About Us

Diversity Equity Inclusion & Belonging at Severn


Everyone Belongs
Every Severn student deserves to feel a sense of belonging. We strive to acknowledge, affirm, and celebrate each aspect of our students' identities.
But acknowledging and celebrating isn’t enough.  We must also educate our community, advocate for our students, and with intention create an environment where understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility are the norm.  Our commitment and effort towards progress in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging aligns with our mission, and we are dedicated to the ongoing and ever-changing work necessary to further strengthen our community.

Our Vision

Severn aspires to be an inclusive community where each person is welcomed and affirmed.  We find strength and value in our similarities and differences thereby inspiring students and adults to participate in and sustain a vibrant exchange of ideas and perspectives.  In designing thoughtful programs and practices, we will broaden a culture of belonging and respect and an appreciation for the complexities within ourselves and others, and foster the desire to participate in a dynamic, global society.

Initiatives & Progress

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  • Strategic Plan: DEIB Priorities

    • Strengthen our community's commitment to anti-bias, making sure that every voice is heard, and that learning is equitable through a shared language and understanding of our "Everyone Belongs" value.
    • Cultivate a diverse and thriving community by ensuring equity in all touchpoints of the Severn experience.
    • Combat bias through a course curriculum that uplifts diverse perspectives, cultures, and lived experiences and promotes genuine understanding and acceptance.
    • Reduce financial barriers that may stand between qualified students and a Severn education by strengthening our financial access program to further meet the needs expressed in the applicant pool.
  • Ongoing/Long-Term Actions

    Continuing to implement strategies that will introduce and market Severn to an increasingly diverse pool of applicants. 

    • A vital partnership has been established in creating strategies and evaluating the admissions process between the Director of Enrollment Management and the Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion 
    • The Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion is member of the Severn School’s Admissions Committee  
    • Recommendations created by Severn’s Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Enrollment Management Support Force have been re-visited, examined and utilized within the admissions and retention process.    
    Continuing to increase racial diversity of Severn’s Board, administration, and faculty. Annually examining our processes to identify successes and areas of growth with candidate recruitment, support, and retention.   

    • During Severn’s initial implementation of the DEIB Department, Key Performance Indicators specifically focused on BIPOC students, faculty, and families were created and assessed.  The information was shared and utilized to assist in immediate and long-term actions focused on improving Severn’s racial diversity and equity efforts.   
    • Severn has utilized services including Southern Teachers Agency, Nemnet Minority Recruitment, Strategenius, and Teachers of Color to attract more teachers of color throughout all three divisions.      
    • The DEIB Director has been a participant in all of Severn’s Faculty and the school’s Executive Administrative Team hiring processes since assuming the role and responsibility. 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Representatives

List of 4 items.

  • Roles & Responsibilities

    • Presence 
      • DEI Reps are individuals who serve to connect the larger scale focus of DEI Initiatives of Severn School into their specific Divisions 
      • DEI Reps maintain a specific knowledge and understanding of students, families, and colleagues of the specific Division and their needs pertaining to DEI
    • Support
      • Provide Support for Students, Colleagues, Families 
      • Support to parties in a situation where harm has taken place
        • Immediate support to the individual or group who was hurt 
        • Support by education to the individual or group who has committed the harm 
    • Information 
      • Work to provide Division specific resources for Students, Colleagues, and Families 
      • Updates DEI Resource pages for Faculty 
    • Connection and Belonging 
      • Responsible for helping to facilitate much of the unrecognize work that is done to create positive relationships, affirmation, empathy, and respect of all stakeholders in the Division 
      • Facilitates opportunities for students, colleagues, and families to have safe spaces to discuss and process different areas pertaining to DEI in their Division 
  • Chesapeake Campus Representatives

    Taylor Belo - LS DEIB Coordinator
    Elizabeth Cowell 
    Diana Doroteo
    Sheryl Hoyt 
    Jennie Kantowski
    Katie Peacock
  • Teel Campus Representatives

    Middle School:
    • JoAnna Josey (Middle School DEIB Coordinator)
    • Whitney Etchison 
    • Mary Foard 
    • Lisa Clarke 
    • Kathleen Donovan 
    • Zachary Sea
    Upper School:
    • Camille Jones (Upper School DEIB Coordinator)
    • Dr. Aegina Martin 
    • Kim Coughlin 
    • Lilly Kane 
    • Kristin Blanck
    • Dr. Sidra Smith
    • Jenny Sledge
    • Mrunali Das
  • Executive Committee

    Katie Leavy
    Cathy Jerrick
    Gina DeStefano
    Elsa Maskell
    Doug Lagarde
    Mike Glasby

In this Section


We, the members of the Severn community, value respect, empathy, and trust. To uphold these virtues, we strive to regard others with civility, foster an environment of belonging, and exhibit character of unquestionable integrity.

In the Classroom

In the Classroom
We commit to developing course curricula that incorporate diverse perspectives, materials, and experiences in and out of the classroom. We offer programs to foster an appreciation of different cultures, combat bias, and promote genuine understanding and acceptance of others. And we help our students develop leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills to engage meaningfully and responsibly in our community and the world beyond our doors.


CommUnity Day 2024


LS Open Doors Fall 23


Multicultural Admiral Dinner



Library Collections

Our libraries endeavor to foster the love of reading and lifelong learning by maintaining a robust collection that caters to diverse backgrounds, perspectives, interests, and opinions. The collections listed below celebrate historically underrepresented people and cultures, reflecting myriad ideas, information, stories, and experiences, and help students and teachers explore fundamental concepts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is our libraries' goal to provide resources for the classroom and reading for fun that serve as both windows and mirrors for our students and promote a sense of real belonging for every Admiral.

Teacher Professional Development

Severn School is a community of learners. As adults, it is our responsibility to model the qualities we wish to see in our students. To that end, we support our faculty with consistent professional development, both on and off-campus. Our teachers are the heart of Severn School. Their leadership in the classroom is key to creating an environment where each student has an equitable opportunity to realize their full potential.

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  • Off-Campus Conferences and Training

    Below are some of the professional development opportunities for our teachers in the past 5 years: 
    • AIMS Inclusivity Conference
    • World Artists Experiences: Arab Cultural Immersion Experience
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference
    • Equity Design Lab on Culturally Responsive Teaching
    • Harvard Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction Program
    • Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice: Talking About Race with Children
    • NAIS Inclusive Schools Network Institute
    • NAIS People of Color Conference
    • Orton Gillingham Conference
    • Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum’s "From Diversity to Community" Conference
    • AIMS Gender & Sexual Orientation Conference: Making Schools Safe
    • AIMS Talking About Race with Our Students and Each Other
  • On-Campus Conferences and Training

    Below are some of the professional development opportunities for our teachers in the past 5 years: 
    • Severn Summer Institute Inclusivity Sessions
    • NAIS Equity Workshop
    • AIMS Birds of a Feather: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • AIMS Navigating Challenging Conversations
    • AIMS Diversity Conference hosted annually at Severn
    • Faculty Inclusion and Collaboration Training with Charles Belo
    • Workshop with Jennifer Bryan Ph.D. on learning to communicate about issues of gender, sexuality, and diversity 

DEI Awareness Calendar

List of 4 events.

View All Events

Lower School

Upper School