Mr. Severson just retired as the Superintendent of the Roseville Joint Union High School District after a 40 year career working in high schools in central and northern California. He was a high school principal for 15 years. He began his career as a social science teacher, athletic director and activities director at North Monterey County High School in Castroville, CA. The school served a diverse population and was recognized as both a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School. After being promoted and serving for five years as an assistant principal, he was appointed as the principal of Aptos High School, near Santa Cruz, Ca. The school had been recently desegregated due to a Federal Court order. In four tumultuous years, he and his team constructed an EL program, dramatically increased college preparedness rates and saw significant academic improvement for all students.
Mr. Severson moved to Roseville, California (suburbs of Sacramento) in 1996 to open and serve as the principal of Granite Bay High School. The school enjoyed enormous success and became a leader in the Sacramento region for college preparedness and success in Advanced Placement. The school was recognized as both a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School during his tenure there.
Mr. Severson was promoted to the district office where he served as the Executive Director of Curriculum, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Deputy Superintendent before being named Superintendent in 2014. He began working with EOS 5 years ago, as part of a larger equity initiative in the district. The first year, over 1500 more students signed up for AP and IB courses. Almost 900 of those were students of color and students from low SES families. Grade averages and pass rates on AP and IB exams remained almost the same. Three of the five comprehensive high schools in the district have reached equity in AP and IB participation. The success with EOS provided a model for equity work to reach struggling students and to address gaps in discipline rates. Four of the five District schools were named as California Gold Ribbon Schools in 2017.
Mr. Severson received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton and a Master of Arts Degree in Education from San Jose State University. He has done consulting work throughout his career in curriculum, school culture, and leadership development. He serves as an adjunct professor in the Administrative Credential program for Placer County Office of Education and in the graduate program for National University. He is excited to continue working in his passion with EOS, helping schools to create more opportunities for all of their students to compete in college and to pursue their dreams.