Meet Our Team
Meet some of our volunteer coaches. Click this button if you are interested in volunteering.
COLIN POWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
ello runners! My name is Erin Azero and this is my first year working with the RWTS program. I have coached other running clubs and I’m excited to offer this one at CPES because it allows both boys and girls to find a love for running. Introducing a love for physical fitness at a young age, to both boys and girls, is important to me, as I am a mom of a 3-year-old boy, Skyler, and 1-year-old fraternal twin girls, Stella and Sloane. I want them to grow up, seeing me as a positive role model, and have a love for physical activities as well. Skyler enjoys exercising with me and I can’t wait for us to run in his first ‘Tot Trot’ together! I found my own love for running in 2012 when I began training for my first half marathon. Prior to that, I had enjoyed exercising, but never really considered myself a ‘runner’. After my first race, I was hooked! I have participated in two half marathons, as well as many 10ks and 5ks; my goal this year being to get in 2,018 miles by 12/31/2018! My goal with coaching is to not only get back into shape after my twins, but to also inspire others to ‘reach for the stars’ with their fitness goals; I can’t wait!
FOX MILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
I am a teacher at Fox Mill Elementary School and a mother of two boys, ages 16 and 12. This is my eighth year coaching Running with the Stars. I have always loved running and the sense of accomplishment it gives me. I started running in races in 2007 and have completed 10 half marathons and 4 full marathons. I recently qualified for the Boston Marathon, which has been a long-term goal for me. Hopefully I will be running in 2020! The Running with the Stars program has allowed me to share the love of running with many boys at my school. I'm looking forward to another great season!
Balls Bluff Elementary School
Sara Fanous began running in middle school on the cross country team. She continued running cross country throughout middle school and high school. In college and post-collegiately, that love for running became more recreational. In 2013 a friend convinced Sara to run the Marine Corp marathon, her first marathon. The marathon was challenging to say the least and left Sara injured. She was worried she wouldn't race again. Just months after that run, another friend introduced her to trail running. It was instant love. She completed her first trail 50k in March of 2014 and hasn't stopped since. She has run 25 ultra marathons, including three 50 mile races and one 100k race. These days, Sara is the happiest when she is running somewhere in the mountains on the trails. You can find her most weekends running somewhere on the Appalachian trail, on trails in the George Washington National Park or in Shenandoah National Park. Sara lives in Leesburg with her husband and her daughter, Alayna and her son, Tyler.
Xylon and Deanna Garavito
Ashburn Elementary School
Xylon and Deanna moved their family to Ashburn in 2012. They are the parents of two elementary aged girls, both of which have an interest in running. Xylon is a firefighter and Deanna is a veterinarian. The Garavito family has made physical fitness a priority. Xylon and Deanna decided to volunteer as coaches in order to nurture their own children's interest as well as help inspire other children to make fitness an important part of life.
Union Mill Elementary School
My name is Lindsey Lyons. I am married to husband Charlie and a mother to 2 boys (10 & 5). I am a lead teacher in a pre-K preschool class. I attended and graduated from Christopher Newport University. I played soccer for them all four years. In my spare time I enjoy coaching my boys’ soccer teams, and spending time with my family.
Originally from Pittsburgh. Moved to Leesburg 4 years ago. Avid soccer player from age 4 through adulthood. Current assistant soccer coach of Loudoun boys team. First year with RWTS, but looking forward to participating with my 2nd grade twin girls in a program that promotes healthy exercise habits in our youth and sets great examples on how to have fun and live a healthy lifestyle.
Arcola Elementary School
Hello! My name is Manisha Gupta and this is my first year working
with the RWTS program. I am a mom of 2 beautiful girls- 3yr and 7 yr
old and i decided to coach to be a positive role model to them and to
introduce the love for physical fitness among them from a young age.
