Faculty Couple Spotlight

Many of you probably know Dr. Sjoberg from the counseling center, or from the talks she’s given at class meetings. Some may have worked with her on StudGov or with the Assembly Committee. Many others probably have had Mr. Sjoberg as a math teacher at the middle school, or as a coach on the swim team. Well, as the last name suggests, they’re actually married! I sat down with them recently for a short Zoom interview and learned about exciting moments in their relationship, such as their Lakeside chapel wedding, dead bird proposal, and the time Mr. Sjoberg’s brother tried to set Dr. Sjoberg up on a date: 


How long have you guys been together, and how did you guys meet?


Dr. Sjoberg: We’ve been together about four and a half years and married for about two a half years.

Mr. Sjoberg: We met when I had a concern about a swimmer that I coached, not at Lakeside but a swimmer that I coached in the summer, and I knew we had the resources at the counseling office. I wanted to reach out to her about some advice as to how to handle the situation. I met with her and Ms. Lutton to talk about this swimmer. We met, and on my way out, I noticed a book on her desk that I’d just read, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and we started chatting about that. 

Dr. Sjoberg: I was really impressed by how thoughtful he was being, and I thought, “who is this guy?” and that’s how we met.


What was the proposal/marriage like?


Dr. Sjoberg: We actually got married at Lakeside in front of the chapel, and all the chairs were in Red Square. Our reception was in the WCC. We had games out in front of the quad, and it was really fun. 

Mr. Sjoberg: The proposal story is really unique, because I was waiting for a cadaver situation for a transplant. 

Dr. Sjoberg: Uh…

Mr. Sjoberg: I needed a cartilage transplant in my knee.

Dr. Sjoberg: That’s better; sounds less severe.

Mr. Sjoberg: I had a plan to propose, but I had a backup plan to propose if I was going into surgery. We hadn’t quite made it to the date of the actual proposal, so I had to use the backup plan. I recreated the dinner we had on our first date, same place and same bottle of wine, and then we biked down to Golden Gardens, and I asked her when the sunset. I was really nervous. There was a dead bird not that far away from where we were sitting, and I kept complaining because I was so nervous. Then I asked her, and it was clear she was happy, but it took her quite a while to actually say the word yes.

Dr: I mean, I thought it was obvious, but yeah, that’s how it went.


What’s it like working together at the same place?


Dr. Sjoberg: I think it’s great that we work in two different divisions since we don’t see each other all the time, and we don’t have a lot of overlap at different moments. But we still know who people are, so if there’s something interesting to talk about, we know what happened. 

Mr. Sjoberg: Yeah, it’s kind of the best of both worlds. We work together, but we’re not in the same place all the time. Because of Meredith’s [Dr. Sjoberg’s] job, I don’t actually get to hear much about the students, which can be a little frustrating, so I’m definitely the one talking more about the kids. 


Any fun memories or anecdotes while at Lakeside?


Dr. Sjoberg: So I was actually friends with Mr. Sjoberg’s brother, Profe Sjoberg, who works at the middle school, even before I met Rob. 

Mr. Sjoberg: A funny story is that my brother tried to set Dr. Sjoberg up on a date with somebody else. So that’s pretty ironic. 

Dr. Sjoberg: This is true, I was talking to Profe Sjoberg about trying to meet someone, and he set me up on a blind date that was not a good match at all. Funnily, his brother was right nearby. 


Do you guys ever talk about students you’ve had?


Mr. Sjoberg: I have a vivid memory of my first year teaching. I had a student, a current eleventh grader, ask me, “Mr. Sjoberg, do you have any favorites?” I paused and thought about it for a second, and thought “of course I have favorites.” The important thing is that I’m treating everyone fairly. And this kid goes to me and says, “Thank you for being honest.” So a lot of times I’ll have a student like that who says something really meaningful to me, and I’ll go and ask, “Meredith do you know this kid?”. Sometimes she can’t really tell me though. 


Dr. Sjoberg: For me, I definitely don’t talk about counseling, but I’ve done assembly committee and student government, so that’s fun. I love those because I feel like I have free-range, I can ask something like, “this student is awesome. Do you know them from the middle school?”. It’s great when he knows what I’m talking about.