New teachers Severin, Pender and Lawley bring their own philosophies to Tam


By Sophie McGuinness

Nate Severin
PE Teacher

Teaching Philosophy: “First and foremost is my relationship with my students. If I know who they are and what they like, then I can teach them better. When students know I care about them, then a mutual respect is formed.”

When Mr. Severin was in high school: “One time when I was a senior (well, also when I was a junior. But in senior year it worked out much better) me and my two friends wrote a song about a funny, popular girl named Molly McFadden and preformed it for the school’s talent show. We called our band the McMcFaddens. Everyone thought the song was hilarious and we ended up winning first prize.”

Grace Pender
Integrated Science Teacher

Teaching Philosophy: “To give kids the skills to do well after my class, and teach them study skills that are applicable to subjects other than science.”

When Ms. Pender was in high school: “I was a nerd and really into musical theater.”

You might not know that: Ms. Pender grew up in San Mateo. She went to UC Berkeley, and before recently moving here, she lived in Santa Barbara. Her hobbies are hiking, biking, and musical theater.

Erin Lawley
PE Teacher

Teaching Philosophy: “I want students to be fit adults. I want them to be healthy both with nutrition and finding new fun activities they can enjoy and get exercise from.”

When Ms. Lawley was in high school: She played volleyball, basketball, and softball. “I was the type of kid who did a little bit of everything.”

You might not know that: Ms. Lawley’s hobbies include yoga, motorcyle riding, and volunteering. She was a professional sports writer for Napa Valley Register for 4 years before teaching.

Ms. Lawley will be the co-head varsity softball coach with Mike Wills this spring.

Look for more new teacher profiles next issue.