“I want to inspire people:” Ms. Severns’ story


Rick Epstein

Ms. Severns not only inspires students in her classroom and on the stage, but she also inspires them to support good causes.

Deeksha Marri, The Delphi Staff

From animating poetry in the classroom to bringing scripts to life on the stage, Ms. Severns has been inspiring students at Delaware Valley for 7 years.

Severns attended Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. She immediately felt at home and knew that this was where she would attend university.

As a freshman in college, she decided to get to know the school and get comfortable, resulting in her not picking up any extra curricular activities. By sophomore year, she was doing theater again, acting, participating backstage and working with the theater community at MU, as well as working with other clubs.

“We had an outreach program for people struggling with houselessness, and it was very impactful to help those people and hear their stories,” Severns said.

This experience changed Severns’ view on many aspects of her life. There was a very vulnerable, eye-opening moment she had with one of her teachers; the teacher told her that she would never become a teacher with the grades she got. This experience made her realize what kind of teacher she didn’t want to be.

“I think teaching came to me very naturally. I naturally wanted to help people. I naturally was very good at school and I know I am very lucky for that,” Severns said.

Her mother was also an educator, and Severns says she is very grateful to have grown up around that environment. It was very important to Severns to find a school community that she felt comfortable in and where she could make a positive impact.

I want students to feel respected, seen, heard and validated for who they are as people…

— Ms. Severns

Delaware Valley reminded her of where she grew up and brought her back to a peaceful time in her life. She had the same feeling she had just 4 years back when she walked onto MU’s campus: she felt at home.

Severns, being a very inspirational and compassionate person, knows what she wants her students to take away from her classroom.

“I want students to feel respected, seen, heard and validated for who they are as people because in English class we spend so much time reading and learning about all these other people. I want my students to feel like their story is just as important.” Severns said.

No matter who the students are, what their backgrounds are or what they believe in, Severns hopes that all of her students are comfortable and confident not just in her class, but always. 

Being a teacher for 7 years, Severns has learned a lot along the way. The most important goal for Severns is that all of her students can be themselves. As a child, she had negative experiences with people resulting in her changing herself to fit a mold that she didn’t create.

“At the end of the day, I’m the only person that has to be happy with myself. My opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to my life,” Severns said.

Finally coming to this conclusion, she made herself happier and more successful. 

Teaching is an important passion for Severns, not just because she really enjoys doing it, but also because she wants to help people. She wants to make a change amongst her students, the same way she had teachers who made a positive impact on her life.

“To see a student achieve their goals and dreams is what keeps me coming back to teaching,” Severns said.