Alison Todd, MICDS GOTR coach and middle school athletic director at MICDS.

Alison Todd
MICDS GOTR coach and middle school athletic director at MICDS.

When did you first get involved with GOTR and why?

Actually, MICDS (which, prior to the merger, used to be 2 separate schools; Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School) was one of the very first schools in the St. Louis area that was involved in the GOTR program. We were involved for quite a few years, under the leadership of a 6th grade teacher, Diana Johnson. Diana retired a few years ago and the program seemed to retire with her.

I am the middle school athletic director at MICDS, in charge of scheduling and overseeing all athletics for the 7th and 8th graders. Although, we offer many after school activities for the 3rd-6th graders, we do not have many choices that involve physical movement within the activities. We do have students that age that play on athletic teams, but those are all developed, out of school, by parent volunteers. I really wanted to see the girls in 3rd-6th grade, be a part of a program, which involves movement, discussions of “girl issues”, building of self-confidence, developing leadership skills and a safe place to be themselves. After spending some time researching what programs were “out there”, I realized the GOTR program was exactly what we needed for these girls at MICDS. I went to the heads of the middle and lower schools and they agreed that it was a great fit for our school!

What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run that both you’ve experienced and that you’ve seen for the girls you’ve coached?

I would have to say the most rewarding thing for me, has been to see every girl that has participated in the program, finish the 5k race with a smile, then meet with their teammates and families to celebrate with pride!

Why would you recommend others get involved as a volunteer for Girls on the Run OR why would you recommend a girl participate in Girls on the Run?

I would recommend others get involved with the GOTR program because it is so rewarding. At the end of every season, our wonderful coaches tell me that they feel they have grown through the program almost as much as the girls have grown. They really get to know each and every girl.

What are your hopes for the future of Girls on the Run as an organization?

I would love to see the GOTR program continue to grow, not only in size (as it has), but also to be able to delve deeper into more community service opportunities, more running activities, more leadership counseling….taking each level of the program to a higher level for the individuals that have been through the program, and have developed a sincere personal interest in a particular area of the program. Establish sub groups for further development…maybe someday.

What’s your favorite Girls on the Run cheer?

My personal favorite is: “Be a Star”.

Any favorite memories or stories you’d like to share?

We have such a great support group at MICDS, that every time I am in need of more coaches, I get responses from so many different areas of the school. Everyone loves the program. We have had K-12 grade teachers, business office personnel, athletic coaches, development office personnel, drama teachers, all walks of life!

Anything about yourself you’d like to share? Running accomplishments? Family? Place of employment? Hopes and dreams? Favorite ice cream flavor?

I have worked at MICDS since I have graduated from college (a LONG time ago), and have seen many young girls and coaches be a part of the GOTR program. EVERYONE that has had any participation in the GOTR program finds it to be special.

I have always enjoyed a variety of athletics, particularly running. I ran track in both high school and college and continue to run today.