Tying the knot

On Sat., Jan. 17, at the Redondo Beach Historic Library, Ms. Stratford weds her fiancé Rick Crespo. “Lots of work goes into a wedding, but it’s all worth it once the day came,” Stratford said. “My bridesmaids were long time friends so they helped me through the stress.”

Natalie Gomez, Arts & Entertainment Section Editor/ Staff Writer

On Jan. 17, English teacher and Writer Center Adviser, Kelly Stratford, wed her long time boyfriend in front of friends and family at the Redondo Beach Historic Library. Marriage is already a serious commitment, but as a teacher, changing maiden names can have a dramatic impact.


“For the longest time, I thought that I would never change my last name because it is such an integral part of my identity,” Stratford said. “Even after I knew that I would one day marry Rick, I was certain that I would not change my name because there is just so much of my life tied up in the last name Stratford.”


The last name Stratford has been a major part of her life as her students have known her as Ms. Stratford for the past eight years, her lacrosse players as Coach Stratford for four years, and her friends as “Strat”. Not only do people know her by her last name, but also her English BA and credentials are under the name Kelly Stratford and she’s currently working on her English MA under the same name.


Along with Stratford, Crespo is also a teacher at UC Riverside where he is a Political Science PhD candidate. As a teacher, like his wife, he understands the thought that goes behind changing last names.


“It is of course a wonderful honor for Kelly to take my last name, for it represents love and respect,” Crespo said.


Senior Lizette Rangel is a current student in Ms. Stratford’s English Reading and Writing Composition class.


“I came into my senior year knowing Ms. Stratford as Ms. Stratford,” Rangel said. “It’s crazy to know that I could come back next year to visit my old teachers and have to call her Mrs. Crespo.”


Stratford has decided to finish the school year as Ms. Stratford and start the next school year as Mrs. Crespo. Although, she couldn’t completely leave her maiden name behind, so she will be replacing her middle name Danielle with Stratford.