Under One Roof

Learn about the BV West teachers that all live together

Kolbie Christensen and Ally Madden

It can be hard to imagine teachers’ lives outside of school. Where do they live? What do they do on weekends? Who do they live with?  Three teachers and one former student teacher all work under the same roof, and as of last summer, live under the same roof.

Second-year teachers Paige Lankford, Modern World History and Advanced Placement European History, and Jessica Kjeldgaard, Physics, first came up with the idea to move in together.

Lankford and Kjeldgaard said they talked about living together and started looking for apartments before remembering that former student teacher Paige Parker, still lived at home. They checked in with Parker, who was a student teacher for Jeff Baxter, a long term substitute for Joe Geist and now English teacher at Olathe West High School. They asked if she wanted to live with them as well.

At the end of last school year, Lankford, Kjeldgaard and Parker said they were all on board to live together in a three-bedroom apartment. Over the summer, Lankford met new social studies teacher Maddie Ogle. Ogle recently moved to the area and needed to find a place to live.

“I didn’t want her to live alone [her] first year and it would be fun to have someone else and then we would have been able to get a house,” Lankford said.

Ogle did not know very many people in the area. She is grateful for this new group of friends who can help and support her.

“There is a lot of [encouragement] at home,” Ogle said. “If we have questions, concerns or bad days we all get to talk  about them together. It’s also nice that we are all pretty young.”

Once they had the financial resources of a four-some, they nixed the apartment idea for a house instead. Since all four are teachers with very similar schedules, they said it has been easy to live and work together.

The teachers all follow the same routine. They normally all go to bed and wake up at around the same time, although Parker gets up earlier than the rest because she has to drive further. The other teachers normally carpool together on the days that no one has to be at BV West extra early.

“I have found that life is much easier living all together,” Kjeldgaard said. “We can support one another and always have someone around when we get home.”

Lankford agrees and loves that they all support each other.

“We’re all teachers so that’s really fun that we all get each other,” Lankford said. “Also having that support system like if you had a bad or rough day you can go home and talk to them,”

The teachers collaborate on lesson plans and share ideas for activities and different strategies for their classes.   

“Ms. Lankford and I especially work really closely together, she taught United States History last year so she helps me out if I get stuck and she taught me lessons [for class],” Ogle said. “We are able to bounce ideas off each other.”

In addition to teaching, they sponsor clubs and coach sports, further packing their schedules. However, even during busy times, they always try to sit down and eat dinner together once a week.

“We have had a few ‘family’ dinners,” Kjeldgaard said. “Dinners are hard to set up because of our crazy schedules, but when they work out they are a great time to be together and decompress.”

Even though the school year just started, the young teachers have all agreed that there are no negative aspects of living together. Lankford notes that they all pick up each other’s slack. For example, if Lankford comes home and sees a dish or two in the sink, she’ll put them in the dishwasher to help out.

Mostly, the teachers are looking forward to this next part of their lives and cannot wait for the future. The teachers seem content with their roommate choices and even though they aren’t always productive, they still find a way to make it work.

“Other than the fact that sometimes we don’t get our work done because we are talking or making memories,” Parker said.