Yolonda Jackson-Severe is a Newark native, whose entire educational career has been devoted to the children and families of Newark for 25 years. Mrs. Severe received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey.
Her early experience includes that of teaching grades PreK- 2nd Grade, as well as that of Resource Teacher Coordinator/Master Teacher for the Office of Early Childhood. While teaching Kindergarten at Newton Street School in Newark, NJ; Mrs. Severe received the Innovation Practice Award along with the Superintendent’s Award of Distinction.
After receiving such prominent accolades, she decided to pursue a position that would allow her to impact more students in the city of Newark which led to Mrs. Severe transitioning to the position of Resource Teacher Coordinator/Master Teacher for the Office of Early Childhood. During her tenure in OEC, she worked closely with preschool teachers to refine their instructional skills. Mrs. Severe also wrote and presented workshops to further build the capacity of all preschool teachers in the city of Newark. These efforts supported student’s needs in the area of their academics, social and emotional development.
After she completed her Masters Degree, Mrs. Severe was promoted to Supervisor/Special Assistant for the Office of Early Childhood. Her agenda consisted of the supervision and evaluation of master teachers and preschool intervention and referral team members, coordination and planning of district professional development opportunities, and overseeing district and collaborative classrooms.
While working closely with administrators and teaching staff throughout the district towards the implementation of a quality preschool program, Mrs. Severe decided that she wanted to become part of a school leadership team. She then became the Vice Principal of Lafayette Street School, where she supervised PreK-2nd grade. Mrs. Severe developed and facilitated professional development for her teachers to improve instructional practices and increase academic performance. To date, the academic progress of the students of Lafayette Street School is one of the highest in the city of Newark, NJ.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Severe’s objective has always been to create an environment for children where critical skills are mastered and independence and sense of responsibility becomes a life skill. Mrs. Severe possesses profound knowledge of early childhood education and strives to empower those under her administrative guidance.
Mrs. Severe has a passion for serving her community and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Along with her love for education, Mrs. Severe is the devoted wife and loving mother of two sons.