Teachers tie the knot

Jeff Simpson

Jeff Simpson

Laura Opsahl-Ong, Reporter

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Government teacher Rachel Baxter

What kind of wedding did you guys have?

We had… I feel like that’s the question we got so often when I was getting married like “what’s the theme of your wedding?” and I’m like uhhh marriage. We got married in Mount Vernon and so it was very history inspired we had about a hundred people and yeah it was a beautiful day.

Did it take a while to plan the wedding?

Yes, I was obsessive about planning it and that’s the teacher planner in me. I had spreadsheets and a timeline of what was supposed to happen on the day of, it was in size six font, double-sided, and of course it didn’t go how it was supposed to go. But yeah, I think that the teacher in me really over-planned every aspect of it.

How did your students react?

They were really excited. This was back when I was teaching in Georgia, but they were all really excited. It was weird because I got married over the summer and then came back to a new school the next school year and the first two weeks they kept calling me “Ms. Baxter” and I wasn’t responding to them. I was like, “I don’t know who that is.” So yeah, that was an adjustment.

Tell me about your husband

He is incredibly smart, he works in, right now he works in nuclear nonproliferation and he’s working on finishing his Ph.D. in international affairs, science and technology so he does a lot of research on nuclear weapons policy, how countries develop nuclear weapons. He does really interesting research and I feel like we have such a great relationship because we push each other intellectually, so he is somebody I can go to about school stuff and be like “hey so this one thing about the civil war,” because he is a major history nerd as well. Yeah, so he does cool stuff, I’m excited to see what things he accomplishes in the next decade or so.

 

Math teacher Steven Walker

Tell me about your wife?

So we met in college, at USC in South Carolina, we both got our undergraduate degrees there. She got a history degree and I got mine in math. We ended up doing the long distance thing. She went to New York to go to graduate school, at Fordham, and I went to grad school at USC. and I got my masters in teaching there, and she got her masters in teaching too… She teaches history at falls church high school.

How did you propose?

I knew she’d want to be dressed up, because everyone takes pictures. I can’t propose when she just woke up because she’d kill me. I was really stressed out about it, like, “Ah, how do I get her to dress up without being really awkward like, ‘So, are you dressing up today?’” But it actually worked out.

Her parents were rebuilding a beach house because it had caught fire. I emailed her parents and said, “Why don’t you send out an email to the family and tell them…you want to take nice pictures in front of the beach house?”

And then of course Megan was like, “I’m not doing that, that’s stupid.” So then I was really nervous, ‘cause I was doing everything I could to get this girl to dress up. So finally I was like whatever, I’m just going to do it no matter what… So we were taking couples pictures in front of the house, and while they were taking pictures I dropped to one knee and proposed, and she cried and I forgot what I had rehearsed… I didn’t think she’d cry that much. So I’m looking at her crying and I forgot everything I’d memorized.

Do you have pets?

We do we have Penny. We rescued her in South Carolina, actually we had her in the apartment, I didn’t live with Megan, but we lived next door to each other, that’s how we met. So we were out one night and we found her, a little puppy too young to be separated from her mom, just roaming around. So we brought her back and tried to hide her in the apartment, because there were no pets allowed. And then we got caught and we had to ship Penny to Virginia. And by ship I mean Megan had to drive Penny all the way to Virginia, or she’d get kicked out of her apartment. So yeah we have Penny.

How did your students react?

I feel like sometimes you guys think we’re not human beings, like we have no life, but everyone was like “Aww I can’t believe it”. I got a lot of awws. Everyone’s happy though.

Math teacher Caroline Cochrane-Braswell

How did you meet?

We actually went to high school together, here at McLean. I didn’t actually know him in high school, but my best friend…was friends with him. He was moving back to this area, so he was in contact with my best friend and he was asking her about me, like, “I remember her being really nice.” So then she connected us, and we started talking on Facebook, and then we went out.

Are you going on a honeymoon?

My fiancé bought a house in Scotland, so we’re going to go to Scotland over the summer, and that’s going to be our honeymoon. We might be doing a few other things, maybe go to Spain, and our flight is going to have a layover in Iceland, so we can spend a day in Iceland.

Do you guys have pets together?

I have 2 dogs and he has 2 dogs, so now we have 4 dogs. Lots of dogs running around. We moved in with each other the end of October, beginning of November, so now all four of the dogs live with us. It’s a lot.

 

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