The other high school sweethearts

It was a warm summer evening. The sun was setting over the hills of Vermont. He laid down a blanket and got down on one knee. He asked one of the most romantic questions that men all over the world ask their true loves: “Will you marry me?”

Upper school dean Jon Wimbish proposed to his wife, former English teacher Amanda Angle, on July 3, 2003. He had planned to propose at the top of a mountain that Angle used to hike up when she was in college. However, they couldn’t find the trailhead, so instead they pulled off into the foothills.

“When I proposed, she kind of fell over,” Wimbish said. “I soon realized that was a good thing.”

The couple married about a year later in Sun Valley. They met at the Middle School, so apparently students aren’t the only ones finding love on campus.

Wimbish and Angle met on the first day of faculty meetings in August 1998. They dated off and on for a couple of years until 2002 when, as Wimbish recalls, they started dating “for real.”

Upper school science teacher John Feulner met his wife when Harvard and Westlake were separate schools. He had been teaching at Harvard School for three years when the woman who is now his wife, math teacher Beverly Feulner, was hired. The pair didn’t start dating right off the bat.

“I was interested, but she was seeing someone and I knew I was far too immature for her,” John Feulner said.

After the two began dating, it took a little over a year for him to propose. Like Wimbish, he got down on one knee. He dressed in a tuxedo and offered her an engagement ring handed down from his grandmother. The couple has been married for more than 20 years.

On the other side of the hill, at Westlake school, history teacher David Coombs married former English teacher Gail Merki.

However, they didn’t first meet at the Middle School. They met at a Shakespeare seminar at the Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford, Connecticut.

Coombs saw Merki and knew there was something special about her, he said. He described Merki as a “beautiful, articulate woman that made a presentation that was academic, witty, wise and funny.”

Coombs said he knew right away he had to get to know her. Throughout the rest of the seminar, the two became fast companions.

However, they were split up after the seminar ended. Coombs returned to teach at Westlake while Merki went back to teach English at a college in the Midwest.

The pair was reunited when Coombs, as head of the English Department, asked Merki to apply for a position at Westlake. She got the job and started teaching at Westlake School.

“The girls at Westlake knew that we were ‘meant for each other’ and would hold me up to talk in my classroom to see how I would react when Gail came into the same classroom to teach the next class,” Coombs said.

The girls continued to do anything they could to get both Coombs and Merki together at school.
Coombs, just like Wimbish and Feulner,  proposed down on one knee. They married on Dec. 19, 1971, making it “36 great years,” he said.

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