The ‘Institute’ of Marriage
Noah Drori (Massachusetts ’11) and Sandra Hinderliter (Miami–Dade ’09) met for the first time in 2011 during Philadelphia institute. Noah was an incoming corps member just beginning her summer teacher training, and Sandra was a first-year manager of teacher leadership development (MTLD) on the institute staff.
In the emotionally intense atmosphere and close quarters of institute, it’s not uncommon for couples to connect. It’s perhaps less common for a relationship that heats into marriage to start with a cool encounter.
Noah had been in a hard conversation during a training session and emerged feeling rattled. Noah caught Sandra’s eye, but Noah didn’t feel like talking.
Then—on the final day of institute, at a party—Noah remembered their awkward encounter and offered to share a drink with Sandra. As Noah describes what happened next, “We then sat down at a small table with about 500 sweaty educators dancing all around us and proceeded to talk about life, dreams, hopes, and romance.”
Sandra headed back to Miami. Noah had a week before she had to start teaching in Boston, so she flew south to spend it with Sandra.
They then spent the next two years traveling between Miami and Boston on visits. Sandra gave Noah teaching tips, while “Noah gave me the corps member experience” and informed her MTLD work, Sandra says. They eventually moved to be together in Washington, D.C., where Noah is now a manager at the Hebrew Charter School Center and Sandra does anti-poverty work at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.
In August they were married, but not before their guests volunteered for a day at Harriet Tubman Elementary School, where the couple runs a Saturday reading volunteer program.
About the Author
Keesa McKoy joined One Day in 2015 as the magazine's first multimedia journalist. Prior to One Day, Keesa's work included production projects in television, radio, and digital media. She is a New York City native currently residing in Boston.