In Worthington we offer an amazing array of co-curricular options for our students. Many happen because someone in our community chooses to volunteer their time and efforts. I was reminded of this recently while attending the John Blaine Invitational Elementary Cross Country meet at Colonial Hills Elementary.
On a cold, November Saturday morning several hundred elementary students from across Worthington, and from as far away as Marion Pleasant, gathered at the Colonial Hills South Field. For several years Colonial Hills has been the gold standard for elementary cross country. Physical education teacher, John Blaine, encourages his students to run at every recess. Parent volunteers, Suzanne Guy and Rachael Estepp, have taken the baton and have made elementary cross country into a full season.
On this morning the spiral mile was well marked and the spectator area was flagged off and jammed with parents sporting stocking caps and cradling their warm coffee. There were t-shirts for sale as well as the ability to purchase a pancake breakfast. The students went off in heats for their race by grade level and whether they finished first or one hundred and first they were encouraged the entire way.
This year Evening Street Elementary created their inaugural cross country team. The team was organized and coached by parent volunteer Stephan Cooke. Mr. Cooke organized practices, sent reminder emails to parents, purchased neon green t-shirts for the kids to run in and generally went about corralling 50 or 60 K-6th grade students. It was a big job and without his decision to volunteer a team for Evening Street likely would not have happened.
On Saturday morning Stephan was really busy with the kids so I decided to find his wife Sherri and thank her for allowing Stephan to volunteer his time. That’s when I learned the rest of the story…..Sherri smiled, laughed a little and said, “Funny you should say that. I found out about Stephan coaching the team when I read the emails that the school sent out. When we talked about it he said, ‘I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to say no.’” Classic! Not only was Stephan committed to volunteering, he was so committed that he risked trouble at home! (Luckily, Sherri is super awesome and was very supportive!)
Because of volunteers like Suzanne Guy, Rachael Estepp, and Stephen Cooke, several hundred students ran elementary cross country in Worthington this fall. It may not be cross country at your school but at every one of our Worthington Schools this week someone is volunteering and something good is happening for our kids because of it. Please take a few minutes this November and thank them! It’s Worth It!
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent