They’re sweethearts who went to high school together, but Olivia Nocon ’99 and Nathan Nouskajian ’98 aren’t traditional high school sweethearts. The two officially started dating on June 1, 1999, just before Olivia walked down the aisle at Commencement. Not having dated during high school made it “confusing” for their friends.
“Our friends were perplexed,” said Olivia, laughing. “They couldn’t have imagined two totally different people being together.”
Olivia, the extrovert, and Nathan, the introvert, complemented each other so well the two tied the knot on December 30, 2006 at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego--but not before a somewhat difficult proposal.
“The proposal was impossible,” joked Nathan. “We’d been together so long that any deviation from our normal routine came with a thousand questions.”
Nathan proposed at the couple’s favorite restaurant at the time, Top of the Market, and even though “the writing was on the wall,” Olivia was nevertheless surprised and excited.
The wedding was a truly Parker affair. The wedding party and guests were made up of mostly Parker alumni and friends--after all, it was Parker that brought the bride and groom together.
“I highly doubt we would have met if we hadn’t both been at Parker,” said Olivia. “It’s a nice feeling having known someone for so long.”
Nearly a decade later, Nathan is a lawyer and Olivia takes care of their two children, Caden and Ava, both Lower School students at Parker. Neither can imagine their lives without the other.
“Ollie makes my life better than I ever could have imagined,” said Nathan. “And even though we’re so different, it makes every day that much better being with her.”
“This will sound contrived but it’s 100 percent genuine--I think Nathan is the kindest person I’ve ever known and the fact that he married me just blows my mind. I feel so incredibly lucky,” said Olivia.Carrie Snyder '97 and Victor Vilaplana '96
As two Parker lifers, Carrie Snyder ‘97 and Victor Vilaplana ‘96 grew up together. Despite being a grade apart, they ended up in Mrs. Pope’s pre-calculus class during Victor’s senior year and quickly developed a friendship.
“At first she thought I was trying to copy her math homework, but really I just wanted to talk to her,” said Victor.
They started dating that summer, soon after Victor graduated from Parker and right before he moved north to start his freshman year at Stanford. Carrie attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, and the two eventually reunited in New York City where they lived together for three years.
It was at their place in New York where Victor proposed to Carrie, who came home from her job as an investment banker at 11 pm to find Victor sitting on the couch, still dressed in his work clothes.
“Everything was off,” said Carrie, who recalled being confused and wondering whether her boyfriend were not about to break up with her.
Victor then presented her with a Barbie Volkswagen Beetle and insisted over and over that she “open the trunk.”
“I put the ring in the trunk,” said Victor, who eventually slid off the couch and down onto one knee to propose to his high school sweetheart.
The two wed on July 3, 2004 at the Catholic church Carrie grew up attending and celebrated with family and friends at a ceremony on Coronado Island, looking out at the San Diego skyline in the background.
Carrie and Victor now have two children at the Lower School, their daughter Olivia and son David.
“It’s unbelievable. I drop my kids off in the mornings and I remember being my daughter’s age walking around,” said Victor. “It’s super humbling. We feel immensely fortunate that our kids get to go here. It was an important and meaningful part of our lives.”
“I was fortunate at 17 to meet my best friend in the whole world and Parker allowed me to do that,” added Carrie. “He is absolutely my soulmate, he is absolutely the person I want to spend my entire life with. I feel so fortunate that I was put in the situation that at such a young age I was able to meet my best friend.”
Victor feels the same way.
“Carrie has always been a wonderful friend and an amazing partner. We make a really good team. We’re just a really great match for each other,” said Victor. “We’ve been together so long, it’s pretty amazing that we’re more in love now than we’ve ever been. It’s a testament to all of the hard work and effort and love that she puts into our relationship and our family.”
Lisa Iacono '94 and Andrew Ruff '94
When Lisa Iacono ’94 and Andrew Ruff ’94 were named princess and prince of the freshman Homecoming Court in 1991, the couple had been dating for a little while.
“We were just really good friends,” said Lisa, who started at Parker in grade 5. She and Andrew, a lifer, stayed friends throughout middle and high school, and although they dated briefly at Parker, their romance didn’t blossom until they were well into their college careers.
Andrew was at the Naval Academy on the East Coast and Lisa was studying in the Pacific Northwest, but summers brought them back together in San Diego.
