Neighbor to Know: Sean O’Dea
By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Sean O’Dea
There’s more to Sean O’Dea than a first glance might suggest. Among his various titles are husband, father, police officer, veteran, educator and author.
Currently, O’Dea is a social studies teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. He recently stepped down as the chair of the department to focus solely on teaching world history and advance placement European history classes. With a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Colorado Boulder under his belt, O’Dea has taught philosophy, psychology, economics, geography and British literature.
“I’ve always had the inclination [to teach], and I need a job that serves people and humanity,” stated O’Dea. He has certainly served those in his community and around the world prior to his work in education. Before he became a full-time educator, O’Dea was an officer in the U.S. Navy for four years. His last post was on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). “It was always a dream of mine [to be part of the armed forces] – too much GI Joe as a kid, I guess,” commented O’Dea on his military service.
“O’Dea, who grew up in the Knight’s Bridge neighborhood, graduated from Douglas County High School in the late 1990s and returned to south Denver in 2004. He began another career and served his community closer to home. He was a police officer with the Cherry Hills Police Department (CHPD). “I had a blast working Hampden Avenue!” he exclaimed. After three years with CHPD, O’Dea went back to school to earn his master’s degree in education from Regis University.
In 2008, O’Dea and his wife, Rachel, and son Seamus moved back to Castle Pines. A second son, Declan, joined the family a couple of years later. O’Dea’s parents still live here as well. They love the proximity to nature that the community affords.
As a fiction writer, O’Dea combines his hobbies of reading, writing and Krav Maga (a nonsport, military self-defense martial art), with many other facets of his life.
“As a writer, I have always had an affinity for exotic locales, maniacal villains, and the flashy heroes of turn-of-the-century pulp fiction. As a reader, my shelf is brimming with science fiction and fantasy. As a teacher, I spend my days diving into world history and philosophy,” commented O’Dea.
This unique combination of interests and life experiences is evident in his “military versus the supernatural” themed novels. O’Dea has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for short fiction. Additionally, he won the Kindle Book Award for Horror in 2017. O’Dea’s novels were recently purchased by the publisher 18thWall Productions and will hopefully be rereleased soon.