Marriage proposal choreographed to perfection during school musical
As the choreographer for North Allegheny Senior High School's spring musicals for the past eight years, Andrea Ronk thought she had seen it all when it came to unexpected occurrences on stage.
She was wrong.
The elementary school art teacher was surprised during the high school's production of “Shrek The Musical” on Saturday when the students playing Shrek and Donkey held up a sign reading, “Will you marry me, Andrea” and interjected some new dialogue after the finale.
Ronk, who was in the audience with her boyfriend, Aaron Jaecks, turned to see him kneeling and holding an engagement ring in the aisle. A spotlight was put on them.
“And the whole audience was in an uproar. It was a fairytale. It was really a fairytale,” said Ronk, 31, who teaches art at McKnight and Marshall elementary schools.
Ronk said yes.
The Cranberry couple has been dating for about a year and half since meeting at church, they said.
“She always really respected, you know, the fact that I'm passionate about what I do and supports me in that, and I try to do the same for her,” said Jaecks, 34, who manages a golf shop.
Ronk jokingly said she knew Jaecks was the one for her when he quietly let her win at miniature golf on their second date.
“He was willing to put me first,” she said.
Jaecks initially intended to propose to Ronk on Valentine's Day, but decided instead to pop the question in a way that would have more significance for Ronk.
“I knew the musical was important to her. She's been working on it … for eight years,” he said.
Jaecks had helped Ronk create a sign for one of the scenes in the musical, so he created a similar one for his proposal.
During intermission on Saturday, Geoff Bland, the North Allegheny senior who played Shrek, and Andy Hosler, the senior who played Donkey, were asked to participate in the proposal. The other cast members were told that something unusual would happen at the end of Act II, but they weren't given any specifics, Ronk said.
“It was very sweet and very lovely,” said Karen Jane Elliott, who has been a parent coordinator, which is the equivalent of a producer, for the high school's musicals for 10 years. A few of the directing team members knew of the plans for the proposal, she said.
“We were thrilled for Andrea and happy to do anything that we could to ensure that it went smoothly on the night,” she said.
The evening was special not only because of the proposal, but because it was done in front of family members and longtime friends, Ronk said. About 20 of her family members, including her parents and grandmothers, drove from Clarkston, Mich., to witness the proposal, she said.
Some North Allegheny seniors in the cast used to take private dance classes from Ronk, who taught dance to children in the Pittsburgh area for nine years.
“They've known me for such a long time that this was special for them to be a part of, as well,” she said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New management breathes life into Upper St. Clair office park
- Development strategies in Franklin Park shift toward single-family homes, townhouses
- Program helps Western Pa. students develop awareness of water resources
- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart students prepare for Scotland trip
- Bill would change residency requirements for Mt. Lebanon firefighters
- Pittsburgh area teens make a difference with volunteer service
- Young Achiever: Leo Sweeney
- Mt. Lebanon board raises taxes, approves teacher contract
- Numerous communities to host Memorial Day activities