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Amanda Hare

A collage shows eight staff members and their spouses. The attached article shares the staff members’ marriage stories in honor of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is Monday, Feb. 14. (Photos courtesy of Lisa Roskens, John Boehringer, Michelle Sparks, Emily Allen, Paige Trujillo and Gabriella Winans, digitally constructed image by Amanda Hare)

Video: Valentine’s Day Special – Staff share stories of meeting, falling in love with spouse

John and Corey Burdett: Kickstart to Marriage

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
In his office, Principal John Burdett holds a frame. The frame features a photo of Dr. Burdett and his wife, Corey. They have been married for 23 years. (Photo by Gabriella Winans, edited by Amanda Hare)

Principal John Burdett kicks the soccer ball – and, against all odds, it hits the corner of the goal.

It has to be a fluke.

He kicks it again. Sure enough, it hits the corner again. That decided it – he would ask out Corey Hamilton – who’s now known as Corey Burdett.

The Burdetts’ first met when they went to college in Montgomery, Alabama – Dr. Burdett at Auburn University, and Mrs. Burdett at Huntington College.

“I am older than her by 362 days, so when I graduated, I started refereeing soccer games,” Dr. Burdett said. “But we knew of each other because we used to beat her mens’ team over there relentlessly – they were awful, and we were really good. I started refereeing soccer games and I refereed one of her games. She got a yellow card from me. She was an incredible defender – mean, nasty, she was really, really good.”

Later, after Mrs. Burdett graduated, Dr. Burdett taught English in Alabama while working on his master’s degree and coaching a club team. He began to coach an under 16 boys team, while she coached a young girls team.

“We were out there practicing one night, and Coach Corey, as everyone called her, walked across our field,” Dr. Burdett said. “All of our U16 boys were like, ‘Ooh, John, you ought to ask her out,’ because they knew I was single. They kept egging me on. We always do free kicks at the end of practice, so I said, ‘Okay, if I hit this free-kick, I’ll ask her out.’ Well, I hit it. I can never hit these shots, so I said, ‘No that was a fluke, I have to do it again.’ I hit it again. It was fate, I asked her out, we started dating and the rest is history.”

They dated for a few years before getting married in 1999.

“Our first anniversary, we were in Norway for a massive soccer tournament,” Dr. Burdett said. “I was over there coaching a state team, and Corey was coming over (to the game) – she’s a physical therapist – she was a physio for the two girls’ teams. We were going to coach that day, and then go out that night. Well, we went and started looking for a restaurant, but everything closes at 9:00. Nothing was open except for McDonald’s, so, on our anniversary, we always go to McDonald’s.”

Now, Dr. Burdett said their Valentine’s day usually revolves around their three sons. His favorite memory with her includes when they were caught in a riot during their anniversary trip.

“She’s more beautiful today than she was back then,” Dr. Burdett said. “She’s incredible, she keeps us all together, and I love her to pieces.”

Dorathy and Kyle Schumann: Suitcase Sweethearts

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
In her classroom, math teacher Dorathy Schumann holds up photos of her and her husband, Kyle.  They’ve been married for five years. Mrs. Schumann teaches Statistics and Honors Geometry. (Photo by Gabriella Winans, edited by Amanda Hare)

Their first date was 10 hours long, and that’s when they clicked. Three weeks later, they went on their very first trip together. Now, they’re married, and travel all around the country together.

Statistics and honors geometry teacher Dorathy Schumann first met her husband Kyle Schumann five years ago in 2017. They met on Feb. 12, and officially became boyfriend and girlfriend on the 19th.

“We met up for brunch on a random Sunday morning for brunch, and it just lasted all day,” Mrs. Schumann said. “Then it was 10 p.m., and I was like, ‘Oh, hey, I have to go, I have work the next day,’ so it just kind of clicked. From that point on, we were just like, ‘Okay this is different.’ And I think that’s what pushed me to be okay with taking a vacation three weeks later with him. It was just so natural.”

Mrs. Schumann’s favorite memories with Mr. Schumann are traveling. Their first vacation was to San Antonio, they’ve been to New York five times, and they went to London for their honeymoon. They’ve also been to Washington D.C., Oklahoma, Austin and, most recently, Wilmington, North Carolina.

The two don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, because they “love each other all the time.” They typically celebrate Feb. 19 instead.

“My advice to my past self is don’t settle,” Mrs. Schumann said. “I dated somebody in college for way too long because I was like, ‘This is it, it has to be love,’ because my parents met in college. I assumed that was going to be my story, too. Finally, we both left after college, and I dated for a couple years after that. Then I met my husband. When I met him, it was like I just knew.”