“During our junior year of college, something changed,” said Lisa. “We both weren’t dating anyone and then the next thing we knew, we were dating.”
The couple dated long distance before ending back up in San Diego. On Memorial Day 2001, Andrew proposed and the two were married at the La Jolla Women’s Club the following year. Parker alumni filled the wedding party, including Lisa’s maid of honor, Lesley Hazard ’94, who later married Andrew’s brother.
Today, Lisa is a nurse and patient care manager at Scripps La Jolla, and Andrew is Chief Financial Officer at TGG Accounting, a company started by Parker alumni Matt Garrett ’93. Lisa and Andrew are also proud parents of two Parker students: daughters Ashley, Grade 5, and Madison, Grade 7.
“They love Parker. They have great friendships and it’s a nice community for them,” said Lisa.
Lisa said she sometimes jokes with her girls about meeting their future partners at Parker. “You never know, one of these boys in your class could end up being the one,” she would say.
According to Lisa, her mother used to make the same jokes about Andrew: “My mother would always say we would end up together. She thought we would get married someday.”
Her mother, of course, was right.
“I feel so lucky to have Andrew as my husband and my best friend. He’s an amazing father to our girls and I truly feel very lucky to have him in my life,” said Lisa.
For Andrew, the experience of growing up with his future wife at a school like Parker has been the most rewarding.
“It’s an amazing experience being able to go through life’s adventures together,” said Andrew. “Thankfully, we’ve been fortunate that most of those adventures are rewarding and full of laughter and joy. Everyone has challenges. Being able to go through those with Lisa--with her strength, the type of wife she is, the type of mother she is--and relating that back to this shared experience of where we’ve come from has certainly been the most special part of my life.” Tessa Floodberg '05 and Nick LaPointe '05
Tessa Floodberg ʼ05 and Nick LaPointe ʼ05 were both new to Parker when they met in Grade 7, but they didn’t start hanging out until their junior year. Tessa was friends with Nick’s older brother, Matt LaPointe ’04, who was more outgoing and social than his younger brother. It was through Matt that she eventually started to notice the shy guy in the back of her class.
“I got to know Nick a little bit, and then he was in a bunch of my classes and I started seeing him as cute and quiet and adorable,” said Tessa.
The two started dating the summer before their senior year, just after Nick left Parker and enrolled at a charter school. It was the age of AOL Instant Messenger so before Nick left, Tessa asked for his screen name and the two kept in touch.
It didn’t take long for their love to bloom and despite being at different schools, the two dated all of senior year and nearly all of college. After 11 years of dating, Nick (finally) proposed on Easter Sunday in 2013.
“I was growing impatient,” said Tessa, who said she joked that Easter morning that “there better be a ring in one of those eggs.” There was.
During the egg hunt at her cousin Alli Wile Lundquist’s ’05 house, Tessa’s young nephew led her to a beautifully decorated egg. Her mother was filming the hunt to show Tessa’s father, who was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack, but had no idea she was about to capture this special moment on camera.
Tessa opened the egg to find a ring box inside just as Nick got down on one knee to ask the love of his life to marry him. They showed the video to Tessa’s father later that day and started planning the wedding.
Tessa and Nick were married on May 23, 2015 at Green Gables in San Marcos. They have been together for almost 14 years and have known each other for nearly 18. They are expecting their first child this May, a more than perfect third anniversary present.
“Nick is the sweetest most genuine person I’ve ever met. I feel very lucky and fortunate to have met him at such a young age, to grow up together and fall in love and start a family. He’s my high school sweetheart and my soulmate. I don’t think I could live my life without him,” said Tessa.
Nick, who is much more reserved than his “social butterfly” wife, had no trouble opening up to say how incredible she is.
“Tessa is the most friendly, cheerful, trustworthy, thoughtful person I know and I would be by myself alone without her,” said Nick. “She’s brought out the best in me ... I can’t imagine being without her.”
Tessa now works as a speech pathologist in Del Mar and Nick works with his parents at the family’s pool company. They still get together with their Parker friends as often as possible, with Tessa acting as the unofficial reunion planner.
“I am ‘Parker Passion’ all the way. It’s just a part of me,” she said. Considering the impact the School has had on her life, it is no surprise she bleeds brown and gold.Ceri Slacum '86 and Stewart Keith '85
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.”