Monday, January 16, 2017

Inspiring Marathon by Ms. Athey - Running in Honor of Those Who Can't.

On Sunday, January 8 2017, Ms. Sandy Athey, one of our amazing Northside Elementary staff, ran her very first full marathon.. in Disney World!  After attempting this same race last year and having to drop out halfway through due to an ankle injury, the finish this year would prove to be even more special and inspiring.  

Ms. Athey realized quickly after last year's attempt that she would ultimately try again, "When I was being shuttled to the finish line after my injury last year, I met a woman sitting next to me who told me she was proud of how far she got because she knew she wouldn't finish the race anyway.  When I asked her why her reply was "Well, cancer'll do that to you."  At that point I decided I would run this race again and finish it in honor of those who can't or may never get the chance to."   

After raising hundreds of dollars for children with cancer, Ms. Athey ran the marathon as a member of Kellsie's Krew, within a charity organization called Kellsie's Hope Foundation through RunDisney  Click on this link,, to donate and/or learn more about Kellsie and Kellsie's Hope Foundation, Inc. 

This year's attempt was not without anxiety or doubt.  Race morning dawned windy and COLD!!!  The wind chills were as low as 20 and the actual temperature was barely over freezing. As she passed the the halfway point of the marathon, she came to the point where she had had to drop out last year due her ankle injury. She ran past the medical tent where she had stopped and thanked God that she was still running this time even though her left ankle and right knee were starting to complain a bit.  However, it was with 8 miles left, with her ankle starting to really scream at her, she seriously questioned if she was destined to fail yet again.  

Ms. Athey shares her final push to the finish line, "At mile 18, I told myself "If (co-worker) can come to work each day with a pretty head wrap on her head and a smile on her face, then I can run one more mile".  At mile 19, "If (4 yr old child) can continue smiling and fighting until the day he passed away, then I can run one more mile".  At mile 20 "If (new friend) can run this marathon after getting a cancer treatment 6 days ago, then I can run one more mile!".  This continued for each remaining mile and gave me the strength I needed to keep going despite the pain and exhaustion I was feeling."

For a better account of Ms. Athey's memorable trip and accomplishment as well as to enjoy the great photos of her experience of a lifetime, you may read her blog, Running in the Autumn Rain,

Ms. Athey is an inspiration to all her know her. We are grateful for her altruism and dedication. She leaves us with one final reflection, "Will I ever run another full marathon?  I'm not sure yet, but I do know that this event was life altering for me and that I will cherish the entire experience forever.  And I will never stop running, racing, fundraising, and fighting for those who need it!" Thank you, Ms. Athey!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Northside Kindergarten Teacher Nominated as a Lifechanger of the Year!

Congratulations to Ms. Kimberly Fearrington, one of our amazing Kindergarten teachers. She is a 2016-2017 Life Changer of the Year Nominee. Ms. Fearrington has served our school community since Northside opened. She has demonstrated dedication, commitment and passion to our district for over twenty years. To all her know her, her love for her students, peers, and community is evident and admired. She serves as a model and mentor to many.

From the LifeChanger profile, "Ms. Fearrington is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She graduated from North Carolina Central University. A few years ago, Ms. Fearrington was voted Teacher of the Year by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System. As a kindergarten teacher at Northside Elementary, she has the opportunity to mold the education that every student deserves.

Ms. Fearrington has devoted her life to helping educate all students, not only in her classroom, but in the community. You can often find her working at community events, tutoring students in the community or donating her time and personal funds to help a child in need.

Ms. Fearrington has always been known for helping students in any way she can. She is a beautiful, kind and honest person. She is a LifeChanger because of her continued dedication to educating students. Northside Elementary and the Chapel Hill Carrboro School System is very lucky to have such a committed educator who continually gives 100% to the students, staff and community."

For more information regarding this nomination, please go to For our families who have had the pleasure of working directly with Ms. Fearrington, please join us in celebrating her by sharing your comments while at the site.