Jamie Silverman likes to keep it local.
Brought up and currently residing in Pikesville, Silverman, 38, got her bachelor’s degree at Towson University before working for Baltimore County Public Schools teaching English at Parkville High School.
After getting married, Silverman returned to Towson to earn her master’s degree and now works at the University as a full-time lecturer in the department of secondary and middle school education.
Recently, Silverman re-established the Pikesville Girls Softball club, a program of the Greater Pikesville Recreation Council, and said she was inspired, in part, by having three daughters.
In her spare time, Silverman loves going to the gym, “and being a wife and mother.” Her children, Samara, 10, Leah, 9, and twins Drew and Jordana, 7, are all so close in age that at one point, she and her husband, Adam, were the parents of four children all under the age of 3.
You recently brought back Pikesville Girls Softball. What happened there?
I grew up in Pikesville and played Pikesville Girls Softball and it was huge. Everybody played and our parents were all there watching us. Four years ago I called Pikesville Rec because I wanted to sign my daughter up, but I didn’t see it offered. They said it doesn’t exist anymore. I was mortified. In our community we shouldn’t have to go elsewhere to play softball. So I hung up the phone and I was now the commissioner of the non-existent Pikesville Girls Softball League.
What does it look like now?
We started off with 35 girls and now we’re up to well over 100. There were two divisions, but now there’s a 5-6 division, a 7-8 division, and a 9-11 division. I think what’s really special about it is that now my parents who used to be the coaches, are now grandparents sitting on the field at Fort Garrison every week watching their grandkids play.
I just think there should be a place where our girls can feel empowered and grow leadership skills and become friends with people who they otherwise wouldn’t know. They get to know girls from other schools.
You work at Towson University, what do you teach?
I teach principles of secondary education, and adolescent development and diversity. I teach ethics to the whole university. I am a professional development schools liaison with our interns for their full internship year. I’m preparing teacher interns to become secondary education teachers. I used to teach high school English.
What did you like most about teaching high school?
I really loved building relationships with my students and teaching them empathy via whichever book or poem or piece of literature we happen to be analyzing and really using those texts to teach them skills beyond the English classroom. Maybe even changing their attitudes. I think it’s really important to teach kids to write. I used to tell the high school students and I still tell my college students ‘Don’t pick up the pen until you have something to say.’ It might take you a little while, but when you have something to say, you write and speak with intention. And you should live with intention.
Can you tell us about the Courtney Leigh Siegel Award?
Courtney Leigh Siegel was one of our peers who we played softball with and when she was ten she passed away. And this year we created an award in her name. It’s given to a girl on each team who exudes what Courtney did. She wasn’t the best player on the team, but she was full with laughter and with smiles. Faye, her mom, came out last year to the fields to represent her daughter’s memory. That’s the blood line.
Do you have much time to read?
I wish I had more time to read, but I like to re-read. Every summer I re-read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and ‘The Awakening.’
Do you have big plans for Passover?
We don’t read traditionally through the Haggadah. We make it more like a game. I move through and I create questions that lead us through the story, but the adults are given the questions and we ask them to the kids. Whoever wins the most questions wins a prize. So it’s fun.