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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


From Sunburns to Love at First Sight: A Valentine’s Day Special

Teachers share their unique marriage stories and favorite Valentine’s Day traditions.
Photo courtesy of Paul Koch
English teacher, Paul Koch, and his wife, Joanne, take a selfie together. The two met at a party hosted by their mutual friends and have been in love since.

Love doesn’t just exist on TV; it’s all around. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the love we see every day at home, with friends, and even at school. This affection-filled holiday is a favorite for many. “Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday because I love the whole aesthetic of it,” sophomore Kaiyaa Patel said. From the loads of sweet treats to the colors pink and red, what is there not to love?

In honor of Valentine’s Day this year, teachers shared their rom-com love stories.

English teacher, Sean Heron, paid the small price of a sunburn for the love of his life. 

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Heron and his wife met online in 2015 and had a memorable first date at a coffee shop. “We were sitting outside a coffee shop and we talked for so long that we both actually ended up getting sunburnt because we were sitting outside and lost track of time,” Heron said. “I remember I woke up the next day and had a sunburn.” Although sunburns aren’t a typical outcome of a good first date, it was a clear sign of a genuine and strong connection between Heron and his wife. 

When celebrating Valentine’s Day, Heron and his wife ditched the usual store-bought card. Instead, they opted for a wholesome, handmade card. “My wife and I have a long-standing tradition,” Heron said.  “We don’t buy cards. We make them and we have some kind of joke or pun or theme to the gift that we give.” 

Heron’s favorite memory with his wife is any of the moments from raising their kids. “It’s been amazing just having a chance to see her as not only my wife but also as mom,” he said.

Love at first sight sounds unattainable, but it wasn’t for English teacher Paul Koch. 

While living in Richmond, Koch attended a party hosted by some of his college friends. Also in attendance was Koch’s future wife, who happened to be elementary school friends with the hosts. This was the first time Koch and his wife met, and the two clicked immediately. “I think it was pretty much just like love at first sight,” Koch said. “We had both been in long-term relationships and they had ended recently. I learned in that previous relationship what I wasn’t looking for and I met her and she met all the things that I was hoping to find in a person.”

The Koch family keeps Valentine’s Day very simple. “When my kids were younger, we would all have Valentine’s dinner together and tell our kids how much we love them,” he said. “Now, my wife and I make a nice dinner and usually just have dinner together.” 

Additionally, the Koch family tends to stay away from typical Valentine’s Day products. “Cut flowers are nice but we usually have flowers in the house anyway,” Koch said. “Cards are a ridiculous waste of money.” 

While Koch’s kids continue to get older, he and his wife have had the opportunity to spend more time with each other. “Some of my favorite memories with my wife are now,” Koch said. “My youngest, Bennett, is a senior. My other two don’t live at home. So, it’s like my wife and I are dating again. It’s just the two of us hanging out most of the time. It’s good.” As Koch and his wife spend more time together, their love and bond only grow stronger.

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About the Contributor
Riya Cherukuri
Riya Cherukuri, Staff Writer
Riya Cherukuri is a sophomore and a first year staffer on The Blaze. In her free time, Cherukuri enjoys baking desserts. Cherukuri also spends her time playing softball for Rock Ridge. She was motivated to play because her brother played baseball, so being on the field felt just right. Cherukuri hopes to continue playing in college.

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