Karolina Nad and David Podyuchenko. Courtesy photo

Karolina Nad and David Podyuchenko. Courtesy photo

Finding love and magic in Camelot’s courtyard

Couple rehearses first dance for their wedding at local elementary school they both attended.

Darcy Borg was staying late to finish up plans in her Camelot Elementary School classroom on Sept. 29. The sun was just starting to cast a golden glow when she heard music flowing from the school’s courtyard.

“I was working on my computer and I hear just this beautiful music, orchestra music, coming from close by,” said Borg, who is in her 35th year of teaching at Camelot.

She wandered into the courtyard, peeked around the corner and saw two young people dancing. The couple stopped dancing when they saw her and told her they were rehearsing for their first dance at their Nov. 13 wedding.

“The young man came closer and said ‘hello, do you know who I am?’” she said. “I was trying to think back and thought, that smile and that twinkle in his eye looked so familiar.”

The man in the courtyard was David Podyuchenko, 21, and his fiancée Karolina Nad, 18, both former students at Camelot Elementary. Podyuchenko was in Borg’s fifth-grade class and his mother, Nadia, also used to work at the school.

Podyuchenko and Nad grew up about a one minute’s walk away from one another; Podyuchenko grew up as good friends with Nad’s brother. The couple knew each other for years prior and attended the same school, but it wasn’t until May of this year that they fell in love, he said.

He joined Nad’s family on a camping trip to the mountains — he was going dirt biking with her brother — and the rest, he says, was left up to God’s timing.

“I never expected myself to get married to her … I never really searched for a wife or a girlfriend,” he said. “I just gave it up to God and when it’s His timing, it will be. That’s exactly what happened.”

A few weeks after the camping trip, Podyuchenko said he knew he wanted to marry her.

The couple’s first dance is to a violin instrumental of “I See the Light” from the movie, Tangled. The soft notes drifted into Borg’s classroom that September day when they rehearsed.

“I’m not really a dancer, but she really wanted the slow dance type of thing,” Podyuchenko said. “So I said yes.”

Often, Podyuchenko said, the couple would practice at Camelot in the evenings because they live close by and the school has plenty of space or escape from the rain.

In that same courtyard about 10 years ago, Podyuchenko helped build the school community garden. He recalls being a less-than-perfect student who frequently got into trouble.

But, Borg recalls his compassionate heart.

“He was one of what I called the ‘Guardians of the Garden,’” she said, adding that Podyuchenko always took pride in filling the plant beds, watering and protecting the garden.

She’s convinced there is a bit of magic in the Camelot courtyard.

“It brings tears to my eyes because of all the places they could choose to be and here they are, dancing these beautiful dances to such beautiful music in this magical place,” Borg said.

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David Podyuchenko and his fiancée Karolina Nad. Courtesy photo

David Podyuchenko and his fiancée Karolina Nad. Courtesy photo

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