The importance of setting a goal

Coach Tammy Miller with her studenets who participated in the event. (Submitted photo/Lewis Perkins)

Since the beginning of the school year, elementary students from Collier County schools, have been coming early to school to run laps for Runner’s Club. Most of them, would get to school a half an hour early so they could get in as many laps as possible and collect tokens. However, students that ran at least 25.2 miles during the school year, got to participate in a victory mile run at Barron Collier High School on May 16th so they could finish the school year by completing a full marathon. Students from all over the district decked out in colorful tee shirts to represent their schools. As the run began, students excitedly ran through the sprinkling rain. However, shortly afterwards, the rain became torrential as the runners showed their dedication and perseverance to complete the final mile. Despite that the spectators were drenched, they stood devoted to their children and remained in the rain. Unfortunately, the storm grew so bad that the lightening alarm sounded, officials were forced to call all who did not finish, to come to the finish line. However, after the termination of the race, the water-logged runners wore their medals proudly.

This event not only showed the commitment and hard work of the students, but demonstrates a great accomplishment of the many faculty members who inspired these students. One of these dedicated teachers is Coach Tammy Miller from Estates Elementary School, which is located on Everglades Boulevard outside of Immokalee. Coach Miller, a strong advocate for the school’s Runner’s Club, has around 110 enthusiastic runners. “Running club teaches students to set personal goals,” Coach Miller states, “…they {need to} meet a goal because of the good feeling they get when they achieve it.”
If students become uninterested, or have a hard time finding motivation to run, Coach Miller states: “I am their cheerleader when they need it and sometimes I am their drill sergeant.” She further states: “Running is hard work and it means something when you “make your mark.”

When asked how she inspires students to join Runner’s Club, Coach Miller replies: “I haven’t really had to sell it. It sells itself.” She further explains the attraction to students: “You get to come out and run/walk with your friends, accumulate toe tokens, listen to music, and be physically active.” Little do students know that, during their short time in elementary school, Coach Miller is teaching them life skills, such as goal setting, and accomplishment that will remain with them throughout their lives. “My advice to my students is this: Do hard things. Make yourself sweat. Stay physically active. Challenge yourself to be better all the time. Be determined and never ever quit.” Coach Miller could easily give up on her students, especially those who are tired and complain, but she sees potential in all of her students and does not give up on them. She is a true role model for her students, her fellow teachers, and the community

Lewis Perkins is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at ibnews@newszap.com

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