A day to remember: teacher gets proposed to during fire drill

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A day to remember: teacher gets proposed to during fire drill

Photo by Zoe Stuckey

Photo by Zoe Stuckey

Photo by Zoe Stuckey

Photo by Zoe Stuckey

Angela Seo and Zoe Stuckey

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The fire alarm rings, the students file out of the classroom expecting a normal fire drill. Suddenly, a fire truck siren wails as it comes into the parking lot. This was the moment when math teacher Jessica Smith knew it was not a normal drill. Nov. 17, Smith’s firefighter boyfriend, Eric Estep, proposed to her during a fire drill. Students know what went on during the proposal but most don’t know about the hard work it went into it. Junior Madison Surratt tells what went into the preparation of this proposal.

“On Monday night, [her boyfriend] called me, he stole my number from her phone,” Surratt said. “He was like, ‘you know, Thursday is going to be this really big day for me and Ms Smith and it would mean the world to her if you could help out with it.’

Surratt said she agreed to help out and knew what Estep was planning from what he told her.

“So this is what I want you to do. So, since she’s a math teacher, I want to get some signs together that say: ‘Ms Smith, You + Me = Love,’” Estep said. “We are going to play our song, and then the fire truck is going to come and y’all are going to be hiding behind it and jump out. When I get on one knee, I want you guys to flip your signs and it will say ‘Will You Marry Me?’”

That night, Suratt, went to the dollar store to get all the supplies for the posters. Then the day before the proposal, they met at school to go over everything one last time.

“We went over the whole plan, he figured out how loud the speaker was going to be to play their song, ‘Never Stop Wedding Version’ by SafetySuit, Surratt said. “We figured out where the fire truck was going to be and where she was going to be standing. He had already been in cahoots with Mr. Kitley to make sure everything had been okay.”

The next morning, the day of the proposal, Surratt made sure to get to school early for the final touches.

“The day of, I came in early, talked to Ms. Brown and dropped off all the posters. We got the plan figured out on how it was going to go down,” Surratt said. “So what we did was, a group of girls and I, we were in Ms. Brown’s room before the fire alarm went off and then we went down and hid by the trailers.”

After the fire alarm went off, Surratt explains what happened:

“I sent Maddie [Gray] out with the speakers so she could be right near Ms Smith and cue the music. I then sent out two people out to film it so one of them could be filming it live for [Eric’s] Facebook and the other person could be filming it just regularly,” Surratt said. “Once the fire truck came we booked it and freaking ran behind the truck. Then we came out with the signs and on the last sign, it was Eric’s cue to come out and spin her around.”

Surratt then explains the meaning behind the ring box.

“The story behind the box is that it was handmade in Greece. The front of the box says ‘More’ on the top because they always say it to each other. Then on the inside, there is a quote from her favorite movie, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’ The back has their favorite numbers and they multiply together in their names.”

Throughout all of this, Smith was told by her boyfriend that she was going to get picked up after school to go out for dinner. She told her sixth period class about how the rumors about a posible fire drill didn’t bother her. However, when she saw the fire truck, she knew then that this was planned all along.

Surratt wasn’t the only one involved in all this hard work. Many students and teachers helped out as well. Some students who helped out were: Peyton Staunton, Maddie Gray, Olivia Briley, Jaleesa Williams, Megan Phelps, Brittany Ross, Julie Roberts and Hannah Shepard.

When Surratt asked Estep how he came up with all of this he said, “You put a lot of thought and a lot of hard work into things you really care about.”

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