An annual kite flying tradition at a Washington middle school to mark the end of the school year turned into a marriage proposal for one of the school’s teachers.
Keegan Shorey, a math teacher at Shaw Middle School in Spokane, Washington, proposed to his girlfriend, Alexandra Maroney, on Tuesday after his students spelled out “Alex will you marry Mr. Shorey?” on kites.
Shorey, who already had an engagement ring picked out for Maroney, planned to simply decorate his kite with a ring and write about his future with Maroney, but his students told him to do more.
“They said, ‘No, we have to make it really bigger,’” Shorey told ABC News. “They’ve all met Alex because she comes to school events and they’d been bugging me about proposing to her.”
The students came up with the idea to write the marriage proposal on the kites.
“I was surprised they wanted to make it so big, but not surprised they wanted to be involved,” Shorey said. “They can be tough but they have big hearts.”
Any student who wanted to participate could, although some backed out because they were worried about the pressure of building a kite for the proposal, according to Shorey. He picked names from a hat to select the students. Each student would have one letter from the proposal written on their kite.
On Tuesday, Maroney, who works in real estate, came to the school under the impression she was just there to watch the school’s biggest kite event to date, with more than 500 students participating.
Instead, she watched as the kites lined up in the air with the proposal and Shorey asked her to marry him.
“She didn’t see it at first so I had to sort of point out what the letters were and she started to figure it out,” he said. “She at first was kind of embarrassed and shocked and then got really excited.”
Shorey added, “I’m kind of corny at times so she was surprised I went with something so big instead of goofy but it was a lot of fun and she liked it.”
Shorey and Maroney, who first met in middle school and started dating five years ago, hope to wed next summer.