Larry and Lisa Roskens: Lunch Love

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
A collage features photos of teachers Lisa and Larry Roskens. They got married 34 years ago. Now, Mrs. Roskens teaches digital media and advises Eagle Nation Online, while Mr. Roskens teaches math. (Photos courtesy of Lisa Roskens, digitally constructed image by Amanda Hare)

For over 20 years, teachers Lisa and Larry Roskens have had a lunch date every weekday.

The couple got married 32 years ago, and, since then, they have always worked at the same schools.

“We met through friends,” Mrs. Roskens said. “A friend from college called me and said, ‘Hey, a group of us are going to Wet’n’Wild, do you want to come?’ And I said, ‘Oh sure,’ and Larry was with the group.”

At the time, Mr. Roskens wasn’t working, and was living with a friend as he looked for a teaching job. Mrs. Roskens worked at a magazine in Fort Worth.

Later, their apartments were near each other, and Larry would run past her apartment every morning.

“He noticed every morning that there was frost and ice on my windshield,” Mrs. Roskens said. “I thought my parking place was a safe spot, because I’d go out and everyone’s windows would be covered, but mine were clean. One day, I had a note under my windshield telling me to have a good day, and it was from Larry. I had never known.”

Shortly after this, they began dating.

In front of their new house, teachers Lisa and Larry Roskens take a selfie. They’ve taught at the school for four years. “Story after story, our lives have just been totally blessed over these years,” Mrs. Roskens said. “I could talk forever about how good our lives are.” (Photo courtesy of Lisa Roskens)

“We had been seeing each other for about a year, and so I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to get a ring for Valentine’s Day,'” Mrs. Roskens said. “I was so excited, I just knew it was going to happen. On Valentine’s Day, I got a sweatshirt from the University of Iowa, and I kind of just looked at him, and he goes, ‘It’s a nice one, it’s from the actual bookstore,’ as well as a lecture that Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday to make money.”

That is one of her favorite memories with Mr. Roskens, and another one of her favorites is when he proposed.

“We were in a park,” Mrs. Roskens said. “He really put in a lot of planning, and he was just about to ask me, and a police officer came and told us the park was closed. It was just kind of funny to see him try and argue.”

As for how they feel about working together, Mrs. Roskens said they love it.

“We have a lunch date every day, it’s wonderful,” Mrs. Roskens said. “When we all went home during pandemic days, I know we got on each other’s nerves, just a little bit. But we enjoy our drive here, we live in Anna, so we have about a 40-minute drive every morning, and it’s a beautiful time.”

Now, the couple has taught at the school for four years, and they have five children and three grandchildren. Mrs. Roskens teaches digital media and advises the Eagle Nation Online Newspaper Staff, and Mr. Roskens is a “helper teacher” in the math department.

“Story after story, our lives have just been totally blessed over these years,” Mrs. Roskens said. “I could talk forever about how good our lives are.”

John and Alyssa Boehringer: Messenger Meet-Cute

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
Assistant Principal John Boehringer and his wife, Alyssa, take a picture in front of a Christmas tree. They first met when they both taught at McKinney High School. Mr. Boehringer taught physics, and Mrs. Boehringer taught journalism. (Photo courtesy of John Boehringer, edited by Amanda Hare)

It started with an awkward Facebook comment. Then, assistant principal John Boehringer asked Alyssa Boehringer out over Facebook Messenger.

They first met when they both worked at McKinney High School – Mrs. Boehringer taught journalism, and Mr. Boehringer taught physics.

“We got together my last year there, in a rather awkward way,” Mr. Boehringer said. “I accidentally commented on one of her Facebook posts, like, an old one. Because when you become friends with someone (on Facebook), it sometimes feeds you old content, and it fed me some old content, and I made some kind of comment really awkwardly. She replied, and I actually asked her out on Facebook Messenger.”

Now, they recently celebrated their 10th anniversary in December. As for Valentine’s Day, John said that they usually avoid it.

“We both have the opinion that it’s kind of a made-up holiday,” Mr. Boehringer said. “We call it our holiday season. It kicks off with Thanksgiving, then we have our anniversary in early December, then we have my birthday, Christmas, first date-iversary in February. Then, my daughter’s birthday and her birthday.”

They used to travel often – they went on several cross-country road trips – but since they had their kid, they haven’t traveled as much.

“Our 10th anniversary that we just celebrated, we took a trip out to San Francisco – I’d never been to California, one of the few states that I hadn’t been to,” Mr. Boehringer said. “It was amazing. That’s definitely a recent formative experience.”

