On June 10, 2014, Mary Lee and Richard Dannenberg brought cupcakes to their daughter’s kindergarten classroom, just as they did each year.
Ross Nochumowitz joined them at Southwest Baltimore Charter School that day, to help celebrate teacher Lisa’s 30th birthday.
Ross was a familiar visitor to the school, and the students knew him
During recess, Ross stuck by the side of a little boy named Ian at the public city playground. Lisa noticed, but thought nothing of it.
Upon their return to the classroom, Ross started an activity with the students. They made a birthday card for Miss Dannenberg on a white board.
“Miss Dannenberg is sweet,” he wrote. “What else is sweet?”
They discussed their answers.
Ross wrote a few other comments on the board, leading to more discussion. Then he told them he had another question to write for the end of the birthday card. The students read the question aloud when he turned the board around.
“Will you marry me?” they read.
The students clapped and cheered as Ross dropped to his knee. But he told the class he didn’t have a ring and asked if any of the students did.
Ian, of course, came forward. Ross reached into the boy’s small pocket and pulled out a ring.
Then Paul and Amie Sue Nochumowitz entered the classroom after waiting in the hallway.
“The kids were so excited,” said Lisa, now 31. “They were telling everyone Miss Dannenberg got married in the classroom.”
They did marry a little over a year later, on July 11, 2015, at the Peabody Library in Mount Vernon. Rabbi Floyd Herman of Har Sinai Congregation officiated the traditional ceremony witnessed by 155 friends and family members.
Ross’ hair stylist was credited with setting them up on a blind date on April 1, 2013. After three hours at Hersh’s in Federal Hill, they realized they hadn’t ordered anything to eat.
“It seemed so natural,” said Lisa of their conversation. “It felt like I had known him forever.”
Two days later, they were dining out again, and unexpectedly Lisa met Ross’ parents. Regardless, the conversation flowed, unlike usual early dates with uncomfortable silences.
“I didn’t want to leave, it was that wonderful,” recalled Lisa.
They hung out the next night and went to an Orioles game the next. At the game, Ross asked Lisa to be his girlfriend. From then on, they were inseparable.
“I kept telling myself that this girl was too good for me,” said Ross, 30, owner of Baltimore in a Box, a Baltimore-themed care package company. “I wanted to lock it up while I had the chance.”
After their first date, Ross drove Lisa the 300 yards to her home. They hugged and she rushed out of the car. He thought that was a bad sign.
“I was nervous because I liked him,” Lisa said, who told her mother a week after their first meeting that there was “something different about him; I think I’m going to marry him”.