Counselor’s Love Story Full of ‘So Many Favorite Memories’


Cassi Garrison, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“My favorite part of being married is creating a life that we both dreamed of having with each other and our kids,” said Mrs. Kristen Gast, a student counselor here at NDA.

She and her husband have been together for 12 years, and they will be celebrating their 7th wedding anniversary this May.

Gast started working at NDA as an intern last fall and was offered a full-time position after she earned her Master’s degree.

She shared that she enjoys working here as “faith is a big part of [her] life” and she likes being able to incorporate that into counseling.

“There are many things that a public school prohibits, along with more counseling freedom in a private school,” said Gast, adding that her favorite part of her job is the students that she works with.

“Snow days and summers off are also a big perk,” she shared.

Gast met her husband in July of 2012, while working at Culver’s. She shared that they started hanging out and eventually started dating that December.

“I never thought my dad would allow me to date him, but he passed the test after a one- on-one breakfast talk to ensure that he had good intentions,” she said. “It didn’t scare him off because after 12 years we’re still together!”

Gast shared that at that moment she couldn’t believe her dad would do that, but looking back she sees the value in that meeting.

“My husband says that he will also be having those meetings for our daughter,” she said. “Watch out, Tansley!” 

Gast said that there are “so many favorite memories” she shares with her husband, and she enjoys looking back at their time together and seeing everything they’ve been through.

“When we were dating, we were very intentional with each other. We didn’t want to date just to date. We wanted there to be a purpose for being together,” she shared. “We both had the dream of getting married and starting a family.”

Gast added that coming from a divorced family, she was extra cautious about making sure he was the one for her. 

“I still wasn’t sure that he was the one when he proposed. I had a lot of fear built up in knowing if it was the right thing to do or not,” she explained. “It wasn’t until a few months later, on Christmas Eve, when he mentioned how things started to all make sense, which confirmed to me that we were on the same page with some concerns that I had regarding each of our standings of faith. I remember that the moon was full and the stars were absolutely beautiful with the snow sparkling and just feeling so good that things were all coming together. “

Gast shared that this Valentine’s Day will be a little different for the couple, as she will be at school taking care of freshman registration.

However, they usually take their kids to Culver’s and share a banana split, as that is where Gast met her husband.

“We’ve been through so many different chapters and phases in our lives from high school, college, long distance, marriage and now parenthood,” she shared. “It’s fun being able to go through life with someone who has been standing by your side for so long. When we go through these phases, it shows a new side of us and how we are able to navigate it. “