Hanover teacher says ‘yes’ to wedding proposal

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 in Local Area Articles

Jaron Starner surprised Amanda Hillery-Mills at an award ceremony with a plaque reading ‘Will you marry me?’

Already emotional from watching her sixth-grade students receive end-of-the-year awards, Amanda Hillery-Mills couldn’t hold back the tears as she watched her boyfriend take the Hanover Middle School stage.

As she walked toward Jaron Starner, her boyfriend of four years, he talked about her dedication to the school, her growth over the past year and, finally, how much he loved her.

When she reached the stage and he bent down on one knee, she realized this was much more than an award for her first year of teaching. In front of the entire student body, Starner presented her with a plaque reading, “Will you marry me?”

And she said yes.

What a wedding proposal! “The kids freaked out and I freaked out, and they were crying and I was crying,” Hillery-Mills said. “I had no idea about any of this. He pulled it off really well.”

Before the ceremony, Starner, a regular volunteer at the school, hid in the secretary’s office so none of the kids would recognize him. He had cleared his secret plan months ago with Principal Mark Hershner.

Already the couple has student volunteers prepared to act as flower girl, best man and cake testers, Hillery-Mills said. But after such a short time, she still has no idea what her dress will look like, when the wedding will be or what theme the reception will have, she told the students.

“I think I’ve heard congratulations a million times today,” Hillery-Mills said. “I’m just so happy. It was perfect.”

Hanover Evening Sun
By Lauren Linhard