her daily life and hanging out with friends. This is her second year being a part of The Wire, and she’s more than excited. Planning to get involved at school through more clubs and activities, she also enjoys baking and spending free time with her dogs. She has not thought about future career options/majors yet, but is hoping to broaden her horizons this year.

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