They were high school sweethearts.
But not the usual kind.
Nicole and Andrew Juranek weren’t taking tests when they met in 2000 at Omaha North High School. They were giving them out.
Andrew had just started his first year teaching social studies at North, and Nicole was a student teacher. They met on the first day of school.
Andrew was making photocopies in the school office. Nicole stepped into the room looking for her supervising teacher.
Andrew struck up a conversation with the pretty blonde Nicole. She thought he seemed like a nice guy but needed to get to her classroom.
A few days later they were assigned to monitor the same study hall.
Nicole admits they probably paid more attention to each other than the students.
Turned out they had a lot in common and started dating.
Both were Catholic, both grew up on farms and both were homecoming royalty in high school. Andrew was homecoming king in David City, Neb., and Nicole was homecoming queen in Dunlap, Iowa.
They joked how they lived the same lives 120 miles from each other.
Andrew and Nicole also shared a love of teaching. They spent plenty of time discussing the best ways to engage students and stay creative in the classroom.
Andrew had some fun when he proposed to Nicole.
They were attending a church festival in Westphalia, Iowa, with her parents in July 2004.
One of the carnival booths featured a big wheel you could spin for prizes.
Andrew snuck away for a few minutes and talked with the woman running the booth. He told her that he wanted to surprise Nicole with an engagement ring if she won.
Later on Nicole started playing the wheel game. She spun and spun but didn’t win. She was ready to give up. Andrew told her to keep spinning.
Finally the wheel landed on the right number, and the woman at the booth handed Nicole a small box.
She found a diamond engagement ring inside.
The couple married in June 2005 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Nicole’s hometown.
They live in Council Bluffs and both are still teachers, Andrew at North and Nicole at Iowa Western Community College. They have two future students of their own, 4-year-old Oliver and 1-year-old Owen.
Even though Andrew and Nicole weren’t students when they met more than a decade ago, the pair of farm kids know the happiness of a high school romance.
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