Alumni Spotlight

GSE brought us together: Lauren Hofmayer, MA '10, and Robbie Torney, MA '10

'Through STEP Elementary, we learned that our skills and dreams complement each other’s.'

As undergrads, we both graduated from Stanford in 2009, but didn’t meet until we discovered each other on the dance floor at the Grad Student Masquerade Ball in the Arrillaga Alumni Center. From there, our relationship blossomed! 

We were both enrolled in the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) Elementary, members of a cohort of 20 women and two men. Our GSE program brought us together and was instrumental in helping us discover our shared values and passions. Student teaching during STEP was an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience. Through it we learned that our skills and dreams complemented each other’s.

Today, we are part of a vibrant Oakland, Calif., community. We are working to transform schools to support young people to become lifelong change-makers who contribute to a healthier, more joyful world. 

Robbie and Lauren on their wedding day in 2015.

Robbie is an assistant principal at Lodestar, a Lighthouse Community Public School. He helped design and found this innovative new school and has been with Lighthouse since 2011. Lauren joined Lighthouse in 2013 as a teacher, and is now the development associate, writing grants and supporting growth as we expand to serve 2,500 K-12 students in Oakland. 

We are thrilled to teach and serve in the same school community and have gotten to know the same students and families, formed deep friendships at and beyond work, and live near Oakland’s beautiful Lake Merritt. 

Stanford and the GSE laid the foundation for where we are today. To honor the important role that Stanford played in our lives, we married at Stanford Memorial Church in 2015 and invited all of our Lighthouse students and families.

Reflecting on that day, we felt fortunate to watch our students explore the Stanford campus and imagining themselves attending college there. We are grateful for Stanford’s impact on our journey, for where we are now, and for the important role that Stanford will continue to play in our lives.