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School Mascot Proposes to Art Teacher During Morning Assembly

It happened Friday at Brooklands Elementary School in Rochester Hills.

"Who's wearing the costume?" 

That's the question Brooklands Elementary School students always ask when their school mascot stops by their weekly assemblies. 

On Friday, when art teacher Jessie Drew was asked to remove the mascot's mask, the whole school got the answer — and Drew received the surprise of her life. 

Underneath the bear costume was Drew's boyfriend, Barron Cline. He isn't a teacher at the school — and she wasn't expecting to see him underneath all that brown plush. It was part of Cline's plan, orchestrated with the help of Principal Teresa Simonetti, that ended with a little mood music and a diamond ring.

Cline proposed to Drew, his girlfriend of six years, in front of the entire school during the assembly.

"I had no idea," said Drew, 26. This is her first year of teaching; she and Cline met while students at Farmington Harrison High School; they live in Clawson.

Cline, 24, said he got the idea for the proposal after Drew came home from work on Fridays and told him about the school's excitement during the weekly Friday morning assemblies. The assemblies are part of the Olweus anti-bullying program that the school adopted last year. Each week the students learn an important message related to their motto: "Be Responsible; Be Respectful; Be Safe and Ready to Learn."

"She tells me how much fun the kids have guessing who's wearing the mascot costume, so I decided to have a little fun," he said. 

Simonetti was in on the secret, which she kept from the rest of her staff. In fact, she held the diamond ring in her pocket until the moment Cline got down on one knee. Simonetti gave her art teacher the day off so that the couple could share the news of their engagement with friends and family. 

Janice Rex-Weaver December 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM
What a great story and what a great principal to give her the day off. Awesome.
Alan Stamm December 01, 2012 at 05:37 PM
This right here is as local as the local news gets, Hillary, and all we really need to keep up on our area. .
Sherry December 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Great Story!! Congrats to both!!
Susan Larson December 02, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Great job, Kristin. Congratulations Ms. Drew!
Colleen December 29, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Very sweet. Just one question, though. When did bears get long tails?

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