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10 Questions with Thomas Severo

Thomas Severo has taught at Andover for two years. When not teaching History or coaching Crew, he enjoys eating watermelon salads at Paresky Commons. Outside of Andover, he was a participant in “Beauty and the Geek,” a reality TV show that partners up “beauties” and “geeks,” competing together in challenges to avoid elimination. He and partner Amanda Corey won the competition, earning a collective $250,000. 

  1. What made you decide to pursue history?

My background is in teaching law. It didn’t transfer well to Physics or Calculus.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about being an Andover teacher?

I’d have to say the Andover/Exeter faculty meeting. We’re hosting this year, and I’ve got a score to settle for some unsportsmanlike filibustering after the All-Star break.

  1. What is the most notable experience you’ve had at Andover?

I almost died on this campus back in 2019 when I ran into one of the stone archways at the entrance to the [Cochran] Bird Sanctuary. I blacked out and was rushed to the ER where I got 26 stitches across my precious hairline. Shoutout to Dr. Legaspi for calling the ambulance.

  1. What’s your background with crew? Why did you want to be a crew coach? What’s your favorite thing about being a coach at PA?

I rowed five seat in college and coached at the Salisbury School in [Connecticut]. I took the job mostly so I could revive my Tom Crews hat. My favorite part of practice is the “blue on two” team cheer; not just because it’s at the end, but that helps.

  1. What’s your favorite term at Andover, and why?

If we’re talking trimesters, I think fall because it’s got the best weather. If we’re talking phrases, I’d have to say “Penultimate Week.” Final and ultimate are synonyms, but you guys call the week before Finals Week “Ultimate Week,” which sets up a comical backlog resulting in a word that means “second to last” representing the third to last week of the term. I mean, I get it. It’s just funny.

  1. What made you want to be in “Beauty and the Geek?” What was the process?

I was freezing/working my [redacted] off in Boston for law school. I had the chance to move to a Hollywood mansion (complete with catering and housekeeping staff) and be on television. It wasn’t a hard choice. The process involved a bunch of interviews in which they asked me about my dating background and personal interests. I was three meetings deep before I realized I wasn’t being cast as a Beauty.

  1. What was your experience on the show? Would you do it again if you could? Are you still friends with anyone in the show?

I had an overwhelmingly positive experience. I’d do it again, but alas, I’m likely far too cool now to be considered. My teammate, Amanda, and I are still close. We made a pact that we’d invite one another to our respective weddings. She held up her end, but I found a loophole by just not getting married… yet.

  1. What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself through being an Andover teacher?

My students are fond of telling me which celebrities I apparently look like. Not all of them are flattering, but it’s given me some good Halloween costume ideas.

  1. What would the students be surprised to find about you?

I was [going to] go with the reality TV thing, but apparently the cat’s out of the bag. I wish my students put as much effort into researching historical figures as they do into researching their instructors. No worries, I’ve got plenty. I’m left handed. I’m vegetarian. I’m colorblind. I have a brother who went here. I’ve been hit by a car while running a total of six times. Also, Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” is based on my brief encounter with her at a party in Watch Hill. I have proof.

  1. How do you want students to remember you and your class?

I hope they remember that we discussed not just names and dates but trajectories and outcomes. Much of history is aftermath… but some of it may be before math, depending on your schedule.