District 20 Teacher Awarded City Council Citation

Dyker Heights teacher Nicole Severino was awarded a citation from City Councilmember Justin Brannan earlier this month for her dedication to her students.

Local parent Tracie Kovalik credits Severino for easing her daughter’s transition from pre-k into kindergarten.

“I met Ms. Severino after a really rough start. My daughter’s first year of pre-school was every parent’s worst nightmare,” Kovalik said. “My daughter was so scared and she would get separation anxiety and it looked like all hope was lost. Every day got harder and she would make herself sick by crying.”

Then, she said, her whole world changed when she met Severino at the District 20 pre-k center at 1355 84th St.

Severino, Kovalik said, changed her daughter’s outlook on coming to school. “She even found it fun,” Kovalik told this paper. “She started looking forward to going every day just by having a wonderful, caring and understanding teacher who was willing to go to endless lengths to show my daughter how much fun it is to go to school.”

Now, she said, her daughter is in kindergarten and “walks right in.”

“It’s important the we recognize teachers, especially when they go the extra mile for their students,” said Brannan of the award. “We are lucky to have Ms. Severino in Dyker Heights and she deserves this extra recognition for helping a young student overcome her fears and really start to love coming to school each day.”

“I can’t thank Ms. Severino enough for giving my daughter a brighter future and for being who is is,” added Kovalik. “It’s not just a job to her. She loves and cares about each student like they were her own.”

She’d hoped her son, who just recently started pre-k in District 20 himself, would also get Severino as his teacher.

“Thank heaven he did,” Kovalik told this paper. “I felt like I hit the lotto.”

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