How we met: Teacher Edition


Leila Stewart, Co-Editor in Chief

The smell of red roses and sweet milk chocolates are in the air. The sound of Singing Valentines are floating from the classrooms and students walk the halls in their red and pink in celebration of the day. Valentine’s Day 2019 has arrived.

Couples are reminiscing about the moment the met; the moment that led to the romance present today. Math teachers Maria and Ricardo Garcia are one of the married couples on staff here.

“I met her here at Clements High school in room 1805 on my first official day doing student teaching here,” Ricardo Garcia said. “She was already working here.”

The rest is history.

“I proposed to her the same place we had our first kiss which was the driveway of our house, her house then,” Garcia said.

There had been no sparks in the beginning for the Usangas, especially when working on opposite ends of the school. Eno Usanga worked in the special-education department, while Vicky Usanga taught in the science department.

“I wouldn’t say it was ‘love at first sight.’ It was more like ‘like at first sight,’ confessed Eno Usanga. “I admire her from a distance because we didn’t see each other that much at all.”

They started by exchanging hellos in the hallways and holding conversations in the copy room or at social functions hosted by the school.

As a man of faith (she was too), he believed in the old proverb: He who finds a wife finds a good thing. “When she came around, she was definitely a good thing.”

And so Usanga waited for what he claimed “was in the making for years.” In this way he saw their relationship as a gradual progression that required patience on both of their ends. But there was a genuineness to it that Usanga liked. “It just kind of switched from like to romance, or like to love,” he said.

He had not known anything from the beginning of what they would mean to each other. But he enjoyed every moment they spent together, no matter how few they were from the start. They had seen each other as co-workers, grew to be friends, and eventually they entered a relationship that would give them two years (and counting) of marriage and a son.

“She’s just the right fit for me.”

Physics teacher Geoffrey Hart also met his spouse in school, this time while being a student himself.

“I met her my junior year at college. She was also in the teachHouston program with me,” Hart said. “She was a biology major but her aspiration was to get into optometry school. Education was a minor degree for her.”

After meeting, they found themselves in the same classroom once again–this time as student teachers.

“We started teaching classes together and we eventually started dating shortly after that,” Hart said.

It was six years of dating before he finally popped the question, but in reality he “always knew.”

“I proposed to her in December 2016 and we got married in December of 2018,” Hart said.

You never know what path may lead you to your spouse. For Pre-AP Biology teacher Lauren Rogers, collegiate athletics and a consequent shoulder injury led to the man who would change her life forever.

Rogers was playing softball and her husband was on the baseball team.

“We had weights at the same time,” Rogers said. “I had seen him before and I thought he was really cute so when I saw him in the training room I took the chance and said ‘hi’, and it kind of went from there.”

Later she learned she wasn’t alone in her initial infatuation.

“It turns out he’d also thought the same thing but he didn’t have the nerves to ask me yet,” Rogers said. “So who knows how long it would’ve been if I didn’t say anything.”

Although she didn’t know then where they would end up today, the moment they started really talking she “instantly knew that [it] could be something big.” She was right. In a few months time, her and her husband are expecting their first child, a baby boy.

“Did I think that almost 10 years down the road that we’d end up married and with a baby on the way?” Rogers said. “Not at the time. But about 3 months later that was when i was like ‘this actually could be it.’’’

Each person’s love story is unique. When AP Calculus AB and Pre-AP Pre-Cal teacher Deborah Fojtik first met her husband, she couldn’t even imagine going on a date.

“I met my husband at a wedding,” Fojtik said. “He was the best man so i always like to joke around like ‘yes he is the best man.’’’

Her older brother was a groomsman and ended up being the one to introduce them. Fojtik was only a week shy of 18 years old at the time and her husband has just turned 29. Initially, he thought that she was 24, older than her brother.

“He was really nice,” she said. “What really attracted me to him was that he was so nice and polite, he opened the door and pulled the chair out… but my mother wouldn’t let me date him, obviously, I mean he’s 11 years older than me.”

She had to reject his offer to go out on a date, but that didn’t stop him from waiting for her.

“I was in band and I had to march and stuff for football games so he waited until november to call again,” Fojtik said. “So I answer the telephone and was like ‘who is this?’ because I had totally forgotten about him and he’s like ‘remember we met at this wedding a couple of months ago.’’’

That day, she asked for her mom’s permission once again.

“Can I go out with him one time?” She says she asked her. “That will be the end of it.”

Her mother obliged but that wasn’t the end of their story.

“Three years later we got married and we’ve been married for 35 years,” Fojtik said.

Looking back on the life they spent together, she says “he’s the best thing that’s ever happened.”

“I’m totally blessed to have him in my life,” she said. “At first you know there was a point in time where I thought maybe I missed out on something because he was my first boyfriend, but I think I just got lucky.”