Alumni Snapshots: Q&A with Jessica Popham McDermott ‘97

Alumni Director Carrie Grimes had the chance to catch up over coffee with Jess, to reminisce about her time at Severn. She and her husband, Dave McDermott '97 are the proud parents of Laine '25, Emily, and Mac. Jess is also the daughter of Bryson Popham '69. We are excited to welcome her as our new Alumni Association President!
Share a memory of a time when Severn felt like home to you.
I'll always remember our lacrosse breakfasts, when we’d come in early and hang out together as a team. We’d wear our uniforms to show team pride. Spirit weeks were also so much fun — our teachers would come out to the fields and cheer us on. That meant a lot.

What is one special memory you have of a particular place on campus?
The old senior room in the basement of Teel! We had some old beat up couches and a hand-me-down ping pong table. Our lockers were in the old shower room. We loved it! It was so much fun —a lot of great memories were made there.

Who were mentors you looked up to at Severn?
I always looked up to Senora McLaughlin. She was such a good support to so many of us, and true friend. Coach Renie too — she was a great coach and someone I really admired.

What do you recall happening in history that was noteworthy while you were at Severn?
Mr. Creeden was our Headmaster. It was the beginning of transforming Severn into what it is today. There was a lot of focus on the future of Severn. That was Mr. Creeden’s vision for our school back then. It’s so exciting that that vision has come to fruition for my daughter Laine, who is a student here today.

What are 3 words you'd use to describe Severn School.
Supportive, comfortable, and motivating.

What might you find in a Severn Upper School time capsule from 1997?
Bucks shoes and my TI85 calculator!

What advice do you have for the Class of 2020?
Just be yourself. Don’t take life too seriously. Avoid social media if you can.

What are you looking forward to in your new role as President of the Alumni Association?
I'm excited to support alumni events and foster opportunities that reconnect our wonderful alumni with students, parents, and the community of Severn.

Please share!

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Lower School

Preschool-Grade 5
Chesapeake Campus
1185 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Arnold, MD 21012

Middle/Upper School

Grade 6-12
Teel Campus
Severna Park, MD 21146