As siblings grow up and start families of their own and get jobs, they tend to lose touch with each other. The lucky ones have the opportunity to work together and see each other all of the time.
English teacher Kearney Blandamer and personal finance teacher Lesley Stroot are sisters and also best friends. Their journey together started at Springbrook when Blandamer started teaching there and Stroot followed. In 2010 Blandamer was asked to coach field hockey here and coached the team to states in 2013 and 2015, where they lost both times. “The girls did everything right. They had never played teams of those levels before,” Blandamer said.
She also started to teach English here when she started coaching in the fall of 2010. Stroot was the junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach. Blandamer was assistant JV coach. Late principal Dr. Michael Doran offered Stroot a job here and so they were together again.
As children, they never planned to teach together. They are four years apart and as kids fought all of the time and were never close. Blandamer graduated college by the time Stroot was a freshmen but as they got older they got closer.
At school they sometimes go weeks without seeing each other but other times they see each other at any break they have. “Whenever I am having a bad day and just want to talk about it, I love how close Lesley is to me so I can go talk to her,” Blandamer said.
The only negative thing about working together is that when a student is mad at one of them, they are mad at the other one too. Once in a while they get caught arguing and have to get pulled back into reality and remain professional.
They also use each other for examples in class. One time, Stroot had a miscommunication with the police about a speeding ticket. She ended up going to jail for not paying her fine. The next day Blandamer told her students and they all knew that Stroot got arrested.
Their relationship has grown and evolved and with their busy lives they make time to see each other. “Working together is just wonderful. I wish it for everybody to work with a sibling,” Stroot said.
Students love seeing their relationship in action. “Mrs. Stroot is a really fun and nice teacher.
Two other sisters who work at the school are math teacher Cecilia Rajter and science teacher Jacqueline Alton. “The funniest thing is that sometimes people call me Ms. Rajter and that is my maiden name so I respond to that, but I have been an Alton for over 30 years,” Alton said.
Rajter has been at the school for 17 years and Alton has been at the school for 16 years. They live 10 houses down from each other so they see each other a lot, but seeing each other at school is a bonus.
Alton did not plan to be a teacher, she planned to be a microbiologist, but she loves every part of teaching.
“Teaching with my sister is delightful because I get to see her almost everyday,” Alton said.