Dobie teacher Kersten Mullan surveys the packed boxes in her classroom as she prepares to join her soccer-playing husband in Colorado.
By the Pasadena ISD Communications Office
When she first got the news, Kersten Mullan decided she wasn't moving, at least not right away. She was going to finish out the fall semester and stay put in the classroom as Pre-AP English teacher at Dobie High School.
"Then I saw my husband loading all of his stuff at the airport," she says.
"I knew he wasn't just leaving on a road trip."
Last Friday (Oct. 1) was Mullan's final day at Dobie. She spent most of her final week packing boxes, saying goodbyes and reminiscing about her five years at the school.
Her situation wasn't that much different from other teachers whose spouses are transferred in their jobs.
Except that Mullan's husband was traded.
It happened a month into the school year. Husband Brian Mullan, a midfielder for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo, was traded to the Colorado Rapids. Brian left for Colorado that night, leaving Kersten and their two small children behind.
"I was in the middle of class when I got the news," Mullan recalls.
Several students and staff members at Dobie found out before the end of the school. So much for privacy.
Mullan says she fielded the same question a dozen times before leaving campus.
"Why didn't you tell us you were leaving, Coach Mullan?"
Simple reason, she didn't know.
"I think the hardest thing (about being married to a pro athlete) is you don't get to deal with much privately," she says. "It's tough when everything you deal with is public."
Mullan knew of the possibilities for career disruption. She and Brian moved from San Jose, Calif., five years ago when he was traded to Houston. She took her teaching talents to Dobie, where she coached soccer, giving that up this school year to spend more time with her family.
"Anyone who knows me knows that I love teaching so my gut reaction was to stay until the end of the semester," Mullan said.
Then she took her husband to the airport. She says she knew then what she had to do.
"It came down to keeping my family together," she says.
High school sweethearts as teenagers growing up in Colorado, Brian and Kersten both played soccer in college at Creighton. The Mullans have been married for 10 years - which is also how long Brian has been playing pro soccer.
Kersten isn't sure exactly what she'll be doing after she joins her husband in Colorado. The one consolation is the family will be together and Kersten and Brian will be living close to where they grew up.
"I want to teach because teaching is my calling, and I don't think I can sit idle for too long," she said. "It's hard to pick up and leave. But what's he's doing is rare and it doesn't last forever."
The Mullans: Brian and Kersten with children Brady and Keagan.