Seventh-day Adventist Education is a remarkable system of education that began in 1872 and has grown to be the second largest Christian educational system worldwide. Presently in North America there are over 1000 elementary and secondary schools and 15 colleges and universities serving 65,000 students. The Potomac Conference Corporation operates 20 schools educating over 1,700 students, Pre-K through 12th grade. It is our objective to provide top quality education through passionate Christian educators for the glory of Jesus Christ.
Vice President for Education
VP for Education
Office Ext. 1228
Steve Laing joined the Potomac Conference as Vice-President for Education in July of 2018 and has over 27 years of experience as an educator and administrator. He received his BA in Business Administration and History from Atlantic Union College and later his Masters in School Administration also from AUC. Steve taught history for many years before stepping into administrative roles. He also had the opportunity to participate in the musical ministry of The King’s Heralds Quartet singing baritone. It was a childhood dream come true. Steve and his wife April enjoy hiking, traveling, and serving the Lord.
Education Department Team
Associate, Southern District
Office Ext. 1229
Janet Frank Armstrong (“Mrs. A”) began teaching after graduating from La Sierra College in 1984. Throughout those 35 years she has taught grades K-8, with the majority being in K/1. Her career began in Southern California Conference, where she served for 13 years. She moved to Potomac Conference in 1997, working in Roanoke (Va.), Olney (Md.), and 15 years as teaching principal at Tree of Life Christian Preparatory School, in Fredericksburg, Va..
Armstrong says what she most enjoyed about teaching in the primary grades was being the starting gate of learning and seeing the newness of each day through the eyes of excited kids who have a heart and love for Jesus and others. She makes a point to stay in contact with her former students and enjoys seeing “her kids” become adults–so many of which have given their hearts to the Lord.
Associate, Northern District
Office Ext. 1228
Gabriel Madrid is a seasoned educational leader with more than 16 years of experience. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and Theology from Southwestern Adventist University (Keene, Texas), Madrid spent 10 years teaching history, economics and government in schools across Texas, California and Pennsylvania.
In 2013, Madrid graduated from Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. Since then he has led as a principal, director of innovation and, in 2020, accepted the call to serve as an associate superintendent of education for Potomac. Madrid has presented on topics such as effective organizational leadership, developing school culture and data driven instruction. His mission is to develop leaders that will inspire young people to change the world. He is in love with his wife, Kailisha, and the proud father of their three beautiful children.
Office Ext. 1228
Carla has been teaching in the Adventist school system for 27 years. During these years, Carla taught grades PK-12, served as principal and led seminars and workshops for teachers. Prior to becoming a teacher, Carla was studying Corporate Communications and planning to work on an MBA, but God led her to work with young people instead. She joined the Potomac office team in June 2021, combining her teaching and business skills to continue furthering God’s work in education.
Director of Special Education
Office Ext. 1203
Juwel Watson developed a passion for working with special needs and developmentally challenged young adults during her college years in New York City. There she worked in day habilitation settings, overseeing travel training trips, and teaching basic employment skills. In 1995, Watson graduated from Long Island University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Though she intended to pursue a career in the field of psychology, Watson was drawn back to her love for teaching and later accepted a position in the New York City Public School System. She taught as a special educator in self-contained and inclusion classrooms for grades one through five. Returning to her calling she honed her skills and deepened her love for special education.
In 2002, Watson completed a graduate degree program at Adelphi University where she earned a Master of Science dual degree in Literacy and Special Education. She relocated to Florida and began working in the private sector with nonverbal autistic children. Deciding to take on a new challenge in education, Watson became an adjunct professor, teaching Student Success and English, at Broward College. In addition to her adjunct professorial responsibilities, Watson was asked to serve as an academic advisor in a program developed by Broward College for at-risk students.
Watson moved to Maryland in 2012. In 2015, she joined the teaching staff at Sligo Adventist School, now Takoma Academy Preparatory School (TA Prep). She served at TA Prep as a middle school and 5th grade English teacher and Academic Specialist. As an Academic Specialist she worked with students who had Individual Educational Plans and Individual Service Plans from the public school.
Watson brings more than 20-years of teaching experience to Potomac Conference. A product of SDA education during her formative years, Watson believes God has led her to utilize her talents and gifts in Christian education. Mrs. Watson is married and has two adult children.
C .F. Richards Junior Academy (includes Pre-K)
Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy
Manassas Adventist Preparatory School
Powell Valley Christian School (includes Pre-K)
Roanoke Adventist Christian School
Shenandoah Valley Academy Elementary School (includes Pre-K)
Stanley SDA School (includes Pre-K)
Tappahannock Junior Academy (includes Pre-K)
Tidewater Adventist Academy (includes Pre-K)
Tree of Life Christian Preparatory School (Grades K -8)
Vienna Adventist Academy (Pre-K – 12th grade)
Richmond Academy (Pre-K – 12th grade)
Shenandoah Valley Academy (high school |9-12th grade)
Beltsville Adventist School
Olney Adventist Preparatory School
Takoma Academy Preparatory School
Takoma Academy (high school | 9-12th grade)
Potomac Education Foundation
The Potomac Conference Education Foundation is a scholarship foundation approved to participate in the Virginia Tax Credits Scholarships Program. The Foundation’s emphasis is on using funds donated through the Virginia Tax Credits Scholarships Program to provide scholarships to financially eligible students so they can attend Adventist schools.