Degrees and Certifications:
B.A., English Literature – Swarthmore College, M.B.A., Business Management – Penn State Smeal College, Teaching Certifications: PreK-4, Grades 7-12 (English)
Avril Somerville | English
I am a writer and poet, published author, and owner of an independent micro-press publishing company. I teach both the 11th and 12th grade and within Cheltenham High School’s Project-Based Learning Program. My experience is varied and includes being a first-grade teacher in Somerset, New Jersey, working in the corporate sector at Johnson & Johnson in Skillman, New Jersey, coordinating alumni events at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, and organizing fundraising and philanthropic efforts in the Chicagoland area. My training is equally diverse and reflects a depth of practice and training in the disciplines of writing and project-based learning as well as in customer marketing and sales. Prior to working at CHS, I served as a board member of the Cheltenham African-American Alliance.
My legacy as a teacher at CHS is predicated on my affirmation of students, my creation of safe spaces for students, and an insistence upon high expectations for all students. I am adamant in the belief that students must write freely and often in order to find their voice, craft their own narratives, and find their power. This is true whether those students are enrolled in my classes or are part of the CHS Poetry Club, which I have led since the fall of 2017.
I am a proud resident of Cheltenham Township who is invested in the wellbeing of our students and in the quality of our schools. I live locally in Glenside with my husband and three children and continue to be active in the Cheltenham community.