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!
MARSHALL ROAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Coach Beth Eachus has been an active parent at Marshall Road ES for fourteen years and is mom to four kids that love to run! She has a freshman at University of Michigan, two students at James Madison HS, and a 6th grader at Marshall Road ES. She worked to bring RWTS to Marshall Road ES while serving as PTA President and this is her 13th season coaching. She has been an enthusiastic recreational runner for over 20 years and runs the GW Parkway and Army Ten Miler every year. Beth is excited to bring that love of running to the RWTS program at Marshall Road. Go Roadrunners!
Marshall Road Elementary School
Frederick Douglas Elementary School
Leah Fallon is a coach for RWTS Frederick Douglass Elementary and has been running most of her life. She has two young daughters and hopes that they will love running and exercise as much as she does. As a former teacher, she is excited to work with children, teaching habits for living a healthy lifestyle — all while training for a 5K. Her philosophy for coaching RWTS is to create a positive team that supports one another in training and on race day. She strives to help all of her students do their best and work to improve.
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.
Balls Bluff Elementary School
Jorie Gelnett began her love of running in 8th grade. She participated in high school cross country for one fall (should have done it more) which resulted in her being in the best shape of anyone on her basketball team for the winter season. She continued running recreationally while attending the University of Illinois. After graduating college, she worked for an exercise equipment company based in Texas but continued to run in whatever state she was living in. A colleague encouraged her to run in her first marathon (Dallas Marathon) in December 2000. She then ran in her hometown marathon (Chicago) in November 2002. After having children, she continued to run recreationally until she competed in the Coeur d'Alene, ID 1/2 marathon in 2009. She caught the competitive bug again when her family moved to Leesburg, VA in December 2009. She began competing in the North Face Endurance Races in Sterling, VA in 2011 and has not missed a year yet. Her first 50K was at the this event and she completed the JFK 50 miler in MD in November 2017. Her next 50 mile race will be at the North Face Endurance Race in April 2019. She continues to be a student of the sport by listening to running podcasts and reading books about running! She lives in Leesburg, VA with her husband and two daughters. Here favorite quote is "there is no traffic on the extra mile."
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.
Frederick Douglas Elementary School
Coach Renata lives in Leesburg wih her husband Matt and four children Sara 10, Noah 7, Jonah 4.5 and Elise 2. Her husband has been running since high school and he has instilled the love he has for running in everyone in the family. Coach Renata enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her family. This is her first season coaching Running With The Stars. She is excited to bring this program to Frederick Douglass and pass along the joy that healthy exercise can bring to every child.
ROSE HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Joining us for our Spring 2019 Running Season is our Parent Assistant Coach, Ms. Kara Jenkins. Kara grew up playing soccer, specialized as a sprinter on her school Track & Field Team, and discovered a love of field hockey as a high school sophomore. Wait, does anyone else hear Springsteen's "Glory Days" right now? Although her athletic days are 20 years or so behind her, Kara recognizes the importance of physical fitness, especially in growing children who seem to want to only play video games all day - or maybe that's just her son? Regardless, as our society becomes more and more technologically advanced and recesses and PE times are shorter than before, it is more important than ever to get our kids out in the fresh air for some exercise, which is why Kara has worked hard to bring back Running with the Stars to our Rose Hill Community. Balancing her duties as a mom and wife, taking care of her 2 crazy, active, and high-maintenance dogs, plus responsibilities as PTA President leaves little time in her schedule for her personal fitness; however, Kara is committed to setting the example and will force herself to train too so she can run (oh let's be real here, JOG or maybe even power-walk) the 5K right along with the rest of our Rose Hill Families.
See you at practice!
Potowmack Elementary School
My name is Alaina Cole and I am from Wilmington NC. I moved here in 2016 and I have been involved with running with the stars since 2017 as a coach and I thoroughly enjoy it.
While I was in Wilmington (when I was much younger) I was in the shows Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. I also have education in pre-law and my real estate license. I was a dance teacher for many years in Wilmington and have been a ballet dancer for over 25 years now. I have 2 children here at Potowmack Elementary school, one in kindergarten and one in fourth grade.
Sadly, this will be my last year as a coach with running with the stars, as my husband who is from England, is retiring from the British Embassy, so we will be moving back to where I came from in Wilmington North Carolina ....the beach is calling!
I have very much enjoyed the program and look forward to this upcoming season.
POTOWMACK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware where I started running cross country in high school. Nearly thirty years later, I still enjoy racing. I’ve completed 1-milers and marathons and every distance in between.
I moved to Sterling in 2017 with my husband and three kids, two of whom are students at Potowmack and participants in the program. My preschooler can’t wait to start running with us when she’s old enough.
I love working with the kids and truly enjoy watching them progress throughout the season. This spring will be my second season with RWTS and I hope to continue with the program in the future.
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!
COLIN POWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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
My name is Eric Russell and I am co-coaching with Jim Gray at Cedar Lane Elementary. We are happy to be the first double-dad coaching team for RWTS. I am a professional fire fighter with Fairfax County Fire & Rescue, and physical fitness is a must for me. I have run the Marine Corps Marathon two times, and I have also run about ten 5K's. I got involved last fall because there was a need for an assistant coach, and my 5th grade boy wanted to join. The fall 2017 training season and 5K were one of the biggest highlights of my life. Seeing how proud all of our runners were when they completed the 5K was the best feeling a coach could have. As an assistant sparring coach for Phoenix Taekwondo, I have learned different ways to motivate and encourage kids in a positive way. My philosophy for our RWTS team is PERSEVERANCE and self improvement. I explain to all the kids what it means to persevere and then teach them how to do so. I hope to continue with this program in the future in hopes of my 2nd grader joining the team next year.
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.
RoseHill Elementary School
Hello! My name is Sarah Shin and I am a coach for RWTS at Rose Hill ES. I have been at Rose Hill as a teacher for four years and I am currently teaching 2nd grade. I am married, and my husband, Andrew, and I like to travel, try new restaurants and go on hikes. When I was in high school I ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track. I continued to be somewhat of a runner after my high school years and have enjoyed participating in the Army 10 miler and Disney Marathon races. Being active has always been a part of my life and it is something my family and I enjoy doing together. One of my favorite running moments was running the 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon with my dad, best friend and her dad. I am looking forward in being a coach this spring at Rose Hill! Go Rockets!
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!
Rose Hill Elementary
Sandra Meador is a coach for RWTS at Rose Hill ES. She has been a Math Instructional Coach for FCPS for four years, the last two being at Rose Hill. She is originally from Colombia, South America, where she grew up admiring the beautiful scenery of the Andes mountains. She moved to the United States in 1998 just to learn the language and fell in love with the astonishing neoclassical architecture of Washington, D.C. and its Cherry Blossoms. She is married to Roy, and together they have two lovely teenage sons, Daniel and Samuel. She found running 3 years ago and has since ran multiple 5Ks, 10Ks, and Half-Marathons. Her biggest running accomplishment was last year’s Marine Corps Marathon after she repeatedly said she’d never run one. And she had the best experience imaginable! Running has become part of who she is, and she enjoys doing it for fun, relaxation, or to relieve stress. It does it all for her! She is looking forward to sharing her love for running with students as a coach this spring at Rose Hill! Go Rockets!