40-year-old former teacher marries 16-year-old student

40-year-old former teacher marries 16-year-old student

A North Carolina cross country coach and science teacher, who resigned, and student are wed.
WILMINGTON, N.C. - A 40-year-old high school science teacher and cross country coach has resigned his position and married a 16-year-old student.

Brenton Wuchae coached Windy Hager at South Brunswick High School, where she recently completed her sophomore year as one of the school's top runners. He also lives less than two miles away from the Hagers' home on Oak Island.

Wuchae married Hager in Brunswick County on Monday, according to a marriage license.

Hager's parents, Dennis and Betty Hager, said they did all they could to keep the couple apart after noticing a deeper-than-usual friendship forming between them. The parents said they tried to intervene by talking to the coach, going to school officials, pleading with police and sheriff's office detectives, even other teachers and students at South Brunswick.

But the Hagers say they reluctantly signed a consent form allowing their daughter to marry her coach.

Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Katie McGee said both the school system and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office investigated Wuchae's case but did not come up with enough evidence that would merit charging or even firing the coach.

"As a lifelong educator, I am truly shocked and disheartened by what has transpired," McGee said.

The Brunswick County Board of Education approved Wuchae's resignation Tuesday -- one week after Wuchae had filed it.

The school system hired Wuchae as a teacher and coach in August 2004 from Guilford County.

Wuchae and his new bride were at home Tuesday, resting on his living room floor watching TV. He declined to comment.

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