Journey of a Superintendent: Are You Faster Than a 5th Grader?

Are You FasterAre You Faster Than a 5th Grader? Seriously? Well this well-seasoned lady is faster than some of our 5th graders. The winner of our two-mile race this year was a speedy young man from M.E. Pearson Elementary School. He finished the race in less than 14 minutes! Awesome! I had the privilege of placing medals around the necks of the 15 fastest runners. With each medal, I encouraged them to keep running. We may have a future Olympian or college track star in our midst. After all, Maurice Greene, who once was the fastest man in the world, is a graduate of F.L. Schlagle High School!

This was the third year for our two-mile race and academic relay. Each of our 30 elementary schools selected up to 15 of their fastest kids to run the two-mile race. An additional team of four participated in the academic relay. In the relay, students answered a question from the 5th grade curriculum, took the baton and ran 100 meters, and passed the baton to a teammate for their turn.

Schools brought busloads of classmates and other supporters to cheer on our kids. It was so wonderful to see our students, teachers, administrators, and parents come together for this event.  It’s all about modeling for our kids that, with hard work, determination, and effort, you can become anything you choose. I like to share with the students that no matter how old we become, we must prepare our minds and bodies, and nurture our spirits, in order to enjoy a successful life.

Are You Faster Than a 5th Grader is just one more way we celebrate our kids, schools, and families. The participants take this run very seriously. Kids and grownups alike set goals, encourage each other, and push themselves to do their very best. The experience only happens because of the many volunteers from across the district, our partnership with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department, and this year, tremendous support from Schlitterbahn Water Park and Sporting KC.

Thank you, KCK, for inspiring our kids and modeling that, “It’s Up to Us!”  Next year, my goal is to finish in the top 50!

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