Potomac Conference

Potomac Conference, Juwel Watson

Story by Debra Anderson

Juwel Watson is the new director of special education for the Potomac Conference. A former fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Takoma Academy Preparatory School in Takoma Park, Md., Watson has a solid academic background and a wealth of experience in special education.

The Potomac Conference Office of Education has been on a mission to hire a qualified specialist to provide guidance and support to schools that have students with special education needs. Departmental data shows a significant need in the conference to expand the opportunities for students who qualify for special education.

Story by Salena Fitzgerald

Three beloved and accomplished Takoma Academy (TA) staff members retired at the end of the 2021–22 academic year.

C. Dunbar Henri received his Master of Divinity from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (Mich.) in 1983. After 18 months of singing and traveling with the Heritage Singers out of Placerville, Calif., he pastored three churches in Maryland from 1983–1986 before joining TA’s staff full-time.

During the last 37 years, Henri has served as a Bible teacher and administrator, including two stints as TA principal from 1995–1997 and 2005–2009. During his first stint, he became the first black princi- pal to serve at TA. He also served as vice principal.

Story by Janel Haas Ware

After a three-year hiatus, Shenandoah Valley Academy’s (SVA) choir and orchestra hit the road for a tour of the Midwest during the 2021–22 academic year. For many students, this was their first music tour ever. Under the direction of Daniel Biaggi, music director, and Kelly Wiedemann, associate music director, the group set out bright and early on a Tuesday morning.

Story by Tamaria L. Kulemeka

Educators have embraced the new frontier of hybrid instruction and have adapted their classrooms in a way that would never have been conceived prior to the pandemic shutdown.

Unexplored Territory

Though Columbia Union Conference schools have returned to in-person learning, many of them continue to offer a virtual option for the unforeseen future.