Their San Francisco trip was one of John’s favorite memories, but his other favorites come from their trips to Alaska, where Mrs. Boehringer lived when she was in middle school. Mr. Boehringer said he loves going to Alaska because it’s a “beautiful” and “very peaceful” place.

“As a married couple, I would say don’t go to bed angry,” Mr. Boehringer said. “Everybody has disagreements and arguments, and I would say don’t let it fester, because that’s not good for the long run.”

A digitally constructed image shows how long staff members have been married. Teachers Lisa and Larry Roskens have been married the longest for 32 years. Principal John Burdett has been married to his wife Cory for 23 years. (Amanda Hare)

Paige and Ricky Trujillo: Love Again

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
Holding her daughter, Sloan, Assistant Principal Paige Trujillo stands with her husband, Ricky. They met when they both worked at the same high school. They’ve been married for five years. (Photo courtesy of Paige Trujillo, edited by Amanda Hare)

Assistant Principal Paige Trujillo swore she would be a dog lady.

She also swore she would never get married.

Eight months later, she met Ricky Trujillo. Now, they’re married with their two-year-old daughter, Sloan, and their chihuahua, Thor.

“I dated this guy in college for a long time, and he bought me a beta fish for Valentine’s Day one year,” Mrs. Trujillo said. “And then, the day after we broke up, the fish died. When our relationship died, so did the fish.”

Mrs. Trujillo met Mr. Trujillo when she was a teacher at her old high school.

“He was a football coach down here, and he moved to Indiana – where I’m from,” Mrs. Trujillo said. “He started coaching at my school where I graduated from, and I eventually went back to teach there, and people kind of set us up on a date. It was random how we met.”

They’ve now been married for five years, and have been together for nine.

“Ironically, my husband’s birthday is Feb. 15, so we don’t do the whole Valentine’s thing,” Mrs. Trujillo said. “We just celebrate his birthday.”

She said her favorite memories with her husband include their honeymoon and raising their daughter together.

“Sloan’s crazy, so just singing and dancing around the house are my favorite memories,” Mrs. Trujillo said. “Anytime I get to spent time with him, I really do love it.”

Emily and T.J. Allen: Concert Connection

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
A digitally constructed image shows a collage of photos of teacher Emily Allen and her husband, T.J. Emily and T.J. first met 12 years ago, and now have two kids. Allen teaches AP Psychology, along with coaching the junior varsity cheer team. (Photos Courtesy of Emily Allen, digitally constructed image by Amanda Hare)

At first glance, junior varsity cheer coach and AP Psychology teacher Emily Allen had no interest in her now-husband, T.J. Allen.

Now married and with two kids, they first met at a Texas country music band concert over 12 years ago.

“We actually met for the first time when I was in college,” Mrs. Allen said. “I didn’t like him when I first met him, I wasn’t interested in him. But, my best friend, and his best friend, ended up really liking each other. They dated, and ended up being really serious, and me and T.J. reunited a year later.”

Mrs. Allen ran into Mr. Allen again when coming back from Lubbock to visit her friend in Dallas.

“I wanted to go and hang out, like that’s why I drove from Lubbock to Dallas,” Mrs. Allen said. “And she was like, ‘We’re just going to stay in and watch a movie.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ And then she told me that her boyfriend and his friend were going to come over, and I was like, ‘Oh, okay, so lame.'”

Then, Mr. Allen walked in the door.

“I don’t remember thinking that he was that cute when I met him for the first time, but then I was like, ‘Oh, okay,'” Mrs. Allen said. “And then, we talked all night, and hung out, and we just got along really well. And, the rest is history.”

One of their favorite things to do is eating out together, along with attending live concerts.

“When we first started dating, we both really enjoyed live music, and so we would go out on the weekends to concerts a lot,” Mrs. Allen said. “As we got older, and we had children, we’re both big fans of going to dinner, we just enjoy eating out.”

Hugging, junior varsity cheer coach and AP Psychology teacher Emily Allen takes a picture with her husband, T.J. Emily and T.J. met through friends. “I don’t remember thinking that he was that cute when I met him for the first time, but then I was like, ‘Oh, okay,'” Emily said. “And then, we talked all night, and hung out, and we just got along really well. And, the rest is history.” (Photo courtesy of Emily Allen)

Mrs. Allen also said they enjoy spending time with their kids – 5-year-old Jaxon and 3-year-old Blakely.

