Teachers share love stories


Photo Courtesy of Christina Manolis

Journalism teacher Christina Manolis and her husband pose for a photo at her college graduation in 2011. They met in 2007 and got engaged on April Fool’s Day 2011.

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the most popular day of the year to pop the question? As many as 6 million couples get engaged on Feb. 14. With Valentine’s Day only a few weeks away, several OHS teachers share their love stories. 

Journalism teacher Christina Manolis and her husband have a very long love story for the ages. They were together for seven years before they got married, and in October of this year it will be eight years that they have been married. They have a daughter, Isla, who is 2 years old. 

“The only reason I went out on a date with him is because he technically tricked me into it. At work one day he asked me what I was doing on Friday and I told him nothing. He said, ‘Good. Now you’ve got a date with me,’” Manolis said. “I was too polite to try to get out of it, so we went to the movies, saw a terrible film, and then on the way out of the theater he picked me up and threw me over his shoulders and ran me out into the lobby. He then proceeded to run a few red lights while driving me home. He said it was because he didn’t want me to be late for my curfew, but we both know it was because he was nervous because he knew I was out of his league.”

Manolis and her husband’s favorite things to do together are to run errands or relax and watch a TV show or movie. Also, they both love traveling whenever they get the time to do so. One thing she loves about her husband is that he always supports her in her dreams no matter how crazy or expensive they are. Something they have in common is that they both love to laugh and think they are very witty. 

“We did long distance for the first five years of our relationship because he was in the Army. After he got home from his deployment, he visited me for two weeks while I was studying abroad in Dublin,” Manolis said. “Even though we talked frequently through Skype and phone calls, we had never spent that much time directly together, and I realized he was my best friend and the only person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” 

The English department is not the only place where love is floating in the air, as drama teacher Melissa Harper and her wife have been married for a year and a half. They met on a dating app in 2020 during quarantine and were together for six months before they got married. 

“She’s from Venezuela and so there are some cultural differences, and when the pandemic first started, we only had one desk so she was sitting across from me. We were facing each other and said something about the continents and I was like, ‘Yeah, the seven continents’ and she said, ‘How many continents?’ I said seven and she said, ‘There’s only five continents.’ I was like, ‘No! There are seven…You know the rings for the Olympics, they represent each continent. Go ahead, see how many rings are in those Olympic rings.’ There are five,” Harper said. “I was so insistent that there were seven and ultimately it’s because different areas of the world have apparently different rules on what continents are. So for us it’s seven and for her it’s five.”

For Harper, the relationship is a very different story compared to past relationships she’s had because it feels like they are two individual people who are independent. For example, she feels as though she doesn’t need to be with her. It just works. 

“It wasn’t like this dive in and I’m completely overwhelmed with love and I have to be with her all the time,” Harper said. “It’s just…it worked.” 

Harper and her spouse have great conversations with each other, so they love talking. Specifically, about the state of the world or politics, which they are both very involved in.

“She’s intelligent, she is kind, she’s patient, she is of course beautiful, she is so giving, like the amount of wonderful that she is, is hard to put in one small list,” Harper said.

History teacher Nicholas Aboussie and his wife have been married for about 11 years. He was around 23 or 24 years old when they met. They were together for about seven years before they got married. 

“So I met her through, I had one of her dancers in class and then we kind of started talking and then she knew me from a mutual friend of ours…the rest is history,” Aboussie said. 

His wife coached dance and Aboussie coached baseball, so they understood each other. For example, they had similar lifestyles and values. That kind of mindset brought them together. It also makes them similar in the way that they speak. 

“We finish each other’s sentences sometimes, we like the same clothes, we wear the same clothes, like it’s weird,” Aboussie said. “It’s kind of like we have that weirdness where we’re always on the same page usually.”

Aboussie and his wife love to travel. One of their favorite spots is Las Vegas. They don’t do Vegas like people usually do, as they spend their time enjoying the views, each other’s company, hiking, hanging at a pool and eating good food. 

“One thing I love about her is that she always kind of keeps me in check. You know, she makes sure that I’m not stressed, I’m not becoming overly involved. She kind of balances me out completely and makes sure that I’m being taken care of as far as my mental health and physical health,” Aboussie said. “She pushes me to make sure that I’m working out and I’m not being a fat lazy boy, but things like that. She takes care of me.”

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, everyone likes to celebrate it in their own way, just like our teachers.

“We usually celebrate Valentine’s Day by doing something, rather that be doing dinner at the house,” Aboussie said. “If we’re really busy during the week, we usually don’t go out…but if it happens to fall on a weekend, we’ll usually go out to a nice restaurant. I usually cook, and I’ll buy a dessert from somewhere and we’ll have something back at the house.”