Love at PA: Resident staff couples reflect on first meetings and working together

Bella Coulter, Journalism 1 Student

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By Bella Coulter

During the summer 17 years ago at PA, John and Kelly Boyd met for the very first time. He came in as the new band director and had seen her working with the kids on the Titanic musical production and became interested to know more about her.

“I thought she was kind of cute, but I had to be cool,” said Boyd. He first caught her attention by slipping a video of his band into her mailbox. Then they started working together on the spring musical, piecing together the chorus and the acting for Titanic. They grew closer, stopping each other in the hallways to discuss their favorite works of literature.

He finally worked up the courage to ask her out on a date to see a band concert at Cox High School. He told her he would pay for the tickets (the tickets were free), and she agreed only if he would go folk dancing with her.

“I definitely said yes, because that’s what you do,” Mr. Boyd said. They chose the Atlas Diner as the location for their first date, both of them eagerly waiting for the day to arrive.

“She was knock-down, drop-dead gorgeous,” he remembers. Their date was a success and they continued to date until 2003 when they got married.

There are many other couples around the halls of PA, including another pair whose love story started at PA. A couple years after the Boyds’ wedding, the Kinsers met and began dating.

“We started kind of driving in at the same time,” remembers Sydney Kinser, who was working as a substitute teacher at the time. Jeff Kinser then asked her out, and they went on their first date in 2006.

“He took me to the scariest movie,” Kinser said. “And the rest is history.”

“I proposed shortly thereafter,” said science teacher Jeff Kinser, and they were married in 2007. They continued working together for three years before Sydney Kinser went to teach at an elementary school. This is her first year back.

“Having her come back is really special,” said Kinser. Because they work in different departments, they don’t get to see each other too often, but they make up for it by finding each other in the windows. They teach on either side of the courtyard, waving to each other throughout the day.

Following in PA’s family atmosphere, there are many couples at the school that are involved in things together outside of their daily work, including the Delaneys, the Bohacs the Coxes, and the Millers.

“It is awesome,” said Kathy Delaney, describing what it’s like working with her spouse. Kathy Delaney switched to PA first after working at Tallwood, followed by Steve Delaney around two years later from an elementary school.

“I knew it would be fun for us to be together here and it’s much closer to home,” said Steve Delaney. They took the position of class sponsors together for the Class of 2019 to work not only with each other but with their daughter who also attends PA.

“It’s been a lot of fun and an incredible evolution to see our students develop their talent for doing hallways and struggle with the balance that happens during that week,” said Kathy Delaney. “Our class has always been incredibly creative. It’s fun to be a part of that.”

Despite all of the wonderful memories they have already shared at PA, both of them agree that the most special moment is yet to come.

“Graduation will be meaningful on many levels for us this year,” said Kathy Delaney. She points out that not only will their daughter be graduating, but they will be saying goodbye to class officers that they have become close with over the years.

“To see our daughter walk across the stage will definitely be very cool,” said Steve Delaney. “That’s a moment I’m really looking forward to.”

The Bohacs and the Coxes also are extremely involved in various events, even though both couples have only worked together for a few years.

“It is interesting working with my spouse,” said Deanna Bohac. They both point out that they don’t really get to see each other during the day because they work in completely different departments, he a Tech Ed teacher and she a Virtual Virginia coordinator. However, they still see each other quite often after their classes, as their schedules outside of school end up being the same.

“We see each other all the time: we live together, we drive together, we’re at school together, we drive back home together, we got to the gym together, we go grocery shopping together,” Deanna Bohac said. They’ve also recently started managing the school tennis teams together, a new experience for both of them.

The Coxes, on the other hand, organize events more outside of the school, although they still make their time together in school special.

“He buys me coffee every morning and drives me to work most days,” said IB Coordinator Helen Cox with a smile. George Cox retired five years ago, working on some projects around the house before he started volunteering at the school. They wanted to spend more time together, so George Cox was more than happy to accept a job working at the school full time as a part of security.

“I enjoy the kids and I enjoy learning about how hard teachers actually work,” George Cox said. He also notes that he now has a better appreciation for all the work Helen Cox puts into running three major programs at the school.

In addition to working together at school, they also are co-chairs of the Neptune Festival and the Grand Illumination Parade in Norfolk, which had a total of 100,000 people show up this year.

“We’ve learned to enjoy life together,” said George Cox.

Another couple at the school who organizes events together are the Millers. Brian Miller has been working at PA for 27 years, while Linda Miller recently returned five years ago after working at Plaza Middle School.

“We’re very lucky to work together,” said Brian Miller. “We share students, so we actually work together and do meetings together.”

“We’re a couple that actually enjoys each other’s company,” Linda Miller said with a laugh. In addition to working together during the school day, they also sponsor noble teens and the school store.

“We do everything together,” said Brian Miller. He explains that he likes to organize things and she likes to work with people and get involved in that organization. However, the best part about working together?

“Getting to spend time with each other,” said Linda Miller. “He’s my best friend.”

“It’s a very natural thing and we’re blessed and were very lucky to work together in the same building,” added Brian Miller. He points out that many areas of their lives are interwoven with PA, making them like family.

Another family who came through PA is the Varneys, who work together in the West Wing. However, this isn’t their first time working together; before they moved to Virginia Beach, they worked together in an autistic residential facility for three years.

“We really learned early to work with our strengths,” said Wayne Varney. “She’s a lot more detail oriented than I am, while I usually am more at a big picture type of thing.” They also pointed out that they even had a daughter graduate from PA and a son that attended a football camp with PA’s football coach, so PA has always been a part of their lives.

According to all the couples, their presence together around the school brings them closer and further enhances a common school saying: PA is family.

“I enjoy every moment,” said George Cox.