SEVERNA PARK, located centrally within Anne Arundel County, is made up of miles of shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay, Severn River, and Magothy River. The tree lined shore not only furnishes a private feeling to water front living within many well maintained residential communities, but also provides an exquisite setting for sailing, fishing, crabbing, boating and for recreational water sports. Local business thrives within this well established community, which offers residents close-to-home shopping. And with its close proximity to some of the nation’s hottest cities, thirty minutes from D.C., twenty minutes from Baltimore and fifteen from Annapolis, Severna Park is a sought after suburban place of residence.
SP is home to about thirty-five thousand people and ten thousand households, half of which of have children. As a resident of Severna Park myself, I can offer up my own insight on the typical lifestyle of a child containing home here in the Park.
Unarguably, the most outstanding aspect of Severna Park residents (Parkies) is their ability to excel at all aspects of life. This is most likely attributed to an inbred need to ‘keep up with the Jones’.” These citizens are known throughout Maryland for their ability to both work extremely hard, at least for nine months out of the year, and party just as hard.
Parents maintain uncommonly demanding lives. Fathers spend most of their time at work acting as the bred winners of the household. And they tend to do well. The occupation of a majority of the population is executive, administrative, managerial and professional specialty. The average household income of Severna Park is around $90,000; not bad considering the average household size is three. The percent of individuals living below the poverty level is remarkably low. Also, according to census information provided by the Chamber of Commerce in 1999, the median value of owner-occupied homes was $173,800 compared with the county value at $127,900 and the national at just $79,100.
When not earning big bucks to finance country club memberships, tropical vacations, speedboats, jet skis, summer homes, and college educations, watching sports is common way in which fathers in Severna Park bond with their children. Raven’s Football, Maryland Basketball, Baltimore Blast and Navy Lacrosse are among some of the more popular sporting events to attend. To stay involved, they will coach sports teams until their children reach middle school or high school upon which time they join a team of their own. Their adult team often happens to consist of all the fathers of their children’s teammates. Fathers tend to play a strong role in instigating a competitive nature within their children. This nature is reflected in a Severna Park student’s excellence in the classroom. Severna Park High School is ranked nationally as among the top two in the state, as well as in the top eight percent of all public schools in the nation. Students at Severna Park achieved the highest SAT combined verbal and math scores in Anne Arundel County. Also, forty percent more high school seniors at Severna Park took the SAT at Severna Park than high school students nationally. Children are pressured into taking and acing heavy loads of college preparatory, honors, and college, AP, classes. It should also be noted that Severna Park is home the THE number one Community College in the Nation. No wonder why they call Severna Park Harvard on the Severn!
Keeping up socially is hard work, too. Students at Severna Park High are expected by peers to have to the hottest wardrobes of Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, North Face, and the newest accessories from Vera Bradley, Apple… Girls especially have been to know to never wear the same outfit twice throughout their entire high school career (not including uniforms on game days!). To maintain proper social status, students keep up to date talking to each other on their razors/chocolates/crazors/sidekicks on upcoming concerts, the entire school population’s relationship status, the craziest parties on the weekends, and of course school sport records. Ahh. Severna Park Athletics. Parkies are extremely well known for their unremitting school spirit when it comes to athletics. Black out or white out, no matter the location, the Severna Park side of the stands are consistently the fullest, most rowdy stands at every game. During the 2004-2005 School Year, Severna Park surprised no one with County Championships in ten different sports (Golf, Girls Cross Country, Field Hockey, Baseball, Softball, Boys Gymnastics, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Tennis, and Girls Track and Field), more than any other school in the county. Severna Park proudly blew Broadneck, their rival school, out of the water with their meager four county championships. On top of that, Severna Park has consistently won State titles in Golf, Field Hockey Girls Cross Country, Girls Track and Field and Boys Lacrosse. In addition, this past year Severna Park added to their county titles Wrestling, Swimming, and Girls Indoor Track. Okayyy Park! Everybody do the Falcon Rumble! Severna Park students are clearly winners.
