A collection of love stories

Couples share their relationship stories


Devyn Irvin, Zaira Rosario, and Jaylyn Edwards

The sweet celebration, on Feb. 14, is all about spreading love. There are different ways to celebrate Valentine’s day and share the love. The different couples on campus are representative of how people express their love.


Auria Howell and Conner Runge

They had what can be described as the opposite of a ‘meet-cute’. When sophomores Auria Howell and Conner Runge met in sixth grade, they did not instantly fall in love at first sight, and in fact, they did not like each other very much at all. Connor had a conflict with one of Auria’s friends, which caused her to have negative feelings towards him.

Despite the conflict, the two of them grew closer through bus rides together and hangouts in the park. They started their relationship three months ago, and continue to spend time with each other to grow their relationship. 

“We were friends for a long time before we actually started liking each other,” sophomore Auria Howell said. 

Their interest in each other would not have sparked without the help of Runge’s nine-year-old sister, who encouraged Howell to share her feelings with Runge.

 “I went to the park one day and his little sister was there,” Howell said. “She kept following me around and saying that Connor talked about me all the time to their mom and that I was beautiful.”

Shortly following, Howell was the first of the two of them to confess how she felt towards Runge, and after he expressed that he felt the same way, they started dating.

The couple shares laugh and common interests. They enjoy being there for each other whenever it is needed. 

“It’s nice to know I have someone to rely on for anything at any time,” Runge said. 


Elizabeth Warren and Victoria Sepulveda

Long conversations on the phone, inside jokes, whispered in class, and joint selfies are the way juniors Elizabeth Warren and Victoria Sepulveda share their love for each other.

After meeting in their history class, Warren and Sepulveda began to flirt with each other, text on Instagram and continued to develop feelings for each other. Warren made the first move after she asked Sepulveda to homecoming. After the fact, Sepulveda returned the favor by asking Warren to be her first girlfriend. 

“[Being asked out] was an interesting experience,” Warren said. 

The two girls were both each other’s first girlfriend, which left them with something new to experience together.

“[Being asked out] was a happy moment, it was exciting,” Warren said. “I’m really happy [she’s] my first girlfriend and I’m hoping [she’s] the last.”

They have been together for four months, and while they connect well, and have a close relationship, their interests are vastly different. Warren is involved in theater and Sepulveda is more interested in sports. Sepulveda also comes from a Hispanic background which leaves minor cultural differences. 

“She will sometimes talk in Spanish so I don’t know what she’s saying,” Warren said. “But having differences is good because we never run out of things to talk about.”

“We never run out of things to talk about.” 

Elizabeth and Joseph McKenzie

Sitting awkwardly on their friend’s couch, three feet apart, watching Harold and Kumar, is where English teacher Elizabeth McKenzie and Chemistry teacher Joseph McKenzie first met, beginning their twelve-year relationship. The couple was set up by a mutual friend and had met up for their first blind date. The date went awkwardly and both of them felt like that would be the end of their relationship.

“We didn’t talk to each other for like three weeks after [the awkward date],” Joseph McKenzie said. “So that was done and I knew [the relationship] wasn’t going to happen.”

To their surprise, the awkward date was not the last of their relationship. They both attended a karaoke night with friends a few weeks later, and without the stress of first-date jitters, they were able to form an instant connection with each other.

“We hit it off pretty well [that night],” Elizabeth McKenzie said. “I looked at him from across the room and was like ‘he’s the one.’”

Even with this instant connection, their relationship was not free of hardships. They worked opposite shifts and rarely had time to spend with each other. Joseph Mckenzie worked as a dispatcher for the Volusia County sheriff’s office and worked nights, but Elizabeth Mckenzie worked as a property manager during the days. 

“It really shouldn’t have worked out,” Joseph McKenzie said. “But she was willing to stay up really late when I had time off, and I was willing to say up until the morning when she woke up.”

Another factor in the progression of their relationship was their daughter Brooke. At the beginning of their relationship, Joseph McKenzie had a three-year-old daughter from a previous relationship that he did not want to introduce to a new woman so soon. The couple did not move in with each other for three years into their relationship.

“We didn’t want to live together and confuse the situation, having a three-year-old at home,” Joseph McKenzie said. “And if it didn’t work out I didn’t want to put her through that situation.”

Even with some hardships, their relationship still prevailed. They got married in Lake Mary in 2013. Joseph Mckenzie describes it as being “pretty epic” and Elizabeth Mckzenzie describes it as being “beautiful”. The two have been together ever since and spend time together carpooling to work and laughing together telling stories about their time teaching.