Ceri Slacum ’86 claims she wasn’t a troublemaker at Parker, but Coach David Glassey must have thought differently when he chose to sit her next to Stewart Keith ’85 on the baseball bus back in the mid-1980s.
“He wanted to sit me next to the person he thought I would make the least amount of trouble with,” said Ceri, then a junior and the baseball team’s scorekeeper.
“I was the safety net,” said Stewart, a senior on the baseball team at the time. Little did Coach Glassey know, he had just played matchmaker.
Ceri and Stewart began dating in April 1985, a few months before Stewart graduated and headed up the 5 freeway towards UCLA for his freshman year of college. The couple continued dating through Ceri’s senior year, but broke up as she prepared to start her first year at UCLA.
Even in their newfound singlehood, Ceri and Stewart continued to hang out in the same social circles. Towards the end of Stewart’s senior year, Ceri volunteered to play wingwoman for a friend who was interested in Stewart’s roommate. They soon found themselves on a double date at a sorority party with two friends who never went out again; Ceri and Stewart, on the other hand, started falling in love.
“When she came to UCLA and we had stopped dating, I still cared for her. I always wanted to know where she was to make sure she was adjusting to life in the big city. Deep in my heart I always hoped she would come back to me,” said Stewart.
He proposed to Ceri a few years later when Ceri was still living in Los Angeles attending graduate school. Stewart had moved back to San Diego so they took turns visiting each other every weekend.
“She came down to San Diego on the 5 am train,” recalled Stewart. “I showed up at the train station in Downtown San Diego at 8 am in a tuxedo holding a dozen roses.”
Stewart got down on one knee as Ceri approached him on the platform and she said “yes” in front of a cheering crowd.
The two married in 1992 and recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Their children, William, Class of 2018, and Erin, Class of 2021, are third-generation Parker students; their grandmother, Stewart’s mother, attended Parker through Grade 10, the highest grade level offered at the time.
“For us, Parker is such a special place,” said Ceri, who is active in the Parents Association and taught at the School off and on for several years. “It was always that family school. My closest friends are all from Parker.”
Those close friends include each other.
“I never could have imagined myself with anybody else,” Stewart said.
“No matter how far we got away from each other we always ended up back together,” added Ceri. “It was kind of like we were predestined.”