By Nick Sestanovich
After more than 30 years as a teacher and administrator with the Benicia Unified School District, JoAnn Severson is ready to call it a career.
In Severson’s 33 years of working in education, 31 have been at BUSD, including 26 at Benicia High School and five years at Liberty High School, where she has served as principal. However, she is ready to start a new phase of her life, spending time with family and seeing the world.“It’s time,” she said of her retirement.
Severson received her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, teaching credential from San Jose State University and administrative credential from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. She began her teaching career in Fremont, but she got a job at Benicia High in 1986, where she taught fashion design and biology for 13 years. In 1999, she was promoted to vice principal. In 2003, Severson got to fill in as principal when Bob Palous was temporarily called to take over for Mike Bowers as the district’s head of personnel, according to a 2003 article in the Herald. When Palous left the principal position in 2004, Severson got to fulfill the role again, this time for three years. When Patrick Holland took over in 2007, Severson went back to being vice principal, a position she held for the next five years.