The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Faculty couples spotlight: Coach Peter and Coach Sou

Samara N. ’26
Sou and Peter smile together in the Middle School lunchroom.

You may have seen Coach Peter preparing delicious sandwiches as a cook in the WCC, or you might have purchased snacks from Coach Sou, a cashier in the Middle School cafeteria. You may even be lucky enough to have been coached by Coach Peter and Coach Sou in Upper School JV tennis or Middle School basketball or soccer! From the cafeteria to the court, Coach Sou and Coach Peter truly make a wonderful team. But did you know they are actually a couple outside of school? Read on to learn more about one of Lakeside’s cutest faculty relationships!

Responses have been edited for clarity. 


First, how did you two meet?

Sou Mangala (SM): We met through Peter’s sister Nancy, who plays tennis, and she organized a tennis game while I was living in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. I knew Peter’s sister first and then we arranged a tennis game, and then Peter came over to visit his sister, so we included Peter in the tennis game. But, the game did not happen. We rearranged, it never ended up happening, but we contacted each other by the phone, and four months later … we met, you know, through tennis.

Peter Byerlein (PB): Then we met up at a Starbucks in Mill Creek, but I went to the wrong one at first, so that’s a funny story.

And how long have you been together?

PB: I think we met in 2012, so it’ll be 12 years this October.

SM: Wow!

PB: We met on my mom’s birthday, so there you go.

How did you start coaching sports together?

SM: When we were dating, I wasn’t hired as an employee at Lakeside yet, but I came to visit Peter in Seattle, because he couldn’t go over to the San Juans since he coached on weekends. Because we wanted to be together, I hung out at his games. One day, Peter said, “Well, we are looking for an assistant coach. Are you interested?” And I said, “Yes!”

What is your favorite part of working and coaching together?

PB: We know where each other are and we get to see each other often. And as far as coaching sports, it gives us something to do together, that’s the main thing. And we learn a lot, not just from each other, but from coaching the athletes and the adults that we contact.

SM: My favorite part is learning. Learning about each other more. Not in daily life, but professionally. I’ve learned a lot about coaching from Peter because he has been coaching for many years.

PB: Sometimes, when Sou asks a question, I have to consider my approach. So, it’s helpful when you have someone asking you questions; you realize that maybe you need to adjust from time to time.

Besides coaching, what’s your favorite thing to do together in your free time?

PB: I’m gonna say we love to eat pho.

SM: Well, recently, swimming. I’m learning, but he is already a good swimmer. Besides that, walking. Oh, and we love to go to the island where I used to live. We go on ferry rides. It’s kind of nice and relaxed and the hour-and-fifteen-minute-long ferry ride is when we have long conversations.

PB: Yeah, and we love to play tennis doubles with other people. That’s one of our favorite social activities.

What is your favorite dessert to eat on Valentine’s Day?

PB: Of course, you know I like really good chocolate — really fine chocolate. That would be something. And then, oh, what do we like?

SM: I like chocolate cake. And, actually, black forest is still my favorite.

PB: That would be our favorite Valentine’s dessert.

SM: We have so many!

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