LOVE really is at the heart of a Westhoughton primary school.
Sacred Heart RC School is celebrating the marriage of two of its teachers to each other, and excitedly awaiting the wedding of another couple who met in school.
College sweethearts — assistant head Jason Bilinkewycz and year one teacher Gabbie Barrett — married earlier this month, much to the excitement of their pupils and staff, while deputy headteacher Catherine Parkinson will wed Year Five teacher James Callow at Scared Heart RC Church after meeting at the school.
Catherine, aged 45, from Westhoughton, said: “He spoke to headteacher Martin Johnson before asking me and at first I said no because I was his boss. He proposed on Christmas Day and it was a surprise.”
She added: “He has brought laughter in to the family and is so good around the children.”
The two started dating after becoming friends through work.
James, aged 35, from Manchester, added: ”Working and living together means we can support each other and bounce ideas off each other.”
He said: “We are getting married in Scared Heart RC Church as it is a family church and some children and parents we know will be joining in with the occasion.”
And among the pupils celebrating will be nine-year-old Mia — Catherine’s daughter — along with her sister India, aged 12, and brother Noah, aged 14. Mia said: “It is ok having two teachers in the family.”
Jason and Gabbie were married at Guardian Angel’s RC Church in Bury after meeting at Holy Cross College in Bury.
Gabbie, aged 26, from Stoneclough, said: “I knew Jason worked here and was jealous. It is quite good because he is a Year Six teacher and we don’t really see each other unless I ask him to buy me lunch.”
The couple say it works well being at the same school.
Jason, aged 25, said: “We can understand each other’s work better because we work at the same school. Before it was more difficult.”