CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KTVI) – A standard school assembly at Green Trails Elementary ended with tears, hugs, and an engagement.
Chesterfield Police Department’s Chris Kaatmann is a school resource officer for the Parkway School District. His job is to protect and serve. And on that particular morning, to propose.
Kaatmann had been dating Jean Henry, a special school district educator for Parkway.
On a morning that will go down in Green Trails Gator history, Kaatmann made a surprise appearance at the morning assembly.
The students had been discussing the topic of kindness, many of them sharing kind words about their favorite teacher. Principal Erica Niles, who was in on the big surprise, played a video for the school.
“My teacher is special, because she gives us extra recess,” one student said on the video.
“I love my teacher because she’s nice,” said another.
That’s when an “arresting” voice appeared on the projector screen.
“My favorite teacher is Miss Henry,” said Kaatmann, also known as “Officer Chris”.
Kaatmann entered the gymnasium to the loud cheers of the students. Henry, known to her students as Miss Henry, began to blush. She had already sensed something was off script when Kaatmann appeared on screen.
At that point, he took the microphone and, with the help of four students, delivered a message.
“The first friend I’d like to call up is Violet,” he said.
A girl carrying a large sign that said, “You” ran to the front of the gym.
Three more students arrived. And three more signs: “Me,” “Will,” and “Marry”.
Henry began to squirm in her seat. Then she saw her children and Kaatmann’s daughter walk to the front of the gym.
Kaatmann walked up to Henry, reached into his pocket, and presented her with a ring.
The Green Trails gymnasium erupted in cheers.
So how did Kaatmann manage to pull off the proposal?
“Lot of preparation. A lot of preparation,” he said.
Henry said she was completely surprised.
“He did a great job. I had no idea The kids…when they came in – speechless,” she exclaimed.
The couple’s children played a key role it making it happen.
“Group text. We got everything set up,” Henry’s son, Grant, said.
Kaatmann said a proposal in at the school made perfect sense. The two met at Green Trails Elementary.
“The way we have kind of tied together is our care for the kids, and the kids we work with,” he said. “I thought, what better way than involving the kids at the school.”