Katy Texas

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Katy, Texas – March 31, 2016
Husband and wife teams who share a love of education, make the grade both in and out of the classroom as they nurture their marriages and Katy students.

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Photography by Anetrius Wallace

Jim & Crystal Janczak
Married: June 21, 1986
He: Morton Ranch High School head baseball coach
She: Tompkins High School principal’s secretary

Jim and Crystal Janczak
A Home Run
Crystal and Jim Janczak met as students at Sam Houston State University. Jim, who was on the baseball team, did not try to conceal his passion for the sport. “On our first date, he taught me how to tamp a pitcher’s mound,” says Crystal. “I knew from the beginning what I was in for and loved every moment.” Years later, baseball still plays a big part in their lives. Jim coached and taught English at Memorial Parkway Junior High School, then coached for 15 years at Taylor High School, and today is the only original coach remaining at Morton Ranch High School since it opened in 2004. The couple have two children, Jaime and Christina, who are both graduates of Texas State University. Crystal and Jim look forward to anniversary dinners at Taste of Texas, eating out at Carrabba’s, and watching the Astros or Houston Texans play. They attend school athletic events together and have worn almost every Katy ISD school color in their education careers. Their advice to couples is simple. “Enjoy it all,” says Crystal. “We both love our jobs. We enjoy seeing students succeed at their dreams.

Rob & Aysha Hall
Married: June 7, 2000
He: WoodCreek Junior High art teacher
She: Katy Elementary School art teacher
KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Rob Aysha Hall_6_photo by Anetrius Wallace
A shared love of art brought Aysha and Rob Hall together. They met at Iowa State University where they both pursued art majors. They married at a gallery surrounded by their own artwork and now reap the rewards of a common career. “We’re each other’s sounding board,” says Rob, who says the couple often discusses project ideas. “We can really connect with the subject matter. We understand what the other is going through.” Aysha adds, “Being a teacher is one of the hardest, but most rewarding careers. If you don’t experience what it’s like to be in a classroom for eight hours, it’s hard for someone to completely comprehend.” “Watching my students grow, stick with it, work hard, and then reaping the rewards of their success is really good to see,” says Rob. His students previously placed first and second in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art competition. “What I love is the excitement of the kids,” says Aysha. “It melts my heart when kids say, ‘I love you, Mrs. Hall,’ and I tell them I love them right back.” The couple has two daughters: Emma, a third-grader at Katy Elementary School and Graycen, a seventh-grader at Katy Junior High School.

Russell & Cindie Faldyn
Married: July 30, 1988
He: Katy ISD community education and elections director
She: Exley Elementary School math and science instructional coach

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Russell Cindie Faldyn_4_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Working Together
Russell and Cindie Faldyn met at Sam Houston State University where they were both studying education. Today, the pair has dedicated their lives to the education of Katy students. “It’s home to us,” says Cindie, who has taught math and science at the elementary level for 25 years. “We love the access to great places and the sense of community that embodies this area. We feel that serving in Katy ISD is truly our ministry in life.” The pair’s excitement for education has spread to their children as well. Matthew is a student in the PhD program at Louisiana State University and hopes to teach at the university level one day; Kourtney is a graduate of Texas A&M who teaches at Mayde Creek Elementary School; and Makayla is a freshman at Texas A&M. “Having similar careers helps to bind our marriage together,” says Cindie. “We truly understand each other’s daily strengths and struggles. We are able to walk in each other’s shoes, give empathy to one another, and show pride for each other’s accomplishments.” As much as they have taught others over the years, the couple has learned a lot from each other. Russell says, “Patience, truly listening, respecting each other’s opinion, laughing together, and most definitely growing in faith together,” is what makes their marriage work.

Fredy & Carrie Sanguinetti
Married: January 9, 1993
He: Cinco Ranch High School girls’ soccer coach and teen leadership teacher
She: Katy ISD classroom technology designer

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Fredy Carrie Sanguinetti_7_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Designed to Last
Carrie and Fredy Sanguinetti went to the same high school. He voted for her for cheerleader, and she knew him as the cute goalie on the soccer team. They did not date until they were in college when he asked her to the movies. “The Little Mermaid had just premiered, so I accepted with the request we go see it,” says Carrie. “When he confessed he liked Disney movies, too, I knew we were destined to be together forever.” “I knew I always wanted to be a teacher,” adds Fredy. “The blessing is watching students grow up to be a great young man or woman.” The couple helps each other both in and out of the classroom. “She is my everything during soccer season,” says Fredy. “I cannot begin to tell you how she keeps our family together during this time.” No matter how busy they are, they make sure at least one of them is always available for their three children: Arielle, a senior at Full Sail University; Trey, a freshman at Full Sail University; and Roger, an eighth-grader at Cinco Ranch Junior High School. They believe communication and faith in God is the cornerstone of their marriage. Fredy shares, “I try to tell her three things on a daily basis – how much I love her, how beautiful she is, and how much she means to me.”

Mark & Kelly Balser
Married: August 13, 1988
He: Morton Ranch High School head wrestling coach and U.S. government teacher
She: Morton Ranch High School main campus nurse

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Mark Kelly Balser_7_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Forming an A-Team
Mark and Kelly Balser met when he was 15 and wrestling for his high school team, and she was 16 and keeping score for hers. They married when they were 18. The couple both came to Morton Ranch High School when it opened in 2004. “A lot of people say they wouldn’t want to work with their spouse, but to me it’s an asset,” says Mark who is the head wrestling coach and U.S. government teacher, while Kelly is the main campus nurse. “This is the best nurse job to have,” says Kelly, who graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio. Mark, a graduate of Ball State University, gets to know his students in and outside the classroom. “The sport of wrestling lends itself to a lot of things that helps these children in life,” says Mark. “They learn values about hard work, dedication, determination, and commitment.” They attribute the success of their marriage to communication and humor. “We discuss everything with each other, no matter how small or large,” says Kelly. “When you’re married a long time, there are ups and downs. If you can bring humor into it and see the other’s perspective, I think that’s the key.”

H.C. & Beth Grimet
Married: June 15, 1991
He: Katy ISD physical education health and outdoor learning center coordinator
She: Katy Elementary School principal

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_H.C. Beth Grimet_2_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Elementary Sweethearts
Beth and H.C. Grimet met in second grade and have been in school together almost ever since. They began dating their sophomore year in high school, attended college at Sam Houston State University, and even went on their first job interview together where they were both hired as teachers at the same elementary school. “The thing that brought us here originally was the legacy and commitment to excellence in education,” says Beth. “We’re both passionate about what we do as educators.” As principal, Beth enjoys the ability to help make a difference in the lives of students and staff members. H.C. values introducing students to new experiences, such as fishing and other outdoor activities. The two benefit from having similar schedules, which give them time to spend with their children: Conley, a freshman at Katy High School, and Logan, a freshman at Blinn in College Station. The Grimets credit the success of their relationship to communication and a strong sense of family and faith. “We have that commitment to one another that we made all those years ago that we were going to stick it out through good and bad,” says Beth. “We’re always there for each other.” KM

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