Year Two.

Friday marked the end of my tenth year in education and the end of my second year as Principal at Equitas Academy #3. It was an exhausting year, and in many ways was much more challenging than our founding year. Our school doubled in size, we moved to a less than ideal space, and we worked with a far more difficult group of Kindergarteners. Despite all that our team finished the year more united than ever. Our academic results were even stronger than the 2015-2016 academic year. We rose to the challenge. Here are some of my principal life and runner life highlights from the 2016-2017 academic year.

August

Our growing team at Summer Professional Development.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.16.35 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.17.28 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.24.10 AM.png

September

Alaina and I with our returning scholars and new Kindergarteners on day one.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I ran the Ventura Half Marathon the Sunday after the first week of school. I won the race in 1:24, a PR at the time.

race_2599_4b32698d-e5d2-4c72-b29f-9b317e35ea46.jpg

Later that month we were challenged to recruit families to come with us to City Hall for the public hearing for our permanent facility. Cecilia, our School Operations Manager, recruited 70+ families in less than two days.FullSizeRender_2.jpg

Our future home.Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.26.48 AM.png

October

Our kindergarten class this year was, to put it nicely, needy. October was rough. This is how we deal with challenge. Impromptu love notes in the work room.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.23.43 AM.png

Because of how well the Ventura Half went, I decided to go for a sub-3 at Long Beach. I was in disbelief when I crossed the line in 2:58.

IMG_5465.JPG

Chapter books with our 1st graders.Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.17.52 AM.png

First batch of rain. Leaking from the light.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.36.41 PM.pngCommunity Meeting had to be moved indoor. It was virtual for the next few months.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.39.37 PM.pngLater that month we hosted a Fall Festival at school, planned by the amazing Gabby Vega.

FullSizeRender_3.jpg

November

This happened. Still not quite over it. A lot of fear and tears in our school community.

IMG_5713.JPG

Mama and Papa came to LA for Thanksgiving. Here we are driving around LA in convertible.
IMG_5822.JPG

Staff Thanksgiving PotluckFullSizeRender_4.jpg

December

Yup, still not over the political mess.

FullSizeRender_6.jpg

The rain continued. Ruined our Winter Festival. Commonwealth (our building) was a hot mess, both inside and out. LA is not equipped for rain. Leaky classrooms, outdoor lunch tables, puddles. I love rain, but it was really hard having multiple classrooms out of commission and having kids eat lunch in their classrooms for weeks. IMG_5974.JPG

No rain on this day! Won the Santa Monica Christmas Run 10K in 39-something. IMG_6034.JPGSpent the holidays in Michigan with all the nieces and nephews!

IMG_6087.JPG

January

We find out our building won’t be ready in the fall and apply for space at a district school. Telling the families was no fun.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.44.03 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.43.55 PM.png

This trip was much needed. Went to Dallas with Alaina and spent the weekend at Deloitte learning all things leadership. Especially loved their treadmill desk 🙂

FullSizeRender_9.jpg

Running Mom Kathy got married. Of course we went for a run morning of the reception.FullSizeRender_8.jpg

Spirit week at school. This kiddo somehow found a way to wear a wig everyday. IMG_6180.JPGIMG_6182.JPGFullSizeRender_5.jpg

Alaina, Cecilia, and I drove to Long Beach in torrential rain for a Chinese Take-out Cooking Class.FullSizeRender_12.jpg

Yup, still raining. FullSizeRender_11.jpg

February

100th Day of School = 100 Years Old Spirit Day

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.20.24 AM.pngRan the Surf City half on Super Bowl Sunday. Ran a 1:23, and finished 3rd.FullSizeRender_10.jpg

Women’s March in Downtown LA.
Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.20.00 AM.png

March

Visiting Carmen in Palm Springs.
FullSizeRender_15.jpg

Kara Goucher at the LA Marathon Expo.FullSizeRender_14.jpg

April

We accepted placement at an LAUSD District School, and faced weeks of protests both at our site and the Equitas flagship site.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.27.51 AM.pngSpring Break in Michigan and Ohio. Here we are in Magnolia, Alaina’s hometown.

FullSizeRender_16.jpg

And in Ann Arbor, MichiganScreen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.21.29 AM.png

Boston! 2:58. Was hoping for a PR, but the conditions weren’t great. Ran a smooth and controlled run. Loved every minute of the race. Maybe a little too excited at mile 25?FullSizeRender_17.jpg

Spending $180,000 on furniture for our permanent facility.FullSizeRender_18.jpg

May

NYC for Rexetta’s 1st Birthday

IMG_7713.JPGFullSizeRender_23.jpgEQ3 Team Retreat in Palm Springs.

FullSizeRender_21.jpg

Dinner with my Columbia besties!

FullSizeRender_22.jpg

Joined Excelencia’s Board. Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 4.13.21 PM.png

June

Brent runs a 3:40 at the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon!

IMG_7853.JPG

Mustache Day.

IMG_7988.JPG

Placed 3rd and ran sub-6 pace at the LA Galaxy 5K. LAGalaxy.JPG

Last day of school sign language performances.

IMG_8104.JPGErica with a Kindergartener who scored a 200 on the MAP test. Those of you in education KNOW this is a big deal. We ended the year with 91% of our 1st graders and 98% of Kindergarteners reading above grade-level. We surpassed our MAP goals with 93% of scholars meeting or exceeding their math goal, and 84% meeting or exceeding in reading.
FullSizeRender_24.jpg

I wish I could say I have the summer off. The principal life goes year round. (Although  I’m pretty excited about getting to work at 8 instead of 6:30) Summer is a time to reflect and plan. It’s a time to set new goals, to prove we can strengthen as we grow. Happy Summer 🙂

Mix It Up May

It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since the Boston Marathon. It feels like so much longer! Yesterday I ran a 6:45 pace for a few minutes. There’s no way I could have held that pace for 26.2. Traditionally May is a month to mix it up. School has been my biggest focus. February, March, and April were big training months, meaning I was rushing home after work to run, strength train, stretch, eat, and sleep. This month I’ve spent more time on finishing the school year strong. I took my team to Palm Springs for a work retreat, went to New York for a school workshop at Achievement First, and have been hiring next year’s additions to our team.

