What's in a name? A couple's love for Elliott Elementary

Amber and Cailen O’Shea’s love for Elliott Elementary School runs in the family. Amber has taught first grade at the school just south of 25th and O streets for five years - and hopes she never has to leave. Cailen, her husband, also taught there for one year and still proudly sports an Elliott t-shirt. His grandmother, Mary O’Shea, taught fourth grade at Elliott for 15 years.

And now the family’s connection to the school has been passed on to another generation. The O’Sheas named their newly born son Elliott in honor of the school they have grown to love like family.

“It’s just a great school,” Amber said.

“It’s had a big impact,” Cailen added.

Baby Elliott was born Feb. 6. Amber and Cailen initially included Elliott on their list of potential names, then removed it. They added it back to the list on their way to the hospital. After their baby was born, they looked over the potential names again. Finley, Henry, Cormac...

“We were like, ‘He doesn’t look like any of these other names. He’s Elliott. He looks like an Elliott,’” Amber said.

The couple met during college when they worked together at the Dawes Middle School Community Learning Center after-school program. Amber always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Cailen “hated school” as a child and decided to become an educator to affect students who might feel the same away.

“I wanted to take that kid who I saw myself in and say, ‘You can do something if you want to. I’m going to make it interesting for you,’” he said.

Cailen taught fifth grade at Elliott before joining Arnold Elementary School as an instructional technology coach. Now he’s a full-time student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln pursuing a doctorate degree in educational leadership and higher education - still wanting to make an impact on students but in a different way.

Amber returned to Elliott (the school) this week. It’s tough being away from Elliott (her baby) but she said it’s great seeing her students again.

After all, they’re family, too.

Published: March 27, 2019, Updated: April 1, 2019

"It's just a great school."

Amber O'Shea, first-grade teacher at Elliott Elementary and mother of a newborn son named after the school