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December 16, 2021

Love at 1st Tweet: Hashtag unites teacher & basketball coach

After relationship begins via #ProsperProud tag, Gabe Owens proposes to Abigail Peterson
Kourtnee Carlile
Elementary school teacher Abigail Peterson strolls on Oct. 15 through the park she use to play in as a kid. As she walked, she came upon a surprise orchestrated by math teacher Gabe Owens. “Who would have thought a school hashtag would allow us to meet,” Peterson posted on her X (formerly Twitter) account on Oct. 16. “Now he’s my fiancé.”

Using the hashtag “#ProsperProud,” last April, elementary school teacher Abigail Peterson tweeted  about Baker Elementary’s Musical Theater Club, showing off her kids singing a “High School Musical” song.  The school district’s official X account retweeted her post, causing the tweet to develop more viewers, one of them being an assistant Prosper High School basketball coach – Gabe Owens.

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“I thought he was cute, so I followed him on Twitter (now X) and found him on Instagram,” Peterson said. “The next day I went to my AP (assistant principal) at the time and asked her if she knew anyone at the high school that knew Gabe. Long story short, she reached out to an admin at PHS who found Gabe and told him an elementary teacher was interested. He messaged me that night, and we had a date planned two days later.”

Peterson went to Jamiann Clifford, an assistant principal at Baker Elementary, and asked if she knew him since Clifford’s son attends Prosper High. Although Clifford did not know him, she contacted Megan Martin, who then served as an assistant principal at PHS, and she got to work.

“She stealthily, or rather unstealthily, we went and got the important details: not married or dating, hard-working, good guy, etc.” Clifford said. “Those two basically took it from there.  They just needed a little nudge, and the rest is history.  It is a sweet, sweet story.”

After six months of dating, the couple went to Peterson’s hometown for her little brother’s wedding and sister’s birthday. The day after her brother’s big day, the couple said they felt tired but still dressed up to go to church. After church, Peterson got invited to lunch with her sister to celebrate her sister’s birthday. Keeping her busy, Perterson’s sister recommended going on a walk near the park where Peterson used to play as a kid. To her surprise, she saw rose petals on the ground and Owens standing waiting for her.

“I was so happy and confident,” Owens said. “She was supposed to be the one I had that moment with.”

Contributing to the day, Owens’ parents flew up to Minnesota and surprised them after the proposal, as well as Peterson’s sister who kept her distracted. Her cousin captured the special moment in photos. Family stayed around after her brother’s wedding so all their friends and family got to celebrate at their engagement party. The couple had talked about getting engaged, but Peterson did not expect it to be that weekend.

“I did not think he would ask me that weekend,” Peterson said.  “I had suspicions about five minutes leading up to the proposal, but it was so sweet and thoughtful.”

Although the couple had only been dating for six months, from the first week of knowing each other they both knew what the future would entail.

“I knew Gabe was the one after one week of knowing him,” Peterson said. “He made me feel confident in who I was and in our relationship. He brought out the very best in me and loved me so well. The more time I got with him and learned about him, I thought I would be crazy to not do this life without him.”

This story was originally published on Eagle Nation Online on November 15, 2023.