February 14 at CHS: Staff Couples Share the Memories and Traditions They Love


With all of the excitement and expectations surrounding Valentine’s Day, how do the staff couples of Centennial spend their February 14?

After nearly twenty-three years of marriage, French teacher Marylynn Doff and French/Spanish teacher Stephen Doff find that it’s the little things that serve as big reminders as to why they work so well together. “One year, unknowingly, we bought the exact same two cards for one another which certainly proved why we are married to each other,” Mr. Doff explained. According to Hallmark, 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are purchased every year. What are the odds! Even though the Doffs opt for a more simplistic Valentine’s Day celebration, they still have their fair share of romantic moments. Mr. Doff recalls one very memorable year in particular, saying, “I surprised Mrs. Doff with dinner at the same restaurant in Little Italy where we had our rehearsal dinner. When she arrived, there were flowers on the table from the same florist who arranged our wedding flowers.” 

The Doffs aren’t the only staff couple at Centennial that share fond Valentine’s Day memories; social studies teacher Ravi Bakhru and GT research teacher Julia Bakhru have enjoyed their fair share of big gestures in the past. “One year, I hired a quartet to show up to Oakland Mills (Mrs. Bakhru was teaching English there at the time) and sing her two songs in front of everyone,” explained Mr. Bakhru. “She returned the favor by sneaking in an announcement at the school I was working in the following year. We still laugh about it to this day. Secretly, I think we both are looking for opportunities to prank each other again.” The couple may not indulge in silly pranks every year, but they do enjoy participating in typical Valentine’s Day traditions. “Flowers are always a must,” stated Mr. Bakhru. Although some may argue that it’s not worth all the fuss, Mr. Bakhru believes the heart-filled holiday is worth celebrating. “It’s important to get over how the day is cliché. Yes, it is. It’s also really nice to take the day to do something for that special someone.” If big romantic gestures or cliché gifts aren’t for you or your significant other though, don’t worry. It is more important to genuinely care for each other than to spend money on all those candy hearts, restaurants, and diamond rings. “Even if you just write them a note, or do something unexpected, the smile on their face tells you everything you need to know,” Mr. Bakhru said. 

The Doffs and the Bakhrus agree that your Valentine’s Day does not have to look like the fantastical displays of love that you see in movies or read about in books. “Don’t put too much emphasis on Valentine’s Day,” Mr. Doff stated. “It’s not about one day in particular how you treat one another; it’s really about how you treat one another 365 days a year.”


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