Teachers married to teachers: an inside look


Psychology teacher Sheryl Freedman and counselor William Kapner at their wedding in 2010. The two got married at Hilton Head in South Carolina, with a number of other teachers attending their wedding. Photo courtesy Sheryl Freedman.

By Thomas Mande

When English teachers Elizabeth Keating and Todd Michaels met in 2003, they didn’t like each other at all. Michaels thought that Keating was a bit cold and distant, and Keating thought Michaels was full of himself and overly confident. They never even really talked, Keating said.

Yet over a shared planning period, the two gradually became friends, got closer and eventually started dating. Two years later, on March 21, 2007, they got married in Washington D.C.

Michaels and Keating are one of Whitman’s two pairs of married full-time staff members; the other is psychology teacher Sheryl Freedman and counselor William Kapner.

Freedman and Kapner met at Whitman in 2005. The two were in a group of teachers who would sometimes spend time together outside of school, and after getting to know each other better, they decided to start going out. After four years of dating, Freedman and Kapner got married in 2010 at Hilton Head in South Carolina, with a number of other teachers present at their wedding.

One of the biggest perks of being married to another staff member is its convenience, Freedman said.  

“It’s great; we’re on the same schedule, and we occasionally carpool when we’re not in different directions getting our children,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to know who and what we’re talking about and kind of commiserate about the same things, either to help each other or to work through stressful situations together.”

Freedman and Kapner work on opposite sides of the building and generally don’t see each other during the day without an extra effort. However, being married to a counselor can be especially helpful for supporting shared students, Freedman said.

“It can be really beneficial, because there are students that we can work together to help and support,” she said. “We’ve had students in the past that both of us have grown really close to because we’ve been able to work with them in just sort of different angles and get to know them really well.”
Keating and Michaels both teach in the English department, which has its own perks and drawbacks. Unlike Freedman and Kapner, who only enjoy the occasional lunch date, Keating and Michaels eat lunch together every day, though they often get made fun of by their colleagues, Keating said.

Whitman recently lost one of its most beloved staff couples in 2013 when special education teacher Joe Mornini retired; his wife, Nancy Mornini, still teaches art at Whitman. While Nancy Mornini misses having her husband here all the time, he makes sure to stop by frequently, often subbing for her. The two still attend Whitman events together from time to time.

“He’ll drive up all the time and bring me a latte and bring me lunch,” Mornini said. “The kids think it’s the cutest thing ever.”