“We’re both pretty simple,” she said. “Just easy, hang out, stay at home, watch movies with the kids and have slumber parties type of stuff. Kind of lame, but it works, it works.”

For Valentine’s Day, the couple enjoys spending time at their barn together.

“He usually cooks for Valentine’s Day,” Mrs. Allen said. “We get a babysitter, and we go, we have some properties, and we go out to the barn, and usually make steak, or chicken or something, and have a nice, quiet evening. But, that’s about it.”

When asked to give advice to her past self, Mrs. Allen said she wouldn’t “judge a book by its cover.”

“When I first met him, I thought he was going to kind of be a player, and not a nice guy,” she said. “And he was actually not like that at all when I actually gave him a chance and talked to him.”

Mrs. Allen said Mr. Allen is someone she can talk to, and they “really do enjoy each other’s time.”

“Trust me, he does drive me up a wall sometimes,” Mrs. Allen said. “He gets on my nerves. But, at the end of the day, he’s who I want to tell my successes to, and my stressors, and I think it’s good to marry someone that is more than just that romantic attraction, but you also have that companionship, and friendship, as well. I think that to make a marriage work, is to marry your best friend.”

Robert and Michelle Sparks: A Match Made in Math

Editing by Alyssa Clark, video by Amanda Hare
An older photo shows Robert and Michelle Sparks. Robert and Michelle both teach math classes. They’ve been married for 15 years. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Sparks, edited by Amanda Hare)

The Sparks family is small, but happy – Robert, Michelle and their Boxer rescue, GiGi.

Honors Algebra II and Honors Geometry teacher Mr. Sparks first met Honors and On-Level Pre-Calculus teacher Mrs. Sparks at Oklahoma State University.

“She was a teacher’s assistant for a stats class I was taking,” Mr. Sparks said. “I was a sophomore, and she had just graduated with her bachelor’s degree the year before and was working on her masters. But, then I actually didn’t see her for a couple years.”

A year later, Mr. Sparks worked as a server at Cheddar’s in Tulsa. He couldn’t afford another semester of college, so he came home to work so he could make money to go back to school.

“One of my first few days there, there was this really bossy lady telling me to refill the ice in the ice bin, and I turned around and it was her,” Mr. Sparks said. “That’s one of my favorite memories.”

That was 17 years ago. Now, they’ve been married for 15 years, and they moved to Prosper four years ago. As for how they work together, they both said that they don’t see each other “that much” during the day.

“I absolutely love it,” Mrs. Sparks said. “I truly dread the day that we would not work together anymore. I love working with my husband, but it’s not like I’m seeing him all the time. I only see him for small minutes throughout the day. It’s like an, ‘Oh, hey, you over there.’ It’s not like he’s sitting right next to me at a desk job – then, I would probably be annoyed with him.”

They both said that their favorite memories were rescuing dogs together. Together, they have their boxer, Gigi.

A collage shows math teachers Robert and Michelle Sparks. They have been married for 15 years. They have a rescue dog named GiGi, who’s a Boxer. (Photos courtesy of Michelle Sparks, collage by Amanda Hare)

“I do animal rescue, so anytime that he comes with me to do a dog transport or when we have fosters and we play with the dogs, those are some of my favorite memories with him,” Mrs. Sparks said. “Just getting to be together while we do our animal rescue work.”

Mrs. Sparks said one of her other favorite memories includes their honeymoon, along with anytime they watch TV together.

“We usually hibernate at the house and watch Netflix,” Mr. Sparks said. “Especially with the pandemic and everything, we haven’t been going out as much. Sometimes we go out to dinner, but we usually do it the day after Valentine’s, that way it’s not as crowded.”

They said they don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“I think neither one of us are huge Valentine’s Day people,” Mrs. Sparks said. “He’s my best friend, I see him everyday. I don’t need one special day to commemorate that. It’s everyday with him.” 

Mrs. Sparks said her advice to her past self is to “not have any regrets.”

“I do think about, ‘If I would have,’ but then I wouldn’t have met him,” Mrs. Sparks said. “And, so, even though there are things in my past where I’m like, ‘Man, I could have done that differently,’ you don’t know what the ripple effect would be. Be happy with the decisions you’ve made, and then move forward from there.”

Mr. Sparks said his biggest piece of advice is to marry one’s best friend.

“I don’t speak for everybody, this is just for us, but I would say when you get married, it’s gotta be your best friend,” Mr. Sparks said. “It’s more than a partner, it’s literally your best friend. I don’t find marriage all that hard, but I also married my best friend.”

This story was originally published on Eagle Nation Online on February 14, 2022.

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