And behind every successful man and student is a hard working, beautiful, intelligent wife and mother. Usually mothers will take off of work while their children are younger so that they can make sure their children receive proper nurturing. Mothers are heavily responsible for their children’s networking in Severna at a very young age. Extra curriculars, especially sports play a key role in networking. Mothers will be the ones to sign up their angels for soccer, football, cheerleading, golf, basketball, tennis, ballet, horseback riding, piano, gymnastics, field hockey, swimming, karate, scouts, tutoring, wrestling and of course lacrosse, simultaneously (actually just about four to six per year). The next step of networking is meeting the other adults who bring their children to these activities if they have not already signed their children up for these activities with the partnership of a dear friend who they themselves cheered with and played lacrosse with in high school. At signups, practice, or a game frequently start casual and genuinely sweet conversation which will eventually lead to setting up a playdate which leads to family ski trips and then family vacations and voile, a lifelong friendship is formed. Moms still find time between networking, cleaning the house, PTA meetings, luncheons with the girls, gym visits at least once a day (probably for Clubbin’ Cardio with all the girls as well), shopping, personal upkeep, and so much more, to bake cookies from scratch so that they are warm and ready upon their baby’s arrival home from a rough day, and many work as well.
And of course, when the hard work has been completed for the day, Parkies like to unwind with vigor as well. On their own time, parents and their teenage children alike find pleasure in getting smashed on Friday and Saturday nights with all their friends. Parents prefer to stop by local hot spots around Park Plaza such as Squisito’s, Bateman’s, Ledo’s and the Woodfire to have a few too many beers and wait until after midnight to sober up for their commute home, while teenagers always count Taco Belle and occasionally Maggie Moo’s, Ciprianos, Jeno’s, and Rita’s to fill their desires for munchies after their busy night of playing a few too many games of pong and lighting up at a friends’ house. Keeping up socially is crucial to acceptance within Severna Park.
It is a common misconception that all the success in the Park is not earned. However, it is quite the contrary. In the Park we practice survival of the fittest so that if you excel in here, you can excel anywhere. Those that do not have the fortune of residing in Severna Park and being a part of the Falcon legacy are bitterly jealous. Rather than subject ourselves to the presence of a lesser and unhappier company, we simply chant “You: Outa here.”
1.Angela, a varsity field hockey player, two time state champion and six time top scholar athlete (she consistently achieves at least a 4.3 GPA) is in the top 10% of her junior class at Severna Park High School. She asks her classmate and friend, Jenna, for opinion about her course selections for her senior year.
“Hey Jenna. I was thinking… I don’t know if I really want to take AP Spanish next year... I mean, I’m already taking AP Calculus AB/BC, AP Biology, AP Psychology, and AP Literature, not to mention Honors Physics and Honors Music Theory… I know Jessica, Chelsea, Andrew, Eric, and basically everyone else is taking more AP's… but to be honest, I really want to take the extra classes to help special education students. What do you think?”
“Uhhh Anj? You’re only taking four AP’s next year??? You’re really slackin, girl! Umm I’m definitely taking at least five. No offense but you can forget about top 10%.”
2.Glen Burnie: Damm Severna Park is so smart. How dey do dat?
Broadneck: Hey. I'm smart, too.
Meade: Dey so smart and dey so sick a sports too.
Broadneck: I'm pretty good at sports! And I can be ghetto like you brothers if you want me to. Yo Severna Park's not ghetto yo.
North East: ShutupBroadneh. Who you cullin ghetto? Do you see dis whiteass?
Southern: Aren't Severna Park kids really rich, too?
Broadneck: My dad drives... uh... a chrysler? Yeah. Yeah.
South River: I think Parkies are hot.
North County: Severna Parks got the most hottest people!
Broadneck: My mother thinks I'm attractive.
Arundel: Ha. Bet she's the only one. I wish I had Severna Park's spirit.
Broadneck: A lean a lean a lean! Look at me! I can copy their chants! Look! ME!
Chesapeake: Yeah. Severna Park is the sweetest school. We even had a spirit day last year called "Parkie Day" because they got us so full of their spirit.
Broadneck: ...a lean - Hey who wants to have a Broadneck day for spirt week next year?
Annapolis: Shutup Broadneck! Nobody does. Didn't Severna Park beat you last week? They're just better. Learn it.
3. Severna Park Keeps It Classy.