Changing the definition of ‘high school sweethearts’

Madi Babine

Most adults come home every day to see their spouse and catch up on the day’s news, but for some Kinkaid teachers, they encounter each other in the school hallways during the day. Here are just some of the faculty/staff couples in the Upper School.


The Durnings

Mr. Patrick Durning and Mrs. Betsy Durning found themselves both working for St. George’s Boarding School, and now Kinkaid after attending graduate school at Brown University. In addition to working together, the Durnings have had two children attend Kinkaid, Margaret (Class of ‘17) and Henry (11): “It is especially nice to all be on the same schedule and part of the same community” said Mrs. Durning. After 23 years of marriage, Mrs. Durning is still nostalgic of his proposal: “Patrick suggested we visit Cadillac Mountain…which is the first place, in the continental US, that the sun rises each morning…. it seemed like we were the only ones there.”


The Andersons

The first time Dr. Clay Anderson laid eyes on Mrs. Lauri Anderson in the Johns Hopkins bookstore, he rushed home to tell his roomate “[he] just saw the woman [he is] going to marry.” After overcoming many obstacles to find the girl (searching through an entire directory, running a mile to her office), the Andersons have found themselves both working at Kinkaid, one in the physics department, and the other as a learning specialist. Being married for 19.5 years, the Andersons still reminisce of their comical moments at Johns Hopkins when Dr. Anderson would stay up all night doing homework, and Mrs. Anderson would sleep on the tables with a pillow just to keep him company. However, seeing family in school is nothing new to them, as their daughter Brynn (Class of ‘17) also attended Kinkaid, and both Dr. and Mrs. Anderson explained this as a “funny and strange feeling.”


The Lamberts

Mrs. Kate Lambert and Mr. Scott Lambert met teaching at Kinkaid, and it took them over a year of friendship before they decided to take the leap to date. During their year as friends, “[their] students would leave [them] sweet love notes and poems ‘signed by each other’” (when in actuality the students had written them).  But Mr. Lambert finally made it official by barging “into [her] seventh-period class, [kneeling] down in front of [her] students and [proposing],” which has brought them 22 wonderful years of marriage.

The Johnsons

Married for 14 years, Dr. Tara McDonald-Johnson and Mr. Jason Johnson met in graduate school at Winthrop University. They were in different departments, but worked in the same office, advising undergraduates. Although they entered into Kinkaid at different times, they both love working at the same place: “We have a lot in common, including the love of teaching, and it’s wonderful to collaborate and support one another on a daily basis,” explained Dr. McDonald-Johnson. They advise that “mutual respect for one another is key…even though Tara teaches English, she really enjoys science.  While Jason teaches biology, he really enjoys Literature.”