16 Teacher Couples Share Their Greatest Lessons About Love and Relationships

In honor of Valentine's Day, E! News recognized teacher couples from across the country who are spreading valuable lessons to students of all ages.

By Mike Vulpo Feb 13, 2022 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Teachers Share Uplifting Messages to Students Amid Coronavirus

Attention all romantics: Class is now in session!

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, teachers have provided invaluable lessons on what it means to adapt, persevere and overcome any and all challenges.

And while students may be used to learning about math, social studies, science and other important subjects when the school bell rings, it's clear that many teachers can also provide some practical lessons on matters of the heart.

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, E! News went on the hunt for couples who are both teachers serving students throughout the country. Instead of sharing their lesson plan for the week, these educators decided to reveal their wisdom on love and relationships. Spoiler alert: They all aced the test. 

From a duo that recently got engaged to a pair who has been married for more than three decades, each couple brought honesty, humor and heart when sharing their best advice. And yes, it's just another reminder of how special teachers are each and every day. 

Teachers Share Their Back to School Wishes

Grab a pen and paper—you may want to take notes—and celebrate 16 teacher couples who prove love is worth the hard work. 

Luke & Mannikka Rosa

+ Monmouth County, N.J.
Married for 7 years
Social studies, high school

"Teaching is mentally and physically demanding, so when you're both teachers, you need a partner who lifts you up. We understand what each of us is going through and are always there for each other. I think we'd both say that we are so lucky to be able to marry our best friend. If you find the person who you love and who gets you, then do what you can to lift them up on a daily basis." 

Ben & Tiffany LaCombe

+ Las Vegas
Married for 15 years
History, psychology and sociology, high school/kindergarten-fifth grade

"We've learned to not question each other when it comes to the personal sacrifices we make as teachers because of the love for our students. We are lucky to have one another for support in our profession, but more important, our love and mutual respect grows for each other when we witness what the other one is willing to do for their students. Rather than be jealous or upset that quality family time is being taken away, we support each other because we understand that certain sacrifices are made to take care of our students because we love and care about them so much. And we never need to talk about it, we just look at each other and get it."

Chris & Lauren Maiorino

+ Lancaster County, Pa. 
Married for 10 years
Football coach, high school/second grade

"Our best advice is to not keep score. Some days are 50-50, but most are not and that's absolutely fine. We have learned to give and take to meet one another's needs and the needs of our family, most often putting others before ourselves."

Jen & Rick Woodward

+ Orange County, Calif.
Married for 25 years
AP Psychology, high school/AP Economics, high school

"Don't sweat the small stuff. Is it really that big of a deal that you need to have an argument about it? Most of the time, the answer is no! So let it go. Even more important, laugh together!"

Dustin Ecker & Keanna Funderburk

Together for 2 years
Social studies, middle school/fourth grade

"Patience, understanding and communication are essential to the success of every relationship. Love is never perfect nor is it always easy, but we actively choose love every day. Don't go into relationships expecting perfection. As with all things in life, relationships take work—but the work is more than worth it." 

Tim & Lisa Camarco

+ Orange County, Calif.
Married for 12 years
Adapted physical education teacher, elementary-high school/kinesiology, college 

"The best advice we were given that still rings true after 12 years of marriage is not to just give your work the best version of you. While we all give so much to the professions we are passionate about, it's the people you come home to that really need and deserve to see the best you have to give. A lifetime of happiness isn't purely about choosing the right partner, it's about being the right partner."

John & Kim Hoj

+ Ventura County, Calif.
Married for 26 years
United States history and theater, high school/dance, high school

"Make good food a priority. Do things together that you enjoy and don't go to bed angry or be prepared to sleep on the couch. No amount of dollars ever bought an extra second of time. Keep your priorities in check."

Michelle Cooper & Mark Verdino

+ Nassau County, N.Y.
Married for 10 years
Music, middle school/bass, college

"Be honest with each other always. Communication and mutual respect is a must. We think it's important to always be able to make each other laugh and do fun things that are silly and creative. We also love when we dance together and stare into each other's eyes. We are truly in love and believe that we will grow old together. Find someone who fills your heart with joy and completes you, and hold hands whenever possible."

Ivy & Frank Pisani

+ Florida
Married for 11 years 
Design thinking and innovation, middle school/math, high school

"Relationships take work. Before we had our two amazing sons, it was easy to put ourselves first, but now that we are a family of four, it takes planning and coordinating just to go to dinner. We've learned that we are the foundation of our family so making us a priority is a necessity. We have had our ups and downs but at the end of the day, we know that there is nobody else in this world that we would rather go through life with!"

Ellen & Claude Goldenberg

+ Southern California
Married for 33 years
Substitute teacher, preschool/retired college professor

"Know and lovingly accept that you and your spouse are two different people. Work to embrace and learn from your differences. If and when issues arise, use this phrase frequently, and mean it: ‘Is there something I can do that would help?' Listen more; talk less."

Isaac and Kirsten Harms

+ Murray County, Minn.
Married for 22 years
Social studies, middle and high school/kindergarten

"After 22 years of being happily married, we've experienced a few things about love and relationships. For us, it started by being each other's best friend! It's common to love each other, but really liking each other…that's a special thing! As friends, we've learned to focus on each other's strengths rather than each other's shortcomings."

Ashley & Scott Caruso

+ Palm Beach County, Fla.
Married for 9 years
Third grade gifted/administrator, elementary school

"We think that being educators, especially at the elementary level, we try so hard to give our best selves to our students to keep them engaged and achieving their goals that it's important to also make sure you are giving your best self to your spouse and family when you get home at the end of the school day. You may be mentally and physically exhausted—even more so when you take all of the required precautions/mandates into account with your students during a global pandemic—but it's important to reset when you get home and be the best spouse and parent, too. And date nights! Date nights are a must to reconnect."

Luis & Erika Perales

+ Orange County, Calif. 
Married for 12 years
Social science, middle school/visual arts, high school

"No one can tell you how to love. You discover that as your relationship grows through hardships, laughter and surprises, you encounter along the way. Even after 24 years, we're still learning what it means to love, and creating what that looks like together."

Casey & Sam Anderson

+ Dubuque County, Iowa
Married for six years
United States history and AP Economics, high school/mentor for new teachers

"Love is ever changing and looks different as you move through different phases in your life. Sometimes it is a date night, sometimes it is just listening while you are sitting on the couch, and sometimes it is a handwritten note with your favorite treat. Love is always about supporting one another and bringing out the best in your spouse every day."

Derek & Erin Stafford

+ Clark County, Nev.
Married for 12 years
Principal, high school/second grade

"Before you can be a great partner and in a happy marriage, it's important you are the best version of yourself. It's tough to remember that, and we think often, people become too codependent. Additionally, treat your marriage as a valuable asset. It takes work, patience, personal growth. If you want to have a great marriage, then your marriage has to be a priority. And lastly- talk to each other face-to-face. Don't communicate important matters through text messages."   

Chelsea & Peter Dogterom

+ Costa Mesa, Calif. 
Married for 4 years
Technology, elementary school/math support, middle school

"Love and relationships take time so be ready. When you put in the work, connection and intimacy becomes stronger. Learn how your partner feels loved and cared for. Be aware of what the little things are. Those small actions you do throughout the day can fill your partners love tank. When you become good at the little things, you'll be good at the big things." 

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