Comparative Literature, French
Maya Severns ’04, a comparative literature major concentrating on French and Spanish, has devoted herself to urban education since she graduated from Haverford. Her teaching experiences range from teaching English to elementary school students in Paris, to teaching performing arts, Latin, English, math and French in two middle schools in the Bronx and one high school in Queens.
Maya currently works as the Middle School Dean of School Life at Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. Her responsibilities span school divisions and functions: from student activities that help define the middle school culture to staff development and implementation of signature practices.
In addition to her devotion to Hyde Bronx School, Maya has continued her career as a lifelong student, completing a yearlong post-bachelor program in Classics at University of Pennsylvania, a master's in French and Adolescent Education at Hunter College, and an Administrative and Supervision graduate program at Hunter.
Maya finds herself thankful every day for multiple aspects of her Haverford experience. She thinks that the rigorous academic environment and quantity of writing she had to do as a comparative literature major has prepared her for her current position. Moreover, high expectations from her professors translated into high expectations for her own students, a belief in the value of student-led discussions, and a desire to get to know students as individuals. She advises current students to take every opportunity to read deeply and broadly, as there often is not as much time to do so post graduation. “Cherish the ability to study what you want,” she counsels, “and let your passions drive you; your curiosity might just lead you to your next career.”
Maya continues to seek new ways to integrate her interests outside of education into her daily work. “I'm looking forward to developing myself as a leader, striving to improve the face of urban education, and continuing to learn every day.”