Two professionals passionate about education, the school where they work and each other have become the latest love story at Seneca High School.
Bob and Kasey (neé Makowski) Columbo fondly remember how they met and the humorous and educational journey their relationship took them through. Both in their mid-30s, they married in July 2019.
Prior to becoming a married couple — and the talk of Seneca’s students — Bob and Kasey worked at the school in multiple capacities. Bob is a physical education teacher and coaches wrestling and track and field; Kasey is a math teacher and also coaches track and field.
An organized staff outing to introduce new teachers to the Seneca family brought the two together.
“It was one of those events where we connected,” Bob explained. “After that, it was a process of trying to keep our relationship secret from the students.”
The outing — which occurred after the educators had worked together for four years — came around the time the duo were getting out of long-term relationships, a time in which Kasey admitted wondering, “What’s next?”
“I’m a planner and I had a whole plan, and he assured me that you can’t plan everything and need to take it day by day,” she shared. “It’s why we work very well together. He lets me know that it’s going to be OK.”
Bob and Kasey kept the relationship secret from curious students, much to their amusement. Recently, an upperclassman approached Bob using Kasey’s maiden name and he pretended not to know his spouse, though students yelled, “Your wife!”
Spotted at Bob’s home by students, Kasey pretended to be a housecleaner hired by him for for extra money.
“You always have to keep a professional distance from the students,” Bob mentioned. “It’s tough because you don’t want to share too much with them and it’s tough living in the community.
“You see kids everywhere.”
The couple’s relationship has provided opportunities to better learn about students. They endearingly call them “our kids.” They have no children of their own yet.
“It’s cool to make different connections based on our relationship,” Kasey said.
Students have grown fond of the union, but it has not escaped the notice of the Columbos’ colleagues. Bob noted that at least five people jokingly claim responsibility for their coupling.
As the spouse of a math teacher, Bob said he grew to admire the work Kasey does to educate her students. She will explain to students who say of math, “When will I ever use this?” that the lesson concepts are applicable beyond the classroom.
From long-term relationships to being married to one another, the couple have learned you can’t plan everything, no matter how hard you try.
“Your past relationships help mold you as a person and what you truly want in a relationship with someone else,” Kasey explained. “My past relationship helped me see the type of person I wanted to be with.
“I just think I was lucky Bob works with me.”
Bob said Kasey is one of the kindest people he knows, with a huge heart.
“(She is) competitive in a good way, driven, but also very loving and generous,” Bob added, blushing at his wife. “She’s awesome. I love Kasey; she’s the best.”
Kasey described her husband as an outgoing, positive person who helped her see the world with a different view.
“He’s a very driven person, and I love how when he takes to something, he takes it so passionately,” Kasey said, smiling at Bob. “From teaching, to coaching, to our relationship — it’s awesome.
“Obviously he’s also very handsome.“