Oklahoma couple inspire students with teaching skills and strong marriage

Cheri and Randy Blackwood inspire their students to achieve academic milestones and teach them what a good marriage is like.
BY HEATHER WARLICK-MOORE Modified: September 12, 2010 at 7:19 am •  Published: September 12, 2010

It could be those advanced problem-solving skills that have helped the Blackwoods maintain a long-lasting and healthy marriage.

"Just like our project, not everything that Cheri and I do, do we totally agree on. We do have our disagreements, but we know how to do it in a format that's not too confrontational, and it's not demeaning," Randy Blackwood said.

Being an "Inseparable Unit," as some of their students call them, the Blackwoods said that the sheer amount of time they spend together has a lot to do with why they get along so well.

"It's just the way we are. In fact, when Vivian nominated us for this, we were completely surprised. We weren't really aware of the kind of impact we were having on kids in this way. So we've kind of had to step back and think about that," Cheri Blackwood said.

And since many of their students have parents who are divorced, the Blackwoods realize that the example they set of a healthy marriage could be the only one some of their students see.

Their tips for maintaining a strong, long-lasting marriage?

They attribute much of their success to their strong faith. They are Christians and sing in the choir at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond.

Randy Blackwood believes that not sweating the small stuff is important in their relationship. For example, he said that one of them might get annoyed with the other for small things, such as not squeezing the toothpaste right or being a bit messy in certain areas.

"It's just things that we've just kind of learned to accept, because being together is more important to us than the little things that kind of irk us, I guess," he said.

And Cheri Blackwood said it's their communication that she appreciates. When one of them needs to vent, that person just says, "OK, I just need to vent." And the other knows that his or her job is just to listen and be understanding.

"Because we're both science and math people, we tend to want to offer solutions for everything," she said.

It is for their passion for each other, their students and their faith that Randy and Cheri Blackwood were chosen as one of The Oklahoman's Inspiring Couples.

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Editor's note
Cheri and Randy Blackwood are featured in the "Oklahoma's Most Inspiring Couples" 2010 calendar, sponsored by the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. Couples featured in the calendar are being profiled in The Oklahoman's Life section each month. For more information about the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative's inspiring couples, go to www.foreverforreal.com.

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