We love going on bicycle rides, trampoline parks and hiking trails
together. I hope to motivate the kids to have fun while running
FOX MILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
I’m Brendon Gibson and along with my wife Rica we have three great kids: Kai (12), Noa (9) and Tia (3). Spring 2017 is my second season as a RWTS coach. I’ve run a few marathons, but none for a long time. I’ve been sticking to a 5K here and there. I’ve really enjoyed working with the kids and am excited to coach again this year. I hope that the kids will gain a measure of accomplishment from the program and have a great time doing it.
Balls Bluff Elementary School
Hi, my name is Emily House. Spring 2020 will be my second season volunteer coaching with RWTS. I have worked with kids in a wide variety of settings and roles. I understand how to motivate children without pressuring them, how to gently bring out the best in them, through patient, kind, disciplined and unambiguous instruction that can make an activity joyful for them. I bring these professional skills to the position of a run coach.
In addition to working with children professionally, I am also a long distance runner, something I have done for over 20 years since starting at middle school. I started out slowly – finishing last in almost all my races in my first season – and maturing into a competitive runner through high school in track and cross country running. I have experienced what it felt like to start at the back of the pack, slowly progress and succeed through sheer persistence, discipline, and most importantly, running with joy. I bring that firsthand experience to coaching our RWTS BBES runners. I continue to challenge myself, having completed several half marathons and most recently 40K and 50k races. I run locally with a running group called Moms Run This Town where I also share my experiences with other runners
My current running passion is trail running as it brings together so many things that I love - nature, challenge, mindfulness, and friends.
It has been a JOY to be a part of the life journey of our BBES runners and to have an opportunity to share my love of running with them. My favorite running mantra is "right foot, left foot, repeat."
ASHBURN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
My name is Natalie and I have been coaching for a couple of years. I started out as an assistant coach and then took over as head coach. I am a mom of four, three of which are still in elementary school, and my three oldest all participated in RWTS. When I am not coaching, I am either working on my photography or working out at boot camp. I look forward to working with your children and to another exciting season of RWTS!
Stenwood Elementary School
My name is Melissa Ni and I am thrilled to be serving as lead coach for RWTS at Stenwood Elementary School. Both of my children, Nathaniel (3rd), and Elizabeth (1st), will be participating in RWTS. They are excited to run with me and many of their classmates as we support and encourage each other toward completing a 5K! I've been running since 2013 and have completed numerous 5K, 10K, 10 mile, and half marathon races. I started my running journey after completing an online Couch to 5K program. I've had the pleasure of coaching two groups of adult women through Couch to 5K programs as a part of my role as Chapter Leader for Vienna/Oakton Mom's Run This Town. Running brings me a tremendous amount of joy, and I love passing that joy along to others as they discover the ways running can transform their lives. I can't wait to see where the RWTS journey takes the students I'll be coaching at Stenwood. I'll be there to cheer them on and guide them every step of the way!
Cedar Lane Elementary School
RWTS coach for 3 the past years.
I was on my high school track and field team.
I’ve been running everything from fun runs with my kids to marathons and ironman distance triathlons ever since high school.
My favorite part of being a RWTS coach is seeing the smiles on the kids faces when they run! I place an emphases on finding joy in running and training so it can become a lifetime sport.
Fox Mill Elementary School
I am a 5th Grade Teacher at Fox Mill Elementary School. This is my second year teaching, and my first as a Running with the Stars Coach. My family is full of avid runners, so I figured it was about time I committed to running! I started running in December after school with my 5th grade teammates, and it has motivated me to running. I am excited to complete my first 5K with some of my own students!
Oakten Elementary School
I’m a pediatrician and mom of 3 boys who has been a runner for most of my life. I enjoy running to stay active, set new goals for myself, and to spend time with new and old friends and family! I am excited to share this running club with Oakton Elementary students and help them all find their own joy in running!
Oakten Elementary School
My name is Young and I am exited to be a coach for the inaugural season of RWTS at Oakton Elementary School. I was an avid runner before becoming a mom. It took me several years as a mom of two to figure out how to incorporate fitness back into my life. I've always wanted to start running again and also share the joy of running with my kids but never could figure out how to squeeze it into our schedules. Being a RWTS coach not only gives me the opportunity to share the joy of running with my own family but with other families in the Oakton Elementary School community.