Into the chapel


Picture this: you’re walking through the grocery store, minding your own business, then BAM! You see your English teacher. Do you say “hi”? Do you explain why you missed that assignment today? Or do you do what most of us do and walk away quickly, hoping they didn’t see you too? Students sometimes forget that teachers aren’t just teachers; they do not devote their entire lives to giving us homework and grading our tests. Teachers are just like any other adult outside of school; they have their own lives and relationships. Some even got married recently, or will get married very soon.

“I got married on June 26,” social studies teacher Christopher Burns said. “It was the Friday right after school was over.”

Newlywed Burns is a prime example of a teacher living his own adult life outside of teaching. He may appear as only a teacher, a mentor or perhaps an authority figure to his students, but he’s a regular person too.

“[It was] our eight year anniversary on Sept. 18,” Burns said. “We met working at a camp for children who have AIDS and HIV called Camp Dreamcatcher. We also went to college together. Once we had met each other at camp, [and] realized we both went to the same school, we start[ed] dating.”

Burns wasn’t the only one to tie the knot this summer. English teacher Lauren Freix, formerly Erdmann, also got married.

“My boyfriend and I had dated for 10 years,” Freix said. “He went to Westfield High School and I went to Chantilly, and we both went on to JMU. We got engaged at the Outer Banks [because] it’s a special place in our hearts. We ended up getting married in Ashburn at Belmont Country Club.”

Teachers have traditional, non-school related weddings too. That’s right, there won’t be any quadratics, pop quizzes or timed essays at these weddings.

“We had about 125 people come,” Freix said. “It was all family, close friends, college friends and high school friends. The whole shebang. It was an outdoor ceremony, and it was beautiful weather. We had our reception in this big ballroom. We had a really good DJ, so everybody danced the night away.”

Spanish teacher Karlie O’Cone has been busy planning her upcoming wedding.

“I’m looking forward to the cocktail hour; I’m Italian so there’s going to be a lot of good food,” O’Cone said. “There’s going to be an antipasto table, which is just all different kinds of cheeses and meats, and I’m really excited. After that, I don’t really care what happens.”

Many more teachers to come will head to the altar in the future, including English teacher Jordan Fremuth.

“The wedding is going to be on October 17, so it’s coming up,” Fremuth said. “We will be getting married in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, which is where my fiancé and I grew up. We really like the idea of having a fall wedding because of the vibrant colors and that it’s a good time of the year so you aren’t sweating through the suit you’ll be wearing.”

Simply put, teachers are people too.