This Unlikely Wedding Venue Sets the Bar for Teacher of the Year Higher Than Ever Before

People like to choose all kinds of weird and wonderful locations to tie the knot. Whether you like the sound of reciting your vows in the great outdoors of a wine vineyard or have always dreamed about saying “I do” while admiring the colorful creatures in an aquarium, prepare to be stunned with the latest wedding venue!

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Image: Tessa Marie Images

Meet Kimberly Dickstein: a New Jersey high school English teacher who puts a new meaning to the word “dedication.” Immediately after her husband proposed, Dickstein thought long and hard about finding the perfect wedding venue that would involve her beloved students.

Popular Everything is taking you through the story about how this woman combined her love for teaching with the best day of her life. We’re warning you, this could get just a little emotional for some of you!

Remaining Loyal to Her Roots

Let’s start at the beginning of this tale. Kimberly began her career as a student-teacher 12 years ago, choosing Haddonfield Memorial High School as her place of work. Hopping over to the present day, and the educator hasn’t looked back ever since!

While most of us may like to change up our careers every now and then, this woman is perfectly happy where she is. Kimberly may have spent over a decade at Haddonfield, but for some time, she’s considered the New Jersey high school to be her second home.

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Image: Tessa Marie Images

This woman represents to all of us how far a little passion can go. For as long as she can remember, teacher Kimberly has tried to make her job as meaningful as possible. With every new day, the English teacher ensures that her school’s sense of community only gets stronger and stronger.

In her own words, Kimberly made her work ethic plain and simple: “I find a school year successful when we start the year as 25 strangers, hypothetically, and end the year as a family.” It’s safe to say, being a teacher is more than just a way for Kimberly to pay the bills! We have total respect for the woman.

The Most Important Decision of Her Life

Here comes the juicy part. Last April, beloved teacher Kimberly Dickstein got engaged to the love of her life, Phil Hughes. As beautiful as this moment was, the pair couldn’t wait to move onto the next step and pick out the venue for their big day! Searching near and far for the right spot wasn’t exactly easy, as a lot of personal factors had to be taken into consideration.

For starters, the Kimberly and Phil were an inter-faith couple. This meant that holding the ceremony in a place of worship was virtually out of the question. Just a few short moments passed, before Miss. Dickstein made the decision that would change her life forever.

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Image: Tessa Marie Images

Kimberly didn’t need to think twice about this idea. It was soon decided that the faithful teacher would tie the knot with her future-husband in her second home. Yes, we do mean the brick campus of Haddonfield Memorial High School! This may seem a little unconventional to most people, but the English teacher had never been more sure about anything in her whole life.

It was a fault-proof plan: by tying the knot at her high school, Miss. Dickstein could include all her beloved students she refers to as her “family” in the special memory. The teacher explained her thought process: “What better way to embrace that than to bring my wedding to my village.” Of course, she’s referring to the New Jersey campus as her “village.”

Turning the Wild Dream Into a Reality

If there’s one word that can make anyone’s wedding day a success, it’s preparation! Kimberly wasted no time in making her school-themed matrimony ceremony a day to remember. Unsurprisingly, this was the first time Haddonfield had ever been used as a wedding venue, so the teacher needed to get planning.

To ensure things would run smoothly on the big day, Kimberly worked alongside the school administrators to get the permission she needed to use the campus, and hire a few helping hands on the way to get the school looking pretty! Excited was an understatement of how everyone was feeling.

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Image: Tessa Marie Images

At every corner, members of the school helped Kimberly get her perfect day. Students created wedding programs, parents arranged flowers and fellow teachers prepared the furniture! That wasn’t all though: Dickstein hired the school’s a capella group to provide the vocals at the event, while a couple of teaching mentors gave out readings. Talk about a working community!

So Much More Than Just a Job

This was it! The big day had finally arrived, and people were absolutely in awe of this woman. She had done so much for the school already, but merging the biggest day of her life with Haddonfield really was the cherry on top of the cake. In fact, Kimberly and Phil even had their honeymoon before the wedding day, so as not to take any more time off work!

To pay thanks to Kimberly, the English teacher was more than thrilled to receive a rather prestigious award the following year. We don’t know about you, but we think a “2019-2020 Jersey State Teacher of the Year” suits Miss. Dickstein just perfectly!

Upon reflection, Kimberly shared some thoughtful ideas about why she loves being a teacher so much. For the English graduate, the best way to “do right by my county and my community in my best way” is to teach. We hope this loyal woman inspires many to follow suit in the future!