Alumni who return to Bright School as parents–and sometimes even as grandparents–say they enjoy experiencing the same traditions and similar fun events through the eyes of their children.

That is true for both Kathryn ‘96 and Arch Trimble ‘97, whose sons, Arch (first grade) and Baker (PK), are students at Bright this year. “Having our boys at Bright has been an incredibly positive and nostalgic experience,” they say.

“The most magical thing happened to me that first day of school when I walked Arch into class and realized his (first grade) classroom was my fifth grade classroom with Mrs. Gulas. It absolutely warmed my heart when I looked around the room that day and was able to so vividly remember moments with my sweet friends from 30 years ago!” says Kathryn, who named Kathy Gulas as her favorite teacher.

The Trimbles are among a distinct category of alumni who met as students, married and returned as parents. “Our families were very close. It was very common for us to get together for Friday night dinners, Sunday brunches after church, and travel on summer vacations together,” Kathryn says.

Their relationship was not a foregone conclusion, though, as Arch found out as a young middle schooler. “She dumped me in sixth grade and then again in eighth. Rough. But nevertheless, I persisted,” Arch recalls while Kathryn giggles.”In 2009, we started dating (again) when I moved back home. Our families naturally got together again for our traditional dinners and brunches, and then the rest is history,” Kathryn says. They were married in 2013. “It was in the same church where both of our parents were married and Arch’s grandparents even,” she says. 

Today’s Valentine’s Day festivities are similar to when Arch and Kathryn were students. Cards, candy and little goodies are carefully stuffed into handmade boxes on each desk. “I definitely remember making my shoe boxes for the Valentine’s cards each year. I probably over complicated my design a few times, so they usually took me far longer to finish than they should have,” Kathryn says.

Arch was in one of the last classes taught by sixth grade teacher Helen Murray, who died in 1998. “She gave me the best bit of advice a stubborn boy could’ve gotten. She told me, ‘You never HAVE to do anything but sometimes the consequences are such that you want to do it,’” he recalls, adding that one of his favorite memories was watching Sam Lynch break the high jump record at the time. The high jump is an event that is held each year. Kathryn says she fondly remembers the Bright School Picnic and Halloween carnival. 

Nostalgia is around every corner for alumni when they visit Bright School, as Kathryn notes on a nearly daily basis. “Another frequent memory I also seem to flash back to is playing kickball on the map. Every time I sit in the afternoon carline, I look over to my right where the Mondo is now and think about playing out there on the giant map,” she says.

The Trimble children joined their cousins at Bright School this year. Kate Gadd, fifth grade, and Hunter Gadd, second grade, are the children of Kathryn’s sister, Allison ‘92 and husband, Josh.