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Teachers put Furry Elementary on stork watch

Alissa Widman Neese • Mar 12, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Maybe it’s something in the water? Whatever the reason, Furry Elementary School teachers are living through a modern-day baby boom.

They’re not quite certain if it’s contagious.


“I need to stop hanging around you guys,” a teacher joked as she took her seat at the lunch table earlier this month.

This school year’s unprecedented number of teacher pregnancies:

•Christine Quarando, kindergarten teacher, who had a baby girl, Ellie, Oct. 4.



•Ashlee Shortridge, Little Pirates preschool teacher, who had a baby boy, Brantlee, Feb. 20.

•Megen Kania, first-grade teacher, due April 7 with a baby girl.

•Amanda Boose, kindergarten teacher, due April 17 with a baby boy.

•Brittany Stacey, first-grade teacher, due April 19 with a baby girl.


“It’s nice being able to plan together, especially since everyone else has gone through this before,” said Stacey, who is expecting her first child. “It’s all we talk about at lunch — it’s almost like, who’s next on the list?”

On Feb. 28, kindergarten teacher Katie Toft-Miller greeted her colleagues at the table with an exciting announcement.

“It’s me,” she said.

Toft-Miller, who’s due in September with her second child, is the sixth woman to join the bunch this school year. She’s about 14 weeks pregnant.

“I totally guessed it,” a teacher exclaimed as others clapped and cheered.

All teachers have arranged for longterm substitutes for their maternity leave this year, often individuals who have taught at Furry Elementary School before, principal Halley Leffler said. Substitutes include: Kathy Zirkle for Kania, Andrea Baker for Stacey and Michelle Hand for Boose.

But although all the plans are in place, the group is quick to admit the situation is quite unusual.

“We do have a very young staff, but I was more shocked that everyone seemed to announce it at the same time,” Shortridge said. “It was definitely a surprise.”

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