This talk and slide presentation covers the “first family” of Potomac: the Offutt’s, for whom Potomac was originally named (Offutt’s Crossroads). The talk, by a descendant of the Offutt family, explores when and how the village came to be called Potomac, with feuding among the family, the end of slavery, a business partnership gone bad, and attempted murder all playing a part—not to mention a few ghostly appearances in later years!
Ralph Buglass is a frequent speaker for Montgomery History on a variety of local history topics and a volunteer researcher for Peerless Rockville, the nonprofit historic preservation organization for Montgomery County’s seat of government. In 2020, with Peerless Rockville, he co-authored Images of America: Rockville, a pictorial history of the city’s 250 years. He also teaches lifelong learning courses at American University, Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery College, and Frederick Community College. A Montgomery County native, he graduated from Winston Churchill High School, then earned a BA in American history from Cornell University and an MA in journalism from American University.
Betsy Wooster, with the help of her able partner and Rotary stalwart Kevin Flynn, has vowed to work smarter not harder when it comes to managing their challenging third of an acre in North Chevy Chase. Following a long career in environmental education, Betsy retired from the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2018. Within a year she joined the Montgomery County Master Gardener program to learn more about sustainable horticultural practices. Little did she know that she would not only have access to a multitude of gardening resources and expertise but also be able to contribute to educating young people and community members through a wide variety of Master Gardener programs.
Betsy’s background includes more than a decade with the National Geographic Society and National Wildlife Federation. She is currently serving as one of the editors of the Montgomery County Master Gardeners newsletter, which serves a very active group of 450 trained volunteers who educate County residents about safe, effective and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes and communities.
In Rotary, the theme for the month of September is Basic Education and Literacy, one of the six areas of focus. To help us understand the current state of literacy in our community, we’ll hear from Kathy Stevens, Executive Director of the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy. (MCAEL). Kathy joined MCAEL in 2012. She comes to MCAEL from Montgomery College, following career and volunteer experience in higher education and nonprofits, including work as a senior executive of an international, non-profit membership organization. Kathy is a fundraiser, lawyer, community organizer, and mediator. An active community member, she is one of three Co-Chairs for Montgomery Moving Forward, a Collective Impact group in Montgomery County. Additionally, she is Board Chair for the Charles Koiner Conservancy for Urban Farming and a board member for Nonprofit Montgomery. She is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and Impact Silver Spring’s Community Empowerment Program. Kathy holds her J.D. from the University of Richmond, Ed. M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and B.A. from Swarthmore College.
When she is not at her desk or at a county meeting or event, Kathy can often be found hiking with her dog Blair, finding live music to listen to, and very often hosting dinners to bring friends and family together over a meal.