Tuesday, after school, I was able to have my first cross country training experience at Jackson High School with the Jaguars! Let me tell you, these kids work hard! Our run started at the school’s athletic field, wound through the historic Grant Park neighborhood and over into Grant Park, near the Atlanta Zoo. There were hills, asphalt, grass and plenty of hot sun. Like I said, these kids and their coach Ms. Robinson, work hard.
But it was a great experience – I love seeing our students outside of the classroom – I even ran into one of my Student Advisory Council members Olivia. Not only is she super smart with great ideas about how to make the district better for her fellow students, but she’s also a great runner (and standout Lady Jags soccer player as well). It was hot, hot, hot out there but the kids kept going and made me proud…I, however, had to give up on the fourth hill of the run! It was just too much!
After catching a ride back to the school (could not run back on the concrete with shin splints), I saw that the Football team was practicing on the field just as I was arriving back to the school and, well, you can imagine what happened next. Before I knew it I was in a helmet, in a three-point stance and running down the field. I have so much respect for our student-athletes and it is always fun to spend a little time in their world. A big thank you to the Jackson football team for letting me crash their practice!
My visit was a great chance to keep my commitment to running and also to prepare for the upcoming East Atlanta Village (EAV) Runfest. My former Associate Superintendent and now principal of Burgess-Peterson Elementary, David White, encouraged me to join this 5K and not only did I sign up, but so did about 100 of my fellow APS co-workers. We had our first practice last week at Piedmont Park and I can’t wait to see everyone again tonight for practice number two. We will typically meet on Thursday evenings at 8pm and Saturday mornings at 8:30am.Everyone in the group isn’t a runner and that is fine by me – we are encouraging employees to walk, strut, jog and run their way to good health.
Just like with our students, I also enjoy seeing APS employees outside of the office and outside of their schools. An important part of building a school district is building a sense of community. Strong schools are built by strong people who know that not only are they valued for the work they produce, but also for their natural talents, abilities and interests. An hour or so a week together outside of “work” goes a long way toward building a positive culture inside our schools.
The EAV Runfest is September 26, 2015 and is the kickoff to the annual EAV Strut.
Learn more about Runfest here: http://www.runeav.com/
Learn more about the EAV Strut here: http://eastatlantastrut.com/
I hope to see some of you September 26 when our APS team takes over the EAV!