SALEM-It's not every day the message board in front of a school changes lives.
But two teachers will be forever tied to Buckeye Elementary after Friday morning.
Instead of the standard welcome back from Christmas vacation, the message board on Friday proclaimed a marriage proposal from first-grade teacher Ryan Barrett to fellow first-grade teacher Chelsea Green.
Ryan Barrett and Chelsea Green, first-grade teachers at Buckeye Elementary, became engaged Friday after Barrett proposed marriage with the aid of the school’s message board. (Salem News photo by Kevin Howell)
She said yes.
"This is a tight knit staff and I thought it appropriate to include the staff and students," Barrett said. "It's been something that everyone has enjoyed."
Barrett said he got the idea when he noticed that the sign had not been change since Christmas break. He said he spoke with Principal John Lundin and custodian Kellie Wright on Monday and had the occasion set up for Friday morning so that it would be lit up when they arrived for work.
Barrett said he drove Green to work and pointed out the sign as they pulled up out front. He got out and went around the car, got her out and asked her to marry him on the sidewalk in front of the sign.
"We're both teachers, this is our life and we share it together," Barrett said. "We'll always remember Buckeye School."
Students in Green's class made a sign that said "Miss Green said Yes" and hung it in the window of her classroom so passers-by would see her answer.
Barrett has been at Buckeye for five years and Green three. They said their relationship started as a friendship with common interests and grew into a romantic one. They have been dating for approximately 18 months.
"I'm still in awe; I've been so happy all day," Green said.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org