Boyfriend, students join forces in proposal

Emily Roe was about to dismiss her seventh-grade world history class at Lexington's Morton Middle School when a knock on the door signaled an early Valentine's Day surprise.

She was called to the principal's office to sign for a package, which turned out to be roses and her favorite, white daisies.

While Roe, 24, was picking up the flowers, Morton principal Ronda Runyon sneaked Roe's boyfriend, Sean Schweick hardt, into her classroom.

Runyon introduced Schweick hardt, 22, to the students, and Schweickhardt told them that they were about to participate in a very special moment. Then he handed them various letters of the alphabet that he had printed on construction paper the night before. The son of two teachers, Schweickhardt had come to class prepared.

Roe walked in. She looked at her students and then at Schweickhardt. "What are you doing here?" she asked.

"I wanted to tell you that I'm committed to loving you for the rest of my life," he answered.

He got down on one knee, handed her a diamond ring, and asked, "Will you marry me?"

On cue, the students held up the letters that spelled out "Say Yes."

And that's just what Roe did.

No date is set, but the couple are thinking about a wedding later this year.

"It was a good experience for all of us," said Addison Hodges, 12, who held up the A. "A lot of us haven't ever seen anything like that."

"I knew the kids would make it more memorable. She loves teaching. She loves the kids," said Schweickhardt, who will soon be working in a ministry at Centre College called Campus Outreach.

Principal Runyon said watching the proposal sent appropriate messages to the seventh-graders.

Roe agreed.

"I teach them world history," she said. "But I also want to teach them about life. There's a slogan at Morton: We say, 'It's all about relationships.' This has given me a better relationship with my students because they see me as a human being."

The proposal was Feb. 6, but Roe said Friday that the talk of life lessons has continued all week.

"I'm glad Sean did it this way, because it gives me a chance to tell the boys, 'When the time comes, this is how it's done. Surprise her and tell her you love her.'

"And I tell the girls, 'Don't settle for anything less.'"