Lauren Norris, above, accepts coloring assignments from her kindergarten class Monday afternoon at Canaan Community Academy. She is in her second year of teaching at Canaan, but this year, she is working just a few paces down the hall from her husband. Michael Norris, below, gives student Jordan New some quick cursive writing tips Monday at Canaan Community Academy. Originally from Alabama, Michael moved to Madison this year and is teaching his first third-grade class at Canaan. He also is an assistant coach for the Madison Consolidated High School football team. (Staff photos by Seth Grundhoefer/sgrundhoefer@madisoncourier.com)
Lauren Norris, above, accepts coloring assignments from her kindergarten class Monday afternoon at Canaan Community Academy. She is in her second year of teaching at Canaan, but this year, she is working just a few paces down the hall from her husband. Michael Norris, below, gives student Jordan New some quick cursive writing tips Monday at Canaan Community Academy. Originally from Alabama, Michael moved to Madison this year and is teaching his first third-grade class at Canaan. He also is an assistant coach for the Madison Consolidated High School football team. (Staff photos by Seth Grundhoefer/sgrundhoefer@madisoncourier.com)
After spending two years in a long-distance relationship, Michael and Lauren Norris are much closer. In fact, they work right down the hall from each other.

Michael is the new third-grade teacher at Canaan Community Academy and Lauren, his wife, teaches kindergarten for the charter school. She started that job last year.

"It's great. I kind of joke around because we spent all last year apart, so now it's like we're catching up on lost time," Lauren said.

After two years of long distance, both say they're happy to be seeing more of each other.

"It's been great. It's not like we see each other all day. Which is good because we still have stuff to talk about on the way home," she said.

"The personal side is separate from the professional side," Michael added.

The couple met at Auburn University in Alabama nearly five years ago.

Lauren, the daughter of Tom and Mary Davee, said she followed her older sister to Auburn because they wanted attend college together.

"We were just college visiting when I was like a freshman in high school and she was a junior. We made a deal to go to Auburn together."

Michael attended the school because it was close to home.

After graduation, Lauren and Michael got jobs in their old hometowns, which are more than 600 miles apart when traveling Interstate 65.

"I used to say he lived just down the road," Lauren joked.

Over the next two years, the couple would visit each other on weekends and corresponding breaks, often meeting in the middle, around Nashville, Tenn.

After rings were bought and wedding plans were made, Michael started looking for a job near Madison.

"I lived in Alabama my whole life," he said. "So, she was kind of away from her family for about four years. I didn't think it was right to take her away again. We're both teachers, so it's pretty flexible. I can teach anywhere."

Being away from home isn't a big problem for the Alabama native. He says Madison and Canaan remind him a lot of his hometown.

"There's a lot of hills and farm land," Michael said.

After graduating from college, Michael started working the high school he attended, Monroe Academy in Alabama, which includes kindergarten through 12th grade.

It's a small school. He said they only graduated 30 seniors when he finished school.

"I mostly taught fifth and sixth grade last year," he said. "Now I'm teaching all subjects and kind of touching on it all."

"I feel like I get to help them more and get to interact with them more."

Lauren attended E.O. Muncie Elementary and Eggleston Elementary schools before attending the junior high school and high school in Madison.

"It's so fun to be back," she said. "I was more nervous for him to move to Madison, just being so far away from his home, than I was getting married."

The two tied the knot on July 13, at Madison Presbyterian Church, and they received a little help from Canaan for transportation.

A school bus, decked out with bows and signs, took the couple from the chapel to their reception.

"Even the bus driver supplied mirrors and hair spray," Lauren said.

"We just felt like, since we're both called to be teachers, it just felt like a nice little addition." Michael said.