An i(c)onic bond

Science teachers form strong friendship over the years


Darcy Leber

Science teachers Rachel Brunsell and Daryl Traylor ____.

“You’re the second red-head we’ve interviewed. Hopefully, you’re a better one.”
Those were the first words science teacher Rachel Brunsell ever said to the newest hire in her department, Daryl Traylor. Now, eight years later, Traylor is her best friend and the godmother of both of her children.
“She is my person,” Brunsell said. “If I have good news or I need advice, I know I have someone like feet away I can go talk to.”
Immediately clicking after just days of knowing each other, these two teachers built a unique friendship not so commonly found in working environments.
The two close friends met at Traylor’s interview in 2015 when she was applying for her current position at SHS. Traylor vividly remembers waiting impatiently for her interview to start when Brunsell walked into the room running late with the same energetic attitude that she still carries around today.
“I thought she was crazy. She was definitely more high energetic than I am,” Traylor said. “She is more unique than I present, a really good person, just really strange.”
Not long after they started working together, the two started accidentally matching clothes for three days in a row, and students would even get confused thinking that they were the same person.
After finding out about this, they came up with the idea of setting up “Twin Thursday.”
Initiated by that funny coincidence, they’ve now been wearing matching clothes to school every single Thursday ever since they started working together. When Brunsell was pregnant, she would even try to borrow a fake belly from the FACS department so that she could force Traylor to match with her completely.
“It really did start accidentally,” Traylor said. “It is always fun for somebody to notice, and we can be like ‘Yeah, it’s been going for eight years now.’”
But, there is no doubt to them that this friendship goes beyond matching clothes. In fact, other teachers from the science department can clearly see this too, Mark Duncan being one of them.
As head of their department, Duncan has known them ever since they started working at the school. He believes as a teacher himself that it is essentially healthy to find one’s support person in one’s working environment, and he indeed sees that Brunsell and Traylor are that type of support for one another.
“You’re able to collaborate and bounce ideas off with each other, talk about things in the classroom as well as personal issues,” Duncan said. “It helps the health of the person, both as a teacher and as a person.”
Throughout all these years, despite the fact that they see each other at school every day, Brunsell and Traylor like sharing time out of the classrooms too.
Brunsell even claims that her parents’ favorite daughter is not herself but Traylor.
What they like the most is including Brunsell’s kids, Parker and Milo, in their activities whenever possible. In fact, faithful to her godmother role, Traylor tends to stop by Brunsell’s house after school and visit the boys.
These two coworkers and friends are grateful to have each other so close at all times. Brunsell has always thought that because Traylor has been next door since the very start of her SHS career, she somewhat adopted her and doesn’t regret that.
Traylor admits that she’s an old-fashioned friend type of person, or as she likes to call herself, a very bad texter. Therefore, she knows that if the situation was different, and they were not sharing a wall, their friendship would’ve eventually weakened.
Both of them know that if that interview would’ve never happened, they would now be lacking what’s probably the most essential friendship in their lives.
“If there is a good thing or a bad thing, there is automatically a person there,” Traylor said.