Alumni Snapshot: Q&A with Liz Mann Carlin '74
Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 enjoyed spending time with Liz Mann Carlin '74 last spring at the retirement party of Severn alumni parent Mary Salsich. Carrie was excited to hear about the Severn experience through the eyes of one of the school's first female students.
When did you graduate from Severn? 1974
Where do you live now and how did you end up there? What stops did you have along the way? Severna Park. We never really left it's just a great place to raise a family and retire.
Please tell us about your professional/career journey: I went to work with my father and grandfather in 1976 and stayed there until 1996. It was a factory operation where I learned to run a few machines, but primarily did the bookkeeping and some buying and selling of the products we produced. Then I worked in the business office of Severn School for 5 years. Coming back to Severn was great. I was able to be closely involved in my children's teenage years and get to know their friends and families, many of whom are still good friends today. I left Severn and worked for a US AID contractor, FLAG International, where my world expanded beyond anything I thought imaginable. After 8 years of commuting to DC, I left and came back to Severn School in 2008 as Mr. Lagarde's administrative assistant. Four years later, I became a grandparent two times over and was anxious to spend time with the little ones. I was graciously offered a part time position back in the business office where I stayed until I retired in 2016.
What did/do you enjoy most about your career? I enjoyed meeting and interacting with people. No matter what I was doing with my abilities, my interactions with people always was the most enjoyable part of my work. The people I met in my career always had something new for me to learn or appreciate, and hopefully I had something to offer them.
What influence did Severn have on your life’s path? Your career path? My personal time as a student at Severn was a short 2.5 years. The teachers and staff were all very kind to us (we were the first girls admitted to Severn) and helpful too. They listened as well as educated us, respecting our differences and our struggles. I think those lessons are what I took with me after I graduated, and had the most influence on me. For those reasons it was an easy decision to send my own children to school at Severn. Severn offers so much more than "book learning".
What are your favorite things to do in your free time? Right now I am fully committed to Dragon Boating with the Annapolis Dragon Boat Club. After two years of surgeries and treatment fighting breast cancer, I found this club that several Severn community members also belong to. It is healing for the body and the mind-- good stuff! I can't find enough great things to say about it--other than everyone should try it. I also spend lots of time spoiling my 4 grandchildren: Connor, 6 and Avery 4, children of Tim Staines, '97 and Eli 6 and Hayes 5 mos., children of Carrie Staines Tilley, '99. I love gardening and I belong to a gardening club as well, thanks to my friend (alumni parent and former Severn employee) Mary Salsich. I also love to read and travel a bit.
If you could give advice to the Class of 2018 what would it be? Keep your family and friends close to you.
Tell us about 2 things that bring you joy in life. There are 4: Connor, Eli, Avery and Hayes.
What teachers had the most influence on your at Severn? This one is tough, I am not sure it is influence that I gained, but more an appreciation, Colonel Parsons tried desperately to make math modern. Mr. Fiesta, my Spanish teacher (I was the only girl in my class) and the drama club teacher, Mrs Belt, patiently taught me to type. Colonel Adams, the Dean of Discipline, was the nicest man--until he had to give you demerits. He didn't like giving them any more than we liked getting them. I don't think I got too many!
What is one of your favorite Severn memories? Riding my bike to school with Mia Chandler. We lived at the end of Mountain Rd. It was a hike. And waiting lunch room tables that first year; that was a throw back from Severn's old boarding school days!
What is the most valuable asset you inherited from your Severn education? Patience and compassion.
Did Severn have a lasting impact on who you are today? If so, in what ways? I think so, but I probably didn't realize or appreciate the impact until many years later. It helped me make sure that my own children became the adults they had the potential to become.
What 3 words would you use to describe Severn School? Opportunity, independence, friendships