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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 2 months ago

School-crossed lovers: Seabreeze High School employees get married, move to Father Lopez

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Christopher Stephenson and Buffy Briggs were married this summer with a crowd of Seabreeze supporters, at Andy Romano Park.
by: Guest Writer

Updated 2 p.m. Oct. 3

Skye MacDughlas

Contributing writer

It all started on Match.com. More than two years ago, Christopher Stephenson and Buffy Briggs found love, as Briggs gave a virtual heart to an unsuspecting user.

Both lovebirds were part of the Seabreeze family — Stephenson as an AICE teacher and position coach, and Briggs as an administrator of 10 years with, she said, “so many memories and bonds” at the school.

One fateful night Stephenson was faced with a knotty dilemma. It was Christmas Eve 2018 when he was offered the defensive coordinator position for Father Lopez Catholic High School's football team. “Did I want to leave Seabreeze? No,” he recalled thinking. “I love my job, and I love my students. But I’m a football coach and always have been, and so when this opportunity came, I had to take it.”

No matter the circumstances, Briggs and Stephenson apparently were meant to be together, as Briggs got an offer she couldn’t pass up soon after. She would have the opportunity to become the administrative assistant to guidance and a testing coordinator at Father Lopez — and of course work with her boyfriend.

While the school-crossed romance seemed like a dream, she still had to come to terms with her deep connection to Seabreeze. She thought about it for a long time until one fateful day — May 28 — when Stephenson proposed at Seabreeze.

Hundreds of students and faculty flocked the scene. Stephenson even employed some students to hold up the letters as he played Jeopardy with his future fiancé in the courtyard.

Briggs kept guessing until the jumble of letters soon became clear: “Will you marry me?”

The kids grinned as they watched Briggs come to the realization, and in the next moment — astonished and teary-eyed — she accepted. The entire courtyard erupted to celebrate the heartwarming moment.

The rest is history, as Seabreeze said goodbye to not one but two faculty members: Mr. and Mrs. Christopher and Buffy Stephenson.

Their wedding was July 11 at Andy Romano Park, with Seabreeze faculty and staff attended the wedding. Erika Scott, the bookkeeper at Seabreeze, even married them! Stephenson recalled that they looked down to see “tons of Seabreeze kids below on the beach, just peering up.”

Both began work at Father Lopez last month to begin the school year.

And it’s not only Christopher who’s coaching football.

Coaching girls flag football at Seabreeze was one of Buffy Stephenson’s fondest memories, and she felt that bringing the sport to Lopez would be like taking a piece of home with her.

Skye MacDughlas is a student at Seabreeze High School. 

Editor's Note: This story was corrected to show that Christopher Stephenson was offered the defensive coordinator position. The original story stated he was offered the head coaching position.

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