This piece follows three different couples that work in our WPGA community. Mr. Huygens – assistant head of senior school, and Mrs. Huygens – after school care coordinator, Mr. Anthony – head of senior school, and Mrs. Anthony – junior school teacher, and lastly, Mr. Garinger – PE teacher and Mrs. Garinger – work placement coordinator.
By: Avrel Festinger and Mira Barett McBride (grade 11)
Teacher couples. You have heard whisperings in the hallways about these mythical beings that roam around schools together. They carpool, go to school events and even walk the hallways together. Their power is unexplainably strong.
Perhaps, as you read this, you are not shocked by the concept of teacher couples. You may not find the idea of them mysterious or mythical, but rather normal and regular. This is because teacher-couples are very much a part of our WPGA community. IT is not what makes our school unique, but it is something that adds to the family atmosphere. By speaking with three different couples that work within our school community, we were able to get a picture of what it is like working with your significant other.
Mr. and Mrs. Huygens first met at work. But, not WPGA. Back in 1988, the two worked at Red Robin. As Mr. Huygens put it, “burgers brought us together.” As time progressed the two left the restaurant industry and found themselves at WPGA. First, Mr. Huygens appeared and once he heard that the school was looking for someone to run After School Care, Mrs. Huygens arrived. She quickley became the After School Care superhero we know her to be today. Just like that, the two were working here. On the other hand, the Garingers met at the school itself. Mr. Garinger recounts that, “She [Mrs. Garinger] was getting a tour of the school and I was already working. I heard that this excellent softball player was coming to the school so I wanted to recruit her for my co-ed softball team.” After one year of friendship, the two started dating. They jokingly credit fate for bringing them together. Maybe fate is a new nickname for West Point Grey Academy? Now, they have an adorable baby girl, Gia, who squeals with delight as our interview progresses. Unlike the other two couples, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony came to the school at the same time, already together. Their relationship with WPGA is 22 years strong…and counting.
“Well it’s interesting because even though we have been at the same school for 22 years and we were at a previous school for 3 years…our paths rarely cross and it’s usually noted by other people when they do,” Mrs. Anthony explains, when asked what it is like working with Mr. Anthony. The same can be said for the other two teacher couples. Each couple works in separate parts of the school. Whether it is the Junior School vs Senior School, or PE offices vs Senior School, there is a certain separation between each couple. But, don’t take this the wrong way. The pairs definitely still cross paths, but maybe not for administrative or teaching purposes. Mr. Anthony explains that he sees Mrs. Anthony when he is hungry. “I know that she will have snacks in her office space.” Besides the constant source of snacks, there are many other perks when it comes to working with your spouse. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Huygens work out together and use the gym before school starts. The Garingers sometimes coordinate to have lunch together and the Anthonys’ are grateful to have each other if either of them forgets a name. Maybe the concept of teacher couples in our school was perfectly summarized by Mrs. Huygens, when she said, “here, because we have this common communiy there is always something to talk about.”