Breaking News
The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

Married Teachers Together at School, Home


Percussion director Lamar Burkhalter and his wife of 22 years, athletic secretary Kay Burkhalter, first connected in the classroom as students when they were paired as debate partners in their high school government class. Since then, they have kept their scholarly connection as teachers at the same school.

Throughout the school, there are teachers who not only work together at the same school, but are married.

Like the Burkhalters, World Geography teacher Thomas Allen and his wife of 10 years, Algebra I teacher Krisitine Allen met in McGregor High School as teachers.

“We love being at the same school,” Thomas Allen said. “This makes [life] easy for us as we know most of the same students, can talk about some of the things that happen here, and understand what each other are talking about. Having the same time off makes planning our lives easy, because we know that the other spouse knows what is happening at school and we enjoy having the same school holidays and summer off.”

When Kristine Allen switched careers from a business office manager to become a teacher, Thomas Allen was working at his first job as a teacher.

“It was a very small school and a very small faculty so we met at lunch,” Kristine Allen said. “Nobody knew we were dating at our old school until I actually got my ring. We started dating [around the] end of December and got engaged in May. We were engaged for 19 days and then we got married.”

Since becoming married, the Allens make their fellow faculty members and students aware of their marriage.

“Other teachers think that it is nice that we are married and sometimes envy our being off together, riding together, and having our spouse around,” Thomas Allen said. “Students recognize that we are married and we both tell our students that we are married. We want them to know that if they have Mrs. Allen for math and Mr. Allen for Geography that we know them.”

However, the Burkhalters do not tell many students of their marriage.

“The only students that know we are married are some of the athletes in my department and his students that play percussion because they see us at events together,” Kay Burkhalter said.

Kristine Allen said many students find out that they are married on their own.

“Sometimes we tell students, sometimes they see pictures of us in our classroom, sometimes they’ll make the connection with the name,” Kristine Allen said. “Mr. Allen talks about me all the time and where we’ve [traveled] because teaching geography in the course of his lectures he’ll talk about me.”

For the students who know they are married, Lamar Burkhalter said he thinks they find it unique.

“We just joke about it,” Lamar Burkhalter said. “I make my drumline say good morning to Mrs. Burkhalter when she walks in and I go down and see her with Coach Svoboda.”

Except for driving to school together, Kristine Allen also said that she and her husband do not spend time together throughout the day.

“Once we get to school we don’t see each other until we leave the building in the afternoon,” Kristine Allen said. “We have different lunch periods and conferences so we don’t see each other during the day. We don’t really e-mail, or talk on the phone, and he doesn’t text so there’s no texting at school. We’re not working together. I know that sounds funny because we’re both teachers at the same school. We have the same type of job and same bosses. We have a lot of co-workers in common but we don’t really work together.”

Although they do not see each other, Thomas Allen said sharing their profession and work place allows them to discuss different teaching methods.

“Math usually gets [in] new [technology], so when Mrs. Allen learns new things, she tells me about them or shows me,” Thomas Allen said. “As math does not show many videos, our running joke is that Mrs. Allen could not be a Geography teacher because she does not know how to operate a video player.”

Kristine Allen said having a spouse who shares her job at the same school creates a supportive atmosphere.

“Non-teachers tend to think that teaching is easy. We understand that’s [false], and how busy we are during the day,” Kristine Allen said. “If I had a spouse that wasn’t a teacher, he may wonder ‘why didn’t you pick up the phone when I called’ or ‘why didn’t you answer my e-mail’. We understand the job pressures of each other. I chose teaching, I chose Mr. Allen and so I have to say that life is pretty good right now.”

More to Discover