A Phenomenal Woman: Marie Kervin


With Posters and quotes draped along the walls of her quaint classroom in 2nd story Schultz, Mrs. Marie Kervin enlightens the minds of her students through her teaching. Born in Ormskirk Lancashire, England, Mrs. Kervin accompanied her husband and twins

(William and Emily) to the United States 3 years ago.

  After graduating from university, Kervin was a book buyer at the English bookstore chain Waterstones, “I very much loved doing the book buying elements and I used to read for the publishers and read for those different sellers and try to predict and share the reading. We did a few classroom activities to sell students some books and I realized how much I love young people and working with them so I went back to Liverpool University.”

  In Liverpool, Kervin worked in an impoverished area with many students who were fleeing from the Somalian war. Despite the drug, socio-economic and alcohol problems within the area, this experience was integral towards Kervin’s teaching journey. “ I was just hooked. You can’t turn me back from teaching it’s very challenging in that sort of environment but that’s basically why I never looked back.”

Despite the different locations and cultures Kervin finds similarities in her UK and US students “Teenagers are the same wherever you go around the world. Pressures are on them especially high achieving teenagers like the ones at Bolles and those I taught in England.”

  Kervin explained how in England the school year breaks down into more manageable chunks compared to the American school calendar.

Kervin’s journey to America has been “absolutely superb.” She attributes the smooth transition to the Bolles community.

  “The students here at Bolles have made my transition absolutely perfect. I go home and I effuse about them I talk about how amazing they are, about how amazing the school is, I have a real passion for Bolles.”

  Along with Middle School teacher Mr. Hutchings, Kervin has started the first Bolles Speech and Debate team.

“I think argument, discussion, civilized debate, and being able to articulate your feelings is something really important in the modern age.”

  The goals for Debate include, “To encourage everybody to get to grips to how to form an argument, how to form a debate, and how to challenge something you don’t agree with.”

  Kervin frequently refers to her family as a “team” and finds her moments of ultimate tranquility with them.

  Kervin said, “I’m happy most of the time if i’m honest but I have moments of great tranquility and contentment.”

  Kervin finds her happiness in the rhythm of an ordinary Sunday. She said, “This is very strange but of a Sunday evening when my husbands in the kitchen cooking the Sunday dinner and my children are talking to each other in their bedrooms, laughing, playing music, they have friends around, I’m doing the ironing, doing the laundry, I’m getting the house ready for the week that is to come. I always have an enormous sense of contentment around these periods because I feel like we’re all together, we’re a team.”

  Next to Kervin’s desk hangs a poster of the Famous African-American poet Maya Angelou, known for her activism in the Civil Rights movement and moving poetry. Kervin said, “I find her one of the most inspiring women ever, to overcome the hardships and the background she had and still be a force for good in the world is something so inspiring.”

  Inspired by Angelou and many like her, Kervin studied African-American women poets during her time at university.

  “I find these kind of women inspirational who can overcome the racism and the Patriarchy. The idea of denograding anybody by the color of their skin or their gender is appalling to me and I just hope that we learn from them [Inspirational women] .. It’s this idea that I’m honoring her with my poster but I’m also offering her as an inspiration to others.”