Marrying your soulmate is amazingly special.
So is becoming a parent.
But being fortunate enough to find that one person in the universe that you know you were meant to be friends with forever is a form of special that is up there with the others, but maybe doesn’t get the accolades it deserves.
Bradenton’s Samantha North and Sarasota’s Karstyn Goldblum met on their first day on the campus of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in Manatee County two years ago, discovered they both wanted to be school teachers and, for some reason only the universe knows, instantly became forever pals.
They graduated together Monday during the 2017 Fall Commencement of USFSM at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.
Please put on the Bradenton Herald website that two young teachers are looking for jobs together.
Samantha North talking of she and her best friend, Karstyn Goldblum
“We both went to State College of Florida, but we didn’t know each other there,” Goldblum said. “By chance, we had all five classes together when we met at USFSM, and then from there we just planned accordingly.”
“We just kept it going for two years,” said North, a 2011 Braden River High School graduate who calculated she and her best buddy had close to 25 classes together over two years.
The young women were among 241 graduates celebrated by about 3,000 family and friends during the 68th commencement in USF’s history on a shivery night in Palmetto.
The friends are so close now that Goldblum is sad that when she got married she didn’t know North because she would have wanted North to be there.
“She will definitely be in my wedding,” North said.
The pair laughed together before Monday’s graduation about their sweat and tears getting through the curriculum.
“She’s the best study partner,” North said of Goldblum, who was actually honored by USF Monday for joining Elisabetta Di Virgilio, Octavio Gomez and Amy Miller as King O’Neal Scholars. Goldblum achieved perfect scores in every class at USFSM.
“She’s amazing,” Goldblum said of North.
The pair remember a 20-page paper they had to do for Marie Byrd, Director of the School of Education.
“We did a four-hour presentation for one of our courses on a Friday, (and) we each had a 20-page paper due the next Tuesday for Ms. Byrd,” North said. “So, Monday we both were working on it like 15 hours and we went through the whole range of roller coaster emotions — happy, sad, crying, anger, guilt.”
“Almost there feeling,” Goldblum added, shaking her fist.
“Then we finished it and it was fine,” North said with a big grin.
The best friends already have teaching jobs, but their dream is for a school district to hire them both to co-teach a class or have connected classrooms.
North received an early release from her USF studies in October and is currently teaching a fourth-grade class at Williams Elementary School in Manatee County.
Goldblum has accepted a first-grade teaching position at Ashton Elementary School in Sarasota.
Outstanding Graduate, Golden Bull, Professor
The remarkable Jaime Hernandez Carranza won both Outstanding Graduate Award and Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award.
A biology student, Carranza had dreamed of being a doctor since coming to the United States from Mexico as a boy with his family. In his three years on campus, Carranza has become president of the student Ambassadors who represent USFSM at official functions.
Carranza graduated Tuesday with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. This spring he said he will prepare for the Medical College Admission Test and apply to medical school at USF in Tampa.
Sunita Lodwig, an information technology instructor in the College of Business, won the Outstanding Professor Award.