Jason Seifert is a 39-year-old science teacher from Ohio. He had been teaching at Harry Russell Elementary for 17 years when he decided to do something extraordinary right in front of his fifth graders.
The story began two years ago when a brand new teacher joined the school. The new employee was called Ally Barker, and she was going to teach maths. Ally and Seifer hit it off from the start, and the two teachers soon became friends.
But it quickly became clear that there was more to their relationship than just friendship. Seifert and Barker were falling for one another. And it wasn’t a secret for long.
We all know what school kids are like. One whiff of anything scandalous and by the end of recess everyone knows about it. And it’s safe to say that Harry Russell Elementary was no different to any other school in this sense.
Unsurprisingly, the rumor that the science teacher was dating the math teacher spread pretty quickly at Harry Russell Elementary. The students clearly suspected that there was something going on between the two.
Some kids were even bold enough to directly ask Seifert if he was dating Barker. But the teacher told ABC News that he simply replied, “Really? You heard that? I hadn’t really heard that yet!”
But one day in February 2017 Seifert decided it was time to address these rumors directly. And so he called the fifth graders into a classroom and asked them all a question. Only the school principal knew what was going to happen next.
Seifert stood up in front of the excitable kids and asked who among them had caught wind of a rumor that he and Miss Barker were together. All the kids put their hands in the air. And they were soon going to realize that it was no coincidence that Seifert had called them in on Valentine’s Day.
The science teacher then confirmed all of their suspicions. “The answer is yes, we are dating,” he said. HIs announcement was instantly met with cheers and laughter from the roomful of over-excited kids.
Barker and Seifert were standing side by side in front of all the kids when the science teacher admitted they were in fact dating. And what he said next made an embarrassed Barker hang her head and giggle.
Because Seifert wasn’t quite finished with his little speech. He kept on talking. Meanwhile, another teacher stood to the side of the classroom filming the entire thing.
“We are a little bit more than dating,” Seifert continued. The kids screamed with delight and disbelief, but there was still more to come.
“I am completely in love with her,” the teacher boldly declared to a classroom full of students. The kids had already figured out that the two were dating through a little bit of Facebook stalking, but this was unexpected. For her part, Barker giggled and put her hand over her mouth. But the best part was yet to come.
The science teacher was about to do something that no-one in the room expected. He got the full attention of the class once more and said, “I was wondering if Miss Barker would like to become Mrs Seifert.”
Next, he pulled out a little box from his pocket. Then he turned to Barker and got down on one knee. The kids couldn’t control themselves and began screaming with excitement. And Miss Barker burst into tears too.
It was an offer Miss Barker couldn’t refuse, and the pair shared a romantic embrace, unfazed by their fifth grader audience. The secret was well and truly out by this point!
Although it’s not caught on film, the kids were reportedly so overcome with happiness that they couldn’t hold back. They leapt up and ran to hug the newly engaged couple. Sweet!
On his choice of proposal location Seifert told ABC News that, “We fell in love because of that school, so it made sense [to get engaged there].” He also wanted his proposal to be a surprise not just for Barker but for their fellow teachers too, who he described as “family.”
Barker, meanwhile, told ABC News that, “It was really special.” She added that she and Seifert see their pupils more than they see their own respective kids from previous relationships. And so she was pleased that their class could share in their joy too.
Of course, Seifert wisely chose Valentine’s Day as the perfect time to confirm the schoolyard rumors, and he did so with considerable style. Barker’s five-year-old child and Seifert’s 15 and 19-year-old children will become one family at their wedding, scheduled for fall this year.