by Natalie Murray ‘18
Junior Angelo Ruiz arrives at the fourth period class that he aides in. He runs over to his friend’s desk, says, “Hi Christine!” and hugs her tightly while jumping up and down excitedly. Afterwards, Ruiz walks to his desk and sits down, while his friend walks to the center of the room and says, “Alright class, time to get out your notebooks so we can take some notes.”
Ruiz and Christine McKeldin met in Ruiz’s freshman year, when he took on-level U.S. History. Though Ruiz quickly discovered that he should be in honors, he liked McKeldin so much that he stayed—a decision that would greatly benefit him. Not only did he finish the semester with a 100 percent, but he and McKeldin had become best friends.
“Christine is literally my best friend in the whole entire world,” gushes Ruiz. “She is always there for me, she’s my number one confidante, she’s super funny, and even though we disagree on pretty much everything, the arguments are what bring us closer.”
These sentiments are not one-sided. McKeldin also adores Ruiz, saying that “Angelo absolutely brightens up my day. He makes ordinary things seem so much more fun, and he brings me back to my high school days.”
Ruiz and McKeldin spend lots of time together. After Ruiz took U.S. History, he took AP Psych his sophomore year. Now, he spends at least three straight periods per day with McKeldin— he aids in her fourth and sixth period, and the two eat lunch together every day. In fact, Ruiz is even allowed in staff meetings.
“I didn’t used to be allowed,” admits Ruiz. “But after the first two staff meetings, which Christine and I texted through the entire time, they decided it would a lot be better if I could just attend them.”
The staff meetings are not the first time that rules have been bent for the two besties. Ruiz frequently skips class to hang out with McKeldin, and other teachers have grown so used to it that they no longer mind.
“I know it’s not exactly ethical, but I used to skip classes with my friends in high school, and we always had a great time, and I didn’t want to deny Angelo the chance to have a great high school experience.” said McKeldin.
Although McKeldin does help Ruiz to have a fun high school experience—they even have combined Insta and Snapchat accounts where they document their mani-pedis, Panera lunches, shopping trips, movie nights, and beach vacations—McKeldin also ensures that Ruiz succeeds in his studies.
“Christine is the best study buddy! She doesn’t stop quizzing me until I know everything, and since she’s a teacher, she is super good at knowing which topics are going to be on the tests and quizzes.” Ruiz says cheerily. “Most people assume that I’m only friends with Christine because she can get me the answer keys to other teachers’ tests if I’m really struggling with something, but that’s just an added bonus. Christine and I are genuinely really close.”