Chevy Chase Citizens Association: Aug. 23, 2017


Wilson High School is located at 3950 Chesapeake St. NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/September 2016)

Our local public secondary schools, Deal Middle and Wilson High, got off to a good start this week with a solar eclipse viewing. Thanks to generous donations from local science museums and organizations and parents, more than 3,000 students were provided with safety glasses to view the unusual event.

Deal has a new interim principal, Diedre Neal. She replaces longtime principal James Albright, who has moved to the school system’s central office. Neal, the former sixth-grade principal at Deal, is getting rave reviews from parents and staff who were “blown away” by the well-run sixth-grade orientation last week. Neal stayed for more than an hour to answer questions from parents.

In a message to parents and students, Neal said, “Our theme for this year is Daring Greatly. We are approaching the new school year with a commitment to a vision of what is possible for all students. I am passionate about creating a beloved community that promotes a positive culture, supports student achievement through rigorous teaching and learning, and encourages equity and access.” About a third of all middle school students in D.C. Public Schools attend Deal, which has been ranked one of the city’s most diverse.

At Wilson, principal Kimberly Martin’s mission is to strive for a safe, supportive and welcoming community of dedicated and self-reflective learners, equipped to embrace opportunities for growth on the path of active citizenship.

Parents are encouraged to join the Alice Deal Community Association and sign up to receive a weekly newsletter at Wilson parents may join the Wilson High School Parent Teacher Student Organization and sign up for the Wilson email list at

Families are mourning the tragic death this month of Lafayette, Deal and Wilson graduate Jamahri Rome Sydnor, who was struck by a stray bullet while driving her nephew home, 10 days before she planned to leave for college in Florida. Known for her smile and the light she brought into every room, Jamahri, a cheerleader and choir member, made her mark at all three schools. A scholarship/memorial fund in her honor has been set up at

— Jenny Backus