by Lisa Tome
It's been a busy year for Amy Holt.
Holt, a second grade teacher at Leeds Elementary School, achieved national teaching board certification - a long and challenging process.
Earlier this year, she was nominated for, accepted to, and completed the Teacher Leadership Academy. That program is designed to prepare teachers to take on administrative and supervisory roles in education. She was one of 10 teachers in the county who completed that coursework.
But life is about balance, in addition to teaching and learning, Holt is also making time for what she loves.
Holt, who is expecting a baby daughter in early June, isn't giving up what she loves - running. "I'm not the best runner but I love to run," said Holt.
Despite being eight months pregnant she will once again oversee the Leeds Elementary's Running Club. The club is geared to getting kids in shape and hopefully, build a lifelong love of running and fitness. She has been involved with the running club for a decade and has led it for five or six years. The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays and starts April 20.
"I run with them. It's one of my favorite things to do. We have about 40 fourth and fifth graders who signed up," Holt said.
Holt works to instill lessons about pace. There are team relays and endurance exercises during running club. Other school staffers join in. Holt said she will be grateful for that this year because she won't be able to run like she has in year's past.
"I may jog some to demonstrate. I will have to walk some. But that will teach (club members) to slow down and pace yourself. I will still walk at a fast pace," she said. "This (pregnancy) has been an adjustment. Last summer I ran 11 and a half miles in under a 10 minute pace. I lose myself in running," she said.
Whenever students complete distances with the club, they are rewarded with an empty popsicle stick. Those sticks help them rack up the miles, Holt explained. "They improve with endurance and stamina. I do see an improvement. And they learn to pace themselves," she said.
In addition to being a runner, Holt also has another pastime. She competed with the University of Delaware Ballroom Dance team on the collegiate level. She was among the top during competitions. She maintains that interest and continues to dance in Delaware.
"Dancing is a partner sport. Running is individual but when you're running with others, we can motivate each other," she said. "I just want them to be active, have fun and be fit."
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