IMG_7412.JPG

The EQ3 Dream Team!

In my running world, I’ve averaged 30ish miles a week and have tried a bunch of new cross training classes. Easier said than done. I love working towards a goal and spending Saturday morning exploring the city. It’s no fun feeling like I’m getting slower, but I know this is good for me. I have the rest of my life to train. Slow and steady wins the race, right?!

Here’s how I’ve been mixing it up…

We had our first ever Talent Show at EQ3. Our scholars took the event so seriously. It was adorable! IMG_7679.JPG

We finalized our furniture order for our permanent facility. Feels weird spending $180,000. Thank you Walton Family Foundation!

FullSizeRender-4.jpg

Brent took me rock climbing…

FullSizeRender-1.jpgFullSizeRender.jpg

Workin on my upper body and core strength at Coreology. It’s humbling. Very humbling.

logo.pngls.jpgWe celebrated Rexetta turning 1 year old!IMG_7713.JPG

I joined Excelencia Charter Academy’s Board and survived the LAUSD Capacity interview.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.08.46 AM.pngAlaina and I went back to Yoga and Mimosas at Malibu Wines.18319334_1872959282962173_8968698514493380850_o.jpg

I went to Palm Springs with these lovely ladies.FullSizeRender-3.jpg

Alaina was very excited to work with me…IMG_7565.PNG

I won a 10K here in Playa del Rey, but learned that you can’t run easy three milers for a month, sign up the night before, and expect to run a PR. 40:20. Was annoyed that I didn’t run sub-40, but I’ll take a win. I’m the one in the front fixing my hair.

LATS17XX00083 (1).jpgMy Transitional Kindergarten group and I have been working on our sight words.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.35.23 AM.pngVisited Achievement First Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY. Lovin the school signage.

And yesterday I picked up the pace. It was fun to run fast! Strange to “only” run 7 miles on Sunday, but they were quality miles. Loved Stride Fitness Studio in Pasadena. Think Soul Cycle for runners. They give you a heart rate monitor, have fun music, motivate you through intervals. In my opinion, speed on treadmills is WAY better than on the track. I loved the vibe at Stride. Preferred it to Precision Running and Mile High Run Club in NY. It was less intimidating, more inviting, more technical with the heart rate monitor, and they send you an email with your stats after class. I will be back! Wish it was a little closer, but Pasadena isn’t too far on a Sunday morning.IMG_7804.JPGScreen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.27.02 AM.png

It’s almost JUNE! Ahh. Next weekend we’re heading to San Diego for Brent to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. We’re turning into that annoying running family. I’m so excited to be a cheerleader, and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes! That race has a special place in my heart. My first BQ 4 years ago, and Ellen’s BQ last year. RnRSD.jpg

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Peak Week ✔️

img_7015.jpgBoston Marathon Runner’s Passport arrived on Friday. I finished my longest training run. Highest mileage week is in the books. I’ll be hanging out in pigeon pose for the next three weeks. ⇓Selfie I sent Marta and Ellen.

This morning Ellen, Amelie, and I ran 22 miles through Venice, Brentwood, Palisades, and Santa Monica. 1000+ feet of climbing. Worth it for this view.

When we were powering up our last hill we ran into Marta. Thank you for entertaining us for the final 4 miles. I was definitely ready to call it a day by that point. My legs were tired going into this run after running two tough workouts this week and lots of easy mileage. Wednesday I ran my Yasso 800s. The plan was to run the 800s at about 3 minutes, but I did the workout on the treadmill and running at a 10.0 on the treadmill made me feel like I was going to fly off, so I stuck to more like a 9.8. I felt great throughout the workout, so didn’t really worry about running the repeats a little slower. I’d rather not end up missing Boston because I flew off a treadmill trying to hit 3 minute 800s. FullSizeRender-6.jpg

Friday I ran on the treadmill again. This time I ran a ten tempo. I was really happy with this run. It felt hard, but not awful. I was able to pick up the pace in the last two miles.

I think it was the beet shot I took 30 minutes before the run.

In my school life, check out our cuties learning to tell time in the after-school program.

It was also Parent Conference week. Our parents are amazing. Check out Erica’s attendance sheet. 100%!

We always have a potluck on Parent Conference day. Gabby outdid herself. We’re the Unicorn and Fairy School.

And our Star Scholars for the week. I love love love our kiddos!

In not so Unicorn and Fairy news, we’ve been dealing with protests in response to our Prop 39 placement at Magnolia Elementary for next year. We’ve had three protests outside our school. Check out the coverage here and here. Oh the joy of founding a school. I understand the frustration, but I’m not trying to do anything controversial. I just want to build my little school and need temporary space until our facility is ready in Fall of 2018. Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 7.24.18 PM.png

And in my fueling life, lately Brent and I have been loving Hello Fresh. I promise I’m not being told to tell you this, but I’m a huge fan. I love to cook.  I used to think these services were fake cooking, but it’s cooking for the person who doesn’t want to deal with the meal prep research and shopping, which takes SO much time! This week Brent made Thai Rice Noodles, and I made Steak Arugula Salad and Pineapple Chicken Tacos. Shameless plug for $40 off if you want to try. Use this code.

Have a great week 🙂