All American Student Classic Serendipities

The Runner

Most elementary school teachers and administrators are familiar with the term “RUNNER” referring to students who “bolt out the door” of a classroom when things become overwhelming. This Serendipity is about a principal and a runner.

This school was only a week away from the start of their All-American Student Classic when the principal was walking down the corridor. As she turned the corner, the Runner, a fifth-grade student, was preparing to re-enter his classroom. The Runner suddenly bolted away again.

Well, this time the principal took off after the 5th grade student. As she crossed the grass in her dress and high heels, the Runner suddenly stopped and the principal stopped with him.

The first thing out of the Runner’s mouth was, "Wow, you’re really fast!"

The principal gasped, “Wow, you’re really fast!”

He then asked the principal if she was running in the All-American Student Classic and challenged her on the spot to race against him in the 50-yard dash!

The next week the principal ended up racing the 50-yard dash 3 times!!! She raced the Runner, and then again she raced the Runner and his friend and then one more race against about 10-20 kids. Yes…the principal beat the Runner in his challenge!

SERENDIPITIES… (as the principal told AASC)

  • The Runner could have been in the office in trouble. Instead he ended up on the playground racing the principal in the 50-yard dash. A relationship had been established.

  • The principal said that since the race, the Runner’s mom started talking to the principal (the mom speaks only Spanish and had never talked to the principal previously). There is now a relationship between the mom and the principal.

  • The Runner received the “RESPECT AWARD” at the end of the year Awards Program.

  • This 5th grader is no longer running.

  • Parents at the school are becoming involved in school activities.

  • Kids are becoming connected to staff at school.

Right Track In Life...

The following is from an email sent by a former Bartlett Jr. High student who is now a superintendent in California’s Bay Area and who competed in the All-American Student Classic in 1980.

“The All-American Student Classic put me on the right track in life, from something fun to do, to showing me that I could accomplish things I set my mind to. I have never been as surprised as when I was announced the winner in the 8th grade! What a shock! After that I really started to break out of my introverted shell. One week of 8th grade set me onto a new path in life.” Redwood Christian Schools Superintendent.

From the new Superintendent of Redwood Christian Schools

Heather, a student at Bartlett Jr. High School

wasn’t going to sign up to participate in the All-American Student Classic even though she was an outstanding athlete. She didn’t think she was very strong academically. She signed up and won the 8th Grade All-American Student award. She won only one medal, but finished 4th in all the other events.

Heather is now a teacher and wanted to bring the All-American Student Classic to her school. Her school started out running 2 grade levels and now have run several years at 4 grade levels.

A Pioneer Middle School student with physical challenges

completed all 10 events. When she came around the last turn of the 880 run, all the other competitors and spectators lined up at the finish line and swarmed her with hugs and cheers. At the Awards Ceremony/Assembly she proudly accepted her Certificate and Ribbon. She is a Winner!

After the Awards Ceremony

at the Tule River Indian Reservation Education Department’s summer school program, Isaiah’s mom approached Bob Pugh to tell him that her son had never won anything before. Isaiah had just won the 8th grade All-American award. His pride cannot be denied in his face in the picture of the winners.

Gary participated in the inaugural All-American Student Classic in 1980

When Dick Schlagel ran into Gary in 2015, Dick asked Gary his thoughts about the event. Gary said he was quiet and shy back then, but he did sign up for the competition. He said he won two medals and he knew right where they were, 35 years after the event.

An 8th grade special needs student completed all 10 events

earning the Achievement Certificate and the Red White and Blue ribbon. He was voted by other students as the “All-American Most Valuable Player”.