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RHMS teacher officiates former students’ wedding

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Judi Holst and Alana Myers

Photo of RHMS teacher Judi Holst officiating the wedding of two of her former students, Alana Rainosek and Ethan Myers,

RHMS teacher Judi Holst officiated the wedding of two of her former students, Alana Rainosek and Ethan Myers, in November at the Highlands Ranch Mansion.

When Alana Rainosek and Ethan Myers planned their wedding, they had definite ideas about qualities in their officiant. They wanted “someone who knew both of us, was a great storyteller, had great stage presence, and who we trusted to guide us through one of the most important moments of our lives,” said Alana. One person came to mind – their Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS)eighth grade advanced language arts teacher, Judi Holst.

Rainosek and Myers officially met in Holst’s language arts class. “I had them in 2012-2013. I don’t think they ever spoke to each other though,” recalled Holst. The two had classes together each year from eighth grade on, but it took them a few years to connect. “We started dating in 2015,” Rainosek said. She explained further, “we started talking and started dating in our junior year at Rock Canyon High School. We were seated next to each other by a fortuitous seating chart in an advanced placement English language class.”

After graduation, Myers attended University of Colorado in Boulder. He studied physics and mathematics. Rainosek headed west to Santa Clara University in San Jose, California. She studied accounting and information systems. They both graduated in December 2020, finishing dual degrees in three and a half years.

Photo of Alana Rainosek and Ethan Myers together at their senior prom in 2017.

Alana Rainosek and Ethan Myers together at their senior prom in 2017. They took prom photos at the Highlands Ranch Mansion, where they were married four years later.

The couple kept in touch and withstood the 1,300-mile distance separating them. Rainosek also stayed in touch with Holst. “She came back to visit often while she was in high school, and we would get together when she came home to visit while in college. There are always a couple of students that you are closer to than others, and Alana was one of those students to me,” said Holst.

When the couple invited Holst to join them for a meal at Pino’s Italian Kitchen & Bar, “I wondered if they were going to tell me they were engaged. When they did, I was extremely excited for them,” Holst said. “Then they asked if I would be their officiant,” Holst continued.

“I think she was shocked at first,” Rainosek elaborated. “Her eyes went wide, then she smiled, started tearing up, and said that she would love to officiate.”

Despite her excitement, Holst was nervous too. Her immediate thought after accepting the honor was, “Oh no, what did I just agree to do? I have no idea how to officiate a wedding. I started doing a lot of research on how to officiate a wedding. I read books, watched YouTube videos, and learned how to become an officiant in the state of Colorado,” explained Holst.

Rainosek and Myers were married on November 20, 2021, with about 125 friends and family in attendance. Their wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Highlands Ranch Mansion, where they took their senior year prom photos years before (see photo to right). Rainosek even wore the same shoes to both special occasions.

Both Ethan and Alana agreed, “Choosing Holst to officiate was one of the best wedding decisions we made.”

“It was one of the best honors I could ever receive as a teacher,” Holst reflected.



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