12/24/2007 AT 2:00 PM ET
He’s best known as the expectant father of Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby, but former classmates and teachers remember Casey Aldridge as a popular joker who could talk his way out of anything.
“Casey is one of those boys who really has a lot going for him,” says a former teacher at Amite School Center, where Aldridge lettered in football and baseball, served as senior class president and graduated in May 2007. “He’s handsome, smart and very, very charming.”
And at 6’1” and 165 lbs, Aldridge’s magnetism caught the eye of the girls. “He is athletic,” says the teacher, “and down here in the south, athletes are gods, so he had his share of adoring fans.”
One of those fans was Spears, who started dating Aldridge about two years ago. “Casey really liked being known for dating Jamie Lynn,” says a former classmate. “He thought it was really cool that he was dating someone famous, and you could just tell that he loved the attention.”
He also loved to have a good time. “If there was a prank, he was involved,” says the classmate. “Things like sending around a note in class for everyone to cough at [the same time].”
Despite the mischief that he got in during high school, teachers say that his charm kept him from ever getting into much trouble. “There was a little part of [Leave it to Beaver’s] Eddie Haskell in him,” says his former teacher. “He’d say, ‘You look very nice today. Is that a new dress?’ And you’d be wondering, ‘What’s this kid’s angle?’ The difference between him and Eddie Haskell is that Casey’s angle was that he truly wanted you to like him, and wanted to give you a compliment.”
An average student – “He had the capability to do much better academically,” says a teacher – Aldridge briefly considered community college before taking a job as a pipe fitter in Baton Rouge.
Despite Casey’s high school exploits, those who know him believe he will be a good father. “When he decides that something is the right thing to do, he is very effective,” says his teacher. “If he decides he’s going to be a great father, he will do whatever it takes to do a good job, whether that means working construction to support the baby, or reading books about how to change diapers.”