West Potomac Welcomes Back Hamlin and McMahon

Laraib Ilyas, Co-Editor in Chief

West Potomac saw a wave of staff departures as the 2012-2013 year came to an end. Amongst it were Social Studies Department Chair and AP Psychology teacher Drew Hamlin, and  Student Services Counselor Kevin McMahon. Both Hamlin and McMahon have returned to West Potomac to wear new hats as Administrator and Director of Student Services, respectively.

Hamlin moved to New York City in June to be closer to family and start his Ph.D. in Educational Administration at Fordham University. He found the opening Administrator position to be opportune as his family transferred back to the D.C. area this past January.

McMahon looked for diverse experiences in a different school setting, so he branched out and became a counselor at South County for the beginning half of the school year. His interest in the Director of Student Services position eventually landed him the job back at West Potomac.

Some of Hamlin’s priorities, in conjunction with Principal Alex Case’s improvement plan for the school, are to improve the communication and collaboration around West Potomac. “The communication piece is something we need to hone and refine. We’ve gotten better, but there’s a ways to go with how we communicate our ideas and thoughts. But my biggest vision would be to collaborate with the West Potomac community to ensure we give the best academic, athletic, and social experience for all students,” he explained.

McMahon hopes to work with Student Services to support students at West Potomac. “We’re here to be a resource for our students and look at areas students are having challenges so we can help them. I want to make sure that is one of our main priorities.”

The transition from teacher to Administrator has not been difficult for Hamlin due to his previous experiences leading meetings as Social Studies Department Chair, and schools outside and inside of Fairfax County. “Being Department Chair helped me realize that it’s not about being top-down, it’s about working with your colleagues to make the best decisions for your team.” His background in these types of work environments is helping him transition into the Administrator role.

As a former counselor, McMahon understands the needs of his department. He looks forward to making more time on their agendas so they are easily available to students.

Students and staff members who have known Hamlin and McMahon are overjoyed with their return. Senior Sage Miska had Hamlin as her AP Psychology teacher junior year, and McMahon as her counselor throughout high school. Miska is excited about the new, young leadership starting at West Potomac: “I love that they both are good at communicating and relating to students; it really makes a difference”