At Severn School, we are scholars, innovators, athletes, artists and more. We believe in character conduct, scholarship, leadership and service. And most of all, we believe in each other — we are family. These are the stories that tie us together.
On Thursday, January 30, our entire Upper School took a break from their regular class schedules to participate in Unity Day, a school-wide conference focused on bringing our community closer together. The full-day event included a keynote speaker, workshops, and reflection activities — all organized by student leaders from clubs including Multicultural Alliance, Faces of Severn, Umbrella Club, United Spectrum, Supporting Women Across the Globe, and more. Unity Day has fast become a cornerstone of our Upper School community — it’s a forum to discuss big, relevant issues that affect how our students view themselves, each other and the world around them.
For our 2020 Dillon Moran Musician in Residence program, New York-based singer-songwriter Mackenzie Shivers joined us for two days of performances and workshops for our Middle and Upper School students with a final show open to Severn families and friends on Friday evening. From Irish music with Chamber Ensemble and vocal training for our choral groups to discussion sessions about songwriting, Mackenzie gave our students a peek into the life of a professional musician, offering practical advice to let their creativity shine.
Striving for perfection is a risky and fruitless pursuit for teens — “perfect” will always be out of reach. Generally, adolescents develop perfectionist tendencies when they feel insecure and seek to deflect that insecurity by presenting to others as flawless. There is little debate that this push and pull can take a considerable emotional toll on any individual. As students emphasize surface achievements such as high grades or college admissions and increasingly compare themselves to others, both perfectionism and anxiety are on the rise.
Early afternoon is a quiet time on Teel Campus. Students work in their classrooms, most visitors have come and gone, and we settle into the peaceful hum that eventually comes each day. But once in a while, something happens that draws us out. There’s a voice. And then another. We peek our heads into the hall and see ten students in the rotunda, singing their hearts out as the warm acoustics amplify the sound. It’s Breakwater, our Upper School a cappella group, and they are bringing popular harmonies to Severn School that stop us in our tracks.
Searching for the right college isn’t always easy. From location to cost and curriculum to culture, each school offers a different mix of what our graduating seniors may (or may not!) want for their futures. With so many factors to consider coupled with natural anxiety about the unknown, it can be all too easy to feel stress rather than excitement about the jump from high school to college. To help ease this transition, a group of Severn alumni visited campus to share words of wisdom with our seniors.