By Zoe Cate, Online Associate Editor
// Christopher Severson has no shortage of interests and passions. He is a doctor, husband, father, and former Orinda Union School District head. When he isn’t working, he is running marathons and hiking Mount Shasta with his daughter. But, on top of all of this, he ran for the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) Board, and he won.
Severson upset the incumbent, Bob Hockett, in the Nov. 6 election, along with challengers Nancy Kendzierski and Paul Derksen.
As a community that is becoming increasingly aware of student wellness, Severson fit the mold of the type of leader to take charge and bring light to this relevant issue.
“I ran on the idea of increasing student wellness, and I’m committed to working hard to get to that place for more of our students more of the time,” Severson said.
Along with having the students in the district’s best interest at heart, Severson also wants to evaluate the needs of the students who live in the district, but do not attend the schools within it. In his mind, if those needs are addressed, those students are more inclined to rejoin the district.
In addition to his passion for student wellness, Severson attributes his win to his experience on the Orinda Union School District and his medical background. Both of these experiences compliment Severson’s goals during his term well, showing the public that he has the credentials he needs to create positive change within the district.
“I think people were attracted to the idea that I have experience on a school board for one of the feeder elementary districts. I also think people were attracted to my ER background and focus on student wellness,” Severson said.
Since being elected, Severson has met with AUHSD Superintendent John Nickerson to begin his orientation into the district. As he begins to learn the ropes of the district, Severson is beginning to feel the weight of the AUHSD on his shoulders.
“I’m beginning to feel the responsibility for the district and anticipation for ways in which we can work together to make our schools better,” Severson said.
Although the job of AUHSD board member holds many responsibilities and a tremendous amount of pressure, Severson is looking forward to what is to come.
“I’m excited to get to know more students, parents, staff, and teachers as we work together,” Severson said.