Surprise proposal at Albany elementary school

Emily Burkhard
Updated: October 24, 2019 08:45 PM
Created: October 24, 2019 12:20 PM

ALBANY - What started as a normal school day at North Albany Academy turned into anything but after a teacher got a big surprise from her boyfriend Thursday morning.

Christina Zontini is a sixth grade teacher at the Albany International Center. She thought she was giving a presentation about an upcoming talent show.


Zontini said her dog wasn't part of her presentation, so when Hercules' picture came up on the slide show, she knew something was up. Then her boyfriend, now fiancé, Terry Burke came on stage she knew a proposal was coming.

"You are so beautiful Christina," Burke said. "You are the best thing that's ever happened to me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

"I knew it," Zontini said.

"Will you marry me?" Burke asked.

"Yes!" Zontini answered.

Zontini said she brought up the possibility of Burke proposing at the assembly earlier in the day, but she brushed it off.

"I was like, 'No he wouldn't do that,' but he did it," she said.

"She also finds out stuff without me telling. She's like half detective. So she's really good at finding things out," Burke said. "So keeping this from her was a big part of my plan and it was tough."

Luckily, Burke had lots of help at school. He said he wanted to do it there because she loves her students and fellow teachers dearly.

"I love the school and I love being here and I think that there's nobody else I'd rather spend my proposal with than my kids because they are like my family here," Zontini said.

The happy couple has lots of planning ahead of them, but they said when they do tie the knot they want their reception to be filled with good food, music, and dancing.

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