Engaged!

For three teachers at NASH, the wedding bells will soon be ringing.

Ms. Grecco and Mr. Frasca’s engagement at the Harmony Inn.

Kat Klinefelter, Staff Writer

Love is in the air for several NASH teachers this year. 

It was February 26, when NASH chorus teacher David Schmeich asked his girlfriend of three years, Megan Ochs, to marry him. 

But the couple’s lives have long been interconnected. When they were both students at North Allegheny, their sisters ran cross country together, but David and Megan did not officially meet each other until they were in the Wexford Acting Studio’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. They then went on to perform alongside each other again when Ochs was a freshman in North Allegheny’s production of Les Miserables

“He was Jean Valjean and I was poor person number eight, so starring roles for both of us.” Ochs joked. “I was not interested in him at the time romantically because of the age difference. He was a senior and I was a freshman. Also, he was just kind of goofy, and I didn’t think he could ever be serious.”

Schmiech recalled, “We were friends, and she was funny. Typically the freshmen are kind of scared of the seniors for whatever reason, but she was very bold and hung out with us all the time.”

While they kept in touch with each other during college, their bond grew much stronger after graduation. She asked him out through the dating app, Bumble. Their first date was held at the restaurant Urban Tap in Shadyside. 

“On our first date, we both had a moment where we were like ‘this is exactly correct,’” Ochs gushed. 

After that initial date, Schmeich had to fly to Colorado to drive the support van for his dad, who is an ultra marathon runner. Ochs explained that they spent the whole time apart texting each other — something that Schmeich rarely does. 

“When he got back, we were like ‘we’re dating right?’ and then we were,” she said. 

Three and a half years later, Schmeich decided to propose. It was something that the young couple had discussed very openly with their families, who supported them as a couple. While Ochs said that she gets very anxious about surprises, she admitted that being surprised was something that she wanted for her proposal. 

Schmeich knew this and planned out the night. In the past, the couple would go to the Walnut Grill with his dad when his sister was in town. Under this guise, Ochs suspected a routine dinner get-together. 

“I’m so excited this is going to be a low-key night with your dad,” Ochs joked as they walked into the restaurant. 

The hostess led them to a private room where their families were waiting. That was when Schmeich got down on one knee and proposed. The couple became happily engaged. 

However, a month before Schmeich and Ochs got engaged, another NASH teacher was proposed to by John Frasca, an eighth grade English teacher at Carson Middle School. 

NASH history teacher, Emily Grecco met her future fiance in early 2021 over Twitter, where they bonded over the book Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. They talked over their Twitter accounts before deciding to go on a first date in February.

The two met after school one day and shared chips and guacamole at BJ’s. They spent over four hours talking to each other and learning about each other’s interests, including The Food Network and travel. 

“I remember looking at the clock,” Frasca said. “We had been there for maybe an hour and a half. I looked at my phone again and we had been there for two hours. It was getting really snowy out. The snow’s coming down harder, it’s been three hours, this was still a really good conversation, and I liked her.”

Grecco recalled, “Even after the first date, I knew I wanted to continue this.”

However, Frasca’s thoughts after the first date were much different. 

 “I remember driving home and thinking,  ‘I should have brushed off her window. I’m such a terrible guy. I should have been more thoughtful. She’s never going to talk to me again’.” 

The couple decided to become official shortly after their fourth date at the Harmony Inn. 

Less than a year later, Frasca knew it was time to propose. During Christmas at Grecco house, while she was out of the room, he approached her parents. 

“I was really blunt. I said, ‘I’m just going to ask you. Can I marry your daughter?’”

Her parents said yes, and the whole group started to cry. A minute later, Grecco came running down the stairs and they had to quickly act like nothing happened. 

In the beginning, Frasca planned to ask her to marry him at the Navy Pier in Chicago on their one year anniversary, which they just celebrated. 

“Thank God I didn’t propose there because it was freezing cold in the middle of the day and not very scenic,” he said. 

He met her mom at Panera and came up with the perfect plan. 

The week leading up to her engagement, Grecco had an inkling that it was going to happen. Over the course of the week, Frasca kept mentioning wanting to go to the grotto at Duquesne — one of Grecco’s favorite places — before their cooking class on campus. However, it was during the sub-zero weather in January that he insisted on going. 

“I kept thinking, ‘Why does he want to go there when it’s like negative two out?’ Then I thought, ‘Oh, it’s happening.’” Grecco explained. “I made sure my nails were done. I left school as soon as it was over to get my hair done. I put so much effort into this. I even cried to my mom that whole week saying ‘Mom, I really think it’s going to happen here’.”

Needless to say, during the cooking class, I made sure that I was chopping the onions so that tears could come out.”

— Ms. Grecco, NASH history teacher

As they drove to the Duquesne grotto, Grecco was full of nervous energy. When they arrived, she looked around for any sort of cars that she might recognize or a photographer. Then, they entered the grotto. 

“I had my eyes closed and I was saying a little prayer and such. I could feel him behind my shoulder, and ultimately I was waiting for him to move and get down on one knee.” Grecco said. 

“I stood there and I was totally emotionless,” Frasca said. “She kept side-eyeing me, seeing if I was getting down on one knee. Then I looked at her and said, ‘So, are you ready to go?’

Grecco recalled, “Needless to say, during the cooking class, I made sure that I was chopping the onions so that tears could come out.” 

The next night, they were scheduled to meet at the Harmony Inn with Frasca’s sister and brother-in-law for dinner. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to Grecco, she almost left for dinner with her hair in a messy bun and snow boots on. Luckily for her, Frasca’s sister likes to take photos, so he convinced her to do her hair and put on dress shoes. Unbeknownst to Grecco, this was the night she was going to be proposed to. 

After arriving at the restaurant, Frasca proceeded to lead Grecco around the Harmony Inn in search of an allegedly haunted window. Eventually, he claimed that he couldn’t find the window.

“He said, ‘I don’t see it because it’s not there. I just needed to bring you to this spot’. He said his little spiel and went down on one knee, and I thought he was joking the whole time,” Grecco said. 

Frasca previously had even told her that it wasn’t a good time for them to get married because they were both very busy. He worked really hard to get the idea out of her head that he would propose anytime soon. But, in the end, he pulled the ring box out of his coat and proposed. 

“I was still thinking that we’re meeting his sister and brother-in-law,” Grecco said, “so we go up to the room and it’s all of our families. We had our own little engagement party there.”

For Grecco, the best part about her engagement was that Frasca had been planning this since Christmas. The fake-out at the grotto was even Grecco’s mom’s idea. Her mom told him that if he were to stage it that way, Grecco would think that the proposal was going to happen when it really wasn’t and not know what to expect afterwards. 

For these two newly engaged couples, wedding planning is at the front of the minds. Lucky for them, there is a third engaged teacher at NASH who has some insight. Mr. Langue, business teacher and department chair, has been engaged since July and is planning to get married this summer, one year before Grecco and Schmiech. 

“Determine what is most important and what is not so important to the wedding planning process,” Langue said.  “The things that aren’t as important are the things that you shouldn’t stress over.”