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Finding Love in the Corps

Ten TFA couples based in the Charlotte-Piedmont Triad region share their love stories. 

Dwight and Christiana on their wedding day with TFA friends

By Sara-Kay Mooney

February 24, 2021

It’s no secret that the fight for educational equity demands strong partnerships. ⁣Given that TFA is full of passionate, hard-working, equity-centric leaders, perhaps it comes as no surprise that several of our network members have found their life-partners through their TFA journey.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we asked 10 Charlotte-Piedmont Triad (CPT)-based couples to share their stories.

Kyle (CPT '09) and Satahi Roedersheimer (Miami-Dade '12):

"Kyle and I met on the first day of institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2012. Kyle was a CMA [corps member advisor], and I was an incoming corps member. Two weeks into institute, we decided we’d give a relationship a try—by the end of institute, we knew that we’d found our life-mate. We then started our two-year long-distance journey, as Kyle was starting his first year of medical school at Chapel Hill and I was starting my first year of teaching in Miami. Now—nine years, two kids, and a dog later—we’re buying the house Kyle and his TFA friends lived in 11 years ago during their teaching commitment. Life is good.”⁣

Matt (CPT '15) and Whitney Killian (CPT '14)

“We met in the fall of 2015 after an all-corps event. Both of us lived and spent a lot of time in downtown Greensboro. Matt proposed in the spring of 2019 and we married in October 2020!”⁣

Rob Leichner and Larisa Martin (CPT '04)

“We met at the Comfort Inn at Sugar Creek and I-85 during induction. Rob was the first corps member I met. I encountered him in the hallway of the hotel right after I checked in. He was wearing his UNC Rugby Football jersey and I went to Duke, so my first words to him were, ‘You went to UNC? We can't be friends!’ Those words made it into our wedding ceremony. Almost 17 years later, basketball season is still hard.”⁣

Kara Crumpler and Austin Webster (CPT '16)

“I met Kara at summer institute when she mistook me for someone else, and what a lucky mistake it was! After many dining hall dates, I finally asked her on our first real date. Fast forward five years later—we are still supporting each other in and out of the classroom, and working together to make Charlotte a more equitable city for our students.” ⁣

Mackenzie and Ryan Marosy (CPT '14)

"We met at our assigned table in the Family Dollar Room at Johnson C. Smith University the first morning of induction. One year later to the day, Ryan bought an engagement ring. Nearly seven years later with two graduate degrees, two dogs, and one baby, we still love college football, coffee, the Avett Brothers, and each other.”⁣

Dwight Miller and Christiana Jackson (CPT '13)

"We met at induction, survived Tulsa institute, and got placed in the same MTLD [manager of teacher leadership and development]/Teacher Coach cohort (shout out to Emily White Castillo León)! It was almost a year before we realized there was something more and were married in 2017 with fellow TFA friends present." ⁣

Rachel Williams and Craig Fanto (CPT '18)

"Prior to induction, I reached out to Craig on GroupMe to become Facebook friends with the sole intention of connecting with other early decision applicants. Eight months later, we met for the first time in Greensboro. We really didn’t connect with each other until we both realized we had bought gym passes at institute. We became ‘gym buddies’ and many workouts later, we started dating. We’ve both completed our TFA commitment and just moved in together...and all this time later, we’re still (at home) gym buddies!"⁣

Sarah (NYC '05) and Grant Walker (NYC '08)

"We met in June 2008 when Grant visited Sarah’s placement school after deciding to join the NYC corps. We ran into each other a few weeks later at institute and then many times at the TFA office over the next couple of years—usually at the copy machine.  We had a mutual crush for three years (!) and finally went out for a drink at the 20th Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. Ten years, a wedding, and two cities later, we’re here in Charlotte!⁣”

Tara Storm (CPT '15) and Jon Buchleiter (CPT '16)

"We met at TFA Kickoff at Ashley Park in the history teacher cohort breakout space. It was Jon’s first year and I was a second-year teacher. I gave him my email if he ever needed help with lesson plans. He did, and the rest is 'history.'"⁣

Megan Pen and Jack Baldwin (CPT '17)

"At induction, I overheard someone talking about cheesesteaks. Being from Philadelphia, I was excited to learn someone else was too! I introduced myself to Jack. When I asked him where in Philadelphia he was from, he said that he was from the suburbs on the New Jersey side. It was almost a deal breaker, but we made it work...we're getting married in 2022!"