5 Couples Who Found True Love at Teach For America

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're checking in with five couples who met their soul mates at TFA.
Friday, February 12, 2016

Roses are red. Violets are blue. These couples found their match helping others. And so could you!

It’s no surprise so many of our corps members find true love within the Teach For America community. After all, sharing the same passion and drive in helping fight educational inequity is pretty solid common ground. Over the years, we’ve learned of many alumni who’ve met their best friend and soul mate at TFA. And because tales of true love never get old, here are a few couples we thought we’d share with you in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Josie Duckett McSpadden, Matthew McSpadden (San Antonio ’13) & JoJo 

A younger man with brown hair wearing a white shirt stands with his arm around a woman with long blonde hair and glasses wearing a black shirt who is holding a baby in a gray shirt and polka dot pants, in a large hallway in front of a wall of windows.

“We were both placed at KIPP Camino Academy. He was teaching 5th grade math, and I was teaching 8th grade writing, and we became best friends, along with other TFA people who were there…You know how they say, date your best friend? I always thought that had to be the worst advice. I mean, how would you actually fall for them? But then it just happened ... and everything changed from there.” –Josie

Jessica (Bay Area ’06) & Mayra Diaz (Bay Area ’07)

Jessica & Mayra Diaz

“I taught in the East Side of San Jose and spent a lot of my time with a group of 2005 and 2006 South Bay corps members who lived together in a house on Capriana Circle. During one of our regular Sunday night family dinners, Mayra Diaz strolled through the door after soccer practice. She. was. beautiful.

“We went shopping together for a gift for our Teach For America manager, and I confessed that I wanted us to take a real shot at making love work. Luckily, she said yes, and we've been seriously inseparable ever since.”  –Jessica

Carlin Johnson (Los Angeles ’92) & Ben Politzer (Seattle ’94)

Carlin Johnson & Ben Politzer

Paired together with Carlin as Teach For America selectors for two weeks, Ben remembers in a trip-planning call that Carlin didn't have time to talk as she was rushing off to a taping of Spin City in Manhattan. A few weeks later, Carlin remembers thinking, uh-oh, I'm in trouble, when she arrived at the airport and saw Ben's smile for the first time. “Twenty years later," she says, "we've been married for nearly 15 years and have two terrific kids who are almost 9 and 12.”

Kelsey (Phoenix ’11) & Drew Garrison (Phoenix ’08)

Kelsey Garrison & Drew Garrison

“During my fourth year and Kelsey's first year in Phoenix, we meet on an airplane to Denver, as Kelsey headed to meet up with her CMA group and I was en route to visit family. Once back in Phoenix, we bumped into each other on two separate occasions…and the rest is history.” –Drew

Erik Van Houten & Danielle Batin (Las Vegas ’12)

Erik Van Houten & Danielle Batin

“I met Erik at induction at the Plaza Hotel, and we became good friends. We were next door neighbors and helped each other get through our first year teaching. We've been dating ever since.” –Danielle

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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