Principal Case: “West Potomac Is the World’s Greatest High School!”

The first in a series of press talks between Principal Case and The Wire.


Lilly Lane

Principal Case talks with The Wire staff about the upcoming year.

Taylor Haas

“West Potomac is the world’s greatest high school!”, says Principal Alex Case. In the first of a series of press conferences held throughout the school with The Wire, Case outlined his vision for the 2014-2015 school year, and his mission to make West Potomac the “World’s Greatest High School.”

Case, who was appointed principal of the school last year, believes that the vision of being the world’s greatest high school is all about being the best versions of ourselves and believing in West Potomac. “On the more practical side of it,” he said, “it means we are taking the most challenging courses that we possibly can. Are we excited to go to the classes that we have? Do we like coming to school and being on time to class? Is there the right mix of clubs and leadership opportunities, and is that mix of classes coming together so everyone feels connected to the building?”

Speaking about the goals administrative team and the faculty, Case said that “part of being world’s greatest is connectedness,” along with a focus on engagement and school systems. “Engagement is a very important factor to having a successful learning experience,” noted Case. “Courses need to be challenging, rigorous, and students need to have good relationships with their teachers and each.”

With regard to school systems, Case cited community-wide feedback from last year in determining what has worked in the past, and what hasn’t worked and needs to be tweaked or changed. As one example, Case pointed out that the assignment of junior parking spots has been a problem in previous years, so this year administrators revamped the process to be as fair and efficient as possible for juniors seeking parking.

Looking forward to the 2014-15 school year, Case said that he is excited to see what this year will bring and see how the school can build on the successes of last year. “We set a pretty high bar for ourselves,” says Case, noting last year’s accomplishment of theater, band, chorus, and athletics. “We have a very strong senior class, in particular, and we’re looking forward to see how they lead and welcome in new students.

Case believes that student voice and input is central to decision-making, encouraged by the increased involvement of students in PTSA meetings and community events. He also noted that “spirit is a definite strength,” particularly impressed by the drive and and motivation of students in the Hype Squad seeking to be inclusive of all students in engaging them in school spirit activities.

When discussing the challenges that West Potomac faces in the year to come, Case said that one of the biggest is making sure that students maintain a balance with their extracurricular activities, their academics, and their family life. “It’s a challenge we are ready to face head on,” said Case, “and I am encouraged by the course the student body is taking.”

In response to how he is feeling about the job in general, Case said, “Don’t tell anybody but I’m having a lot of fun! I don’t want people to know how fun my job is!” The principal is often seen standing at the school’s front door or wandering through the hallways prior to the start of classes. “I’m a morning person,” he said. “I like to make sure we are checked and ready for the day, and it’s amusing for me to be overly energetic first thing when people are waking up.”