This year, Severna Park Elementary School will celebrate its 75th year in the building and the 160th year on the property—but the whole celebration was almost thrown out with the trash.
“They were cleaning out closets in the school and they found two old boxes,” said Margaret Thompson Mardiros, an alumna of Severna Park Elementary. “The boxes were going to be discarded but someone took them to go through them and they found all kinds of old pictures, and essays written by fifth-graders from years before. They found all kinds of artifacts too and that’s what triggered all this.”
The historical find provided the inspiration for a two-day celebration on Oct. 7-8 where the Severna Park Elementary community will have an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary in style.
The school will host an Alumni Day on Oct. 7 when former students, teachers and community members can visit the school for a tour. On Oct. 8, an assembly and celebration will be held for the school’s current students.
“It is kind of a tribute to everyone who made Severna Park Elementary what they are today,” Mardiros said.
The celebration has extra meaning to Mardiros who recently moved her entire family from Mississippi back to Severna Park so her children could go to school here.
“I told my husband, ‘Honey we have to think about going home because it is time,’” she said. “It’s just the best school system around. I wouldn’t send my kids anywhere else.”
When Mardiros and her family got to Severna Park and discovered the upcoming anniversary, she couldn’t help but get involved with the planning committee.
For the anniversary project, Mardiros’ kids— a kindergartner and second-grader—created a three-part poster. The first section was The Past, which featured a photo of Mardiros and her sister in front of the school in the 1970s. The second was The Present and had a photo of them in front of the school. And the third featured her children’s future.
“The future was them holding baby dolls. They were talking about having their kids come to school here too,” Mardiros said. “They just love the school and it is a part of our family.”
During the planning of the observance, Mardiros and other members on the anniversary committee reached out to Severna Park Elementary alumni. The response has been overwhelming, she said.
“I would say my favorite part has been contacting past students who I have lost contact with over the years,” Mardiros said. “When they found out the anniversary was coming they were excited to help and be involved. A lot of alumni are coming back to do the tours of school.”
While preparing for the assembly, which will include a history lesson on the school, Mardiros said they have all learned interesting things.
“We had classes in a chicken coop,” Mardiros said. “At one time there were 600 and some students in the school—now we have 365 and we are adding an addition. Class sizes were huge back in the day.”
The Oct. 7 alumni day is being combined with Celebrate Severna Park. Mardiros said the entire community is invited to the event, which will include a walking tour of Severna Park.
The Oct. 8 celebration will be during the school day and will include a morning assembly featuring a former Severna Park Elementary principal, current principal Lynn Birus, Superintendent of Schools Kevin Maxwell and more.
“You just need to know that Severna Park Elementary has always had the best teachers and the best students,” Mardiros said. “That has been reported from our oldest alumni to the kids that go through our school today. The whole celebration is going to be great.”
Stick with Patch for complete coverage of the official anniversary celebration on Oct. 8.
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- Severna Park Elementary School Alumni Day