As this is the month of February, this edition of the Alumni Corner will feature an alumni couple who met at Central Catholic.
Meet Bryan Stapleton and Kristin (Gothard) Stapleton, both graduates of the class of 1995. Bryan and Kristin were both born and raised in Lafayette. Their romance started early in life, with Kristin chasing Bryan around the St. Mary’s playground in Kindergarten. The chasing didn’t stop until the summer between their 7th and 8th grade when Bryan finally got tired of running and decided to give Kristin a chance. They haven’t looked back since.
After dating all through high school, Kristin and Bryan decided to test their fate and chose different paths. Kristin went on to Indiana University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public health. Bryan took a leap and attended Miami of Ohio. They agreed that crossing state lines meant dating other people. Fortunately, their friendship withstood, and they both knew that what had started back in Kindergarten was meant to be. Post college, they both moved to Indianapolis where they each found their footing – Kristin in the healthcare field and Bryan in financial services. After 2 years, they were married at St. Mary Cathedral on Sep. 29, 2001, the same church where they had both celebrated their first communion.
Fr. Dan Gartland, who celebrated their first communion with them, also presided over their wedding, offered them the following wish: “I hope that 50 years from now, you two are more in love with each other then, than you are today.”
Fifteen years later, Bryan and Kristin have grown as individuals and as a couple. They are still building on the foundation that started in Kindergarten. They have been blessed with 3 children: Maddie (6th grade at St. Boniface), Mikey (3rd grade at St. Mary), and Dru (Kindergarten at St. Mary).
“We pinch ourselves most days because we are living the life we always wanted to live,” said Kristin. “We believe our experience at LCSS prepared us for life by extending the foundation set by our parents. The expectation to live as Christ asked us to live and personal responsibility are the foundations that supports us today. It has been a foundation of respect for each other, for our marriage and for our family. We all walk away from our roots for awhile and think we have this life thing figured out, but when it gets really hard, you come back to what makes you truly happy.”
How did your education from LCSS prepare you for college and your career?
Kristin: These same values of respect, personal responsibility, and to live as Christ called us to live were shared throughout our time at LCSS. Whether it was our 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Delaney, who taught us to love with a gentle hand, while setting high expectations. Or Father Dan with a stern eye and warm smile in the hallway. Ann Smith opened my eyes to biology, which sparked an interest in the body and human performance, which in turn caused me to pursue the career I have today. Mr. Eddy made current events a part of our narrow focused world, and Mr. Lett made our world less narrow.
I think it also comes down to the expectation that was set at LCSS – to be your best every day and live as Christ asked you to live – it still drives me today.
I have found my passion in helping others achieve more in their life based on their strengths. I consult for high-performance teams, developing leaders as athletes, while achieving balance in their lives for optimum performance.
While that is my passion, the coolest job on the planet is being a mom! I love sharing our values with them and seeing them grow – it’s like experiencing every stage of your life over again! You just try not to screw it up this time 🙂
Bryan: From day one, LCSS teaches, preaches, and practices the Golden Rule. To me, that is the most important foundation for any aspect of life and prepares you to succeed no matter what path you take. LCSS as an institution, as well as the participating students, parents, and graduates, always set the bar high on expectations. You were expected to participate. You were expected to work hard. You were expected to set goals. You were expected to be a servant leader. LCSS teaches you to put the needs of others first and to help people perform at as high a level as possible. Success was an expectation, and they helped make that a habit that you carry with you the rest of your life. When I graduated CC, I expected to be able to compete and succeed.
What did you like most about your experience at LCSS?
Kristin: The thing I loved most about LCSS was the family. The feeling that no matter what, your classmates have your back – I know they still do today 🙂
Bryan: The thing I liked most about my experience at LCSS was that it felt like an extension of home and my family. The same values and foundation that my parents expressed were being shared at the schools. The small classes made you feel comfortable and gave you a true sense of community for all 13 years.
What is your favorite memory from your years at LCSS?
Kristin: There are so many great memories from LCSS that it would be hard to pick just one! Whether it was senior skip day or senior retreat, Friday nights in the block with our white gloves, or marching for something much bigger than ourselves to keep these doors open. The family feel was always there pushing you to do something more than you would ever do on your own.
Bryan: My favorite memory of my years at LCSS was competing with my classmates on the athletic fields. Double sessions in football, the bus rides to basketball games, being the little school against the big boys, playing golf when it was 38 degrees and dark out…All of this was done with a group of your best friends for the last 13 years. What’s even better is that I now get to relive much of this same atmosphere as I watch my kids walk the same halls and be taught the same values to help them succeed in life.