Olivet alumna Olivia Elliott honored in first year of teaching

Teachers, students and administrators selected this educator as 2017–2018 Teacher of the Year.

June 13, 2018 Uncategorized

“If you’re praying about a job and God shows you an opening, you need to apply,” says Olivet Nazarene University alumna Olivia (Ruby) Elliott ’16. This artist and art educator speaks from personal experience.

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Recently, God confirmed the faith she placed in His leading. At the end of her first year of teaching art to students in grades kindergarten through eight and 10 through 12, she received a special honor. Her peers, students and administrators at Central Christian Academy in Indianapolis selected her as Teacher of the Year.

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“The reason we are teachers is to teach our students more than content,” Olivia says. “We teach them skills for everyday life. We connect with them personally. As Christian educators, we have opportunities to minister to our students.”

Just a couple of years ago, before she even started her teaching career, Olivia was ready to quit teaching forever. She had lined up a job and was about to sign her contract. “Then one week before school began, they cancelled that signing appointment,” she recalls. “The day I was supposed to start, I received an email saying the art program and my job were cancelled due to lack of funding.”

In the midst of her disappointment, Olivia also had much joy. She married her college sweetheart, Jonathan Elliott ’15, a graduate of Olivet’s biology program. He is now a medical student at the University of Indiana. 

After a period of emotional recovery and self-evaluation, Olivia began looking for teaching jobs again. She allowed God to be totally in control of the situation. Hired by Central Christian Academy, she now teaches art history plus hands-on art studio projects relating to what students are learning in the classroom. She also owns OGRE Artwork, her business as a professional artist.

“The past two years have been a whirlwind of God’s showing up and taking control,” she says. “My best advice to recent graduates is: Don’t worry. Trust God.”

To learn more about areas of study in Olivet’s Department of Art and Digital Media, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.


Photos submitted by Olivia Elliott. Used with permission.

Published: 6/13/18

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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