Libby and Will

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How We Met

Our story is pretty awesome! I first met Will in Mrs. Joan and Mrs. Melissa’s 3 year old pre- school class. It was not love at first sight although later I found out he had a crush on me. His mother told the story of how they searched everywhere for a yellow box of Valentine’s candy just for me because he said I loved “lellow”. As luck would have it our mothers worked together at Austin High School and had become fast friends.

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We would meet again thirteen years later at a Christmas faculty party for my mom’s school at Will’s house. This time it WAS love at first sight and EVERYBODY knew it. We could not stop smiling at each other. We started dating after that and this went on for 7 years! We survived long distance relationships and the highs and lows of the college experience. This came with near breakups and lots of tears but through it all we managed to keep it together and grow to love each other even more!

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how they asked

Decatur elementary teacher gets proposal at school By Deangelo McDaniel Staff Writer The Decatur Daily Jan 28, 2017 For two months, Chestnut Grove Elementary teacher Libby Ann Olinger thought school administrators and teachers were planning a school program about love and kindness and how both can change the world. It was a hoax.

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Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, Olinger got the surprise of her life when her longtime boyfriend, Will Swann, of Hartselle, stepped from behind a curtain in the school’s auditorium, got on a knee and proposed.

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He also brought with him a mini Golden Doodle that has been named Dibbs (I call Dibbs on Libby Ann) “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is not happening,’ ”

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Olinger said as tears flowed down her face. For the record: She said yes. “They are two lovebirds,” said Chestnut Grove Principal Karissa Lang. Olinger was one of Lang’s fourth-grade students when Lang was a teacher at the former Gordon Bibb School, and two years ago Lang hired her as a second-grade teacher at Chestnut Grove. Swann, 23, a 2012 Hartselle graduate, said he wanted his fiance’s students to be part of the special event “because she loves them so much.” “She talks about her students all the time,” he said.

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Swann, who was recently accepted to pharmacy school at Samford University, found a video online that was similar to the way he proposed. He went to Lang, who was more than willing to help concoct a story that would get Olinger to the auditorium. For two months, every second-grade teacher at the school was helping produce a video about how love and kindness can change the world.

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They told Olinger the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur was helping with the project. Lang said the center often does programs at the school, so Olinger was not suspicious. “I didn’t know anything,” said Olinger, a 2011 Austin High School graduate who played softball at Wallace State and the University of North Alabama. Less than two minutes into the video Olinger thought she was about to see, a song she and her students listen to started playing. Then, photos of her almost seven-year courtship with Swann started flashing on the screen. “I knew something was up then,” she said. “It was great.”

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During the proposal each student in 2nd grade gave Miss Olinger a yellow rose as a reminder of preschool days. The couple’s mothers — Deana Olinger and Wendy Swann — are both teachers at Austin and were there for the proposal. Olinger said she met Will Swann seven years ago at a Christmas party for some Austin faculty members at the Swanns’ home. She said she’s been talking with some of her classmates about who would marry first and whether Swann would ever propose. Olinger, 24, said one of her best friends got married this past summer and that just generated more conversation. Swann said he never had any doubt he would one day marry Olinger, but he wanted to wait until getting accepted to pharmacy school. He said they likely will marry “sometime about a year from now.” or 256-340-2469. Twitter @DD_Deangelo.

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Beth Fleischman
 | Photograaphed proposal and engagement party