Bullis School | Bethesda Magazine

Test of Time


Bullis School

Bobby Pollicino and Kira Orr

10601 Falls Road





Founded in 1930 as a small military prep school for boys, Bullis School now has over 800 students on its co-ed 102-acre Potomac campus. “While we continue to change and evolve, we maintain connections to the ideas and beliefs of our founder, Commander Bullis,” says Bobby Pollicino, principal of the Upper School. “Commander Bullis believed in the potential of every student, and that is just as true at Bullis School today,” says Pollicino.

Bullis continues to focus on individual student needs; teachers regularly introduce new programs to address varied strengths and interests. “The traditional educational landscape is no longer enough for our students,” says Pollicino. “They need to be given new challenges.”

Bullis is introducing a new “Discovery Days” program in the spring. K-12 students will be given four to nine school days to explore opportunities that aren’t available in a traditional classroom, such as building a boat out of recyclable materials or analyzing the physics behind Hollywood superheroes. The Discovery Center opened last fall and includes a “makerspace” and fabrication lab and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship. “The buildings are a great back drop, but it’s really about the people,” says Kira Orr, assistant principal of the Upper School.

Orr, an alumna, coached basketball at Bullis before going on to coach college basketball in New York. But when she fell ill, and Bullis hosted a blood drive on her behalf, Orr was determined to return to her alma mater. “I called the school and said I’m ready to come back. I’ll do anything,” says Orr. She says it was the welcoming, supportive culture that makes Bullis so special. “The community always comes together and rallies around individuals in need,” says Orr.

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