BY ARIELLE KRAUS
As a student sits in their classroom, they do not often think about their teacher as anything else but a teacher. However, many staff members at CCHS do a variety of other things outside of school besides teaching. Just as students participate in sports and exercise, staff do as well. Here are four athletic activities some CCHS staff members participate in.
Dr. Claudia Jones holds many hats at CCHS as she is the 11th grade Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Support Facilitator, an Intensive Reading teacher and the senior class sponsor. But, on top of all these work responsibilities, she is also a biker.
Jones began biking after a medical diagnosis. She first started by running, but then began to participate in duathlons––which consist of both running and biking––and realized her true passion and strength lies in biking.
“Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer and I [wondered], ‘what could I do mentally to stay in a good remission?’ and I decided I’d take up running,” Jones said. “I’m not a great runner, so then I went biking and then I decided I was going to do duathlons. You usually run three quarters of a mile, you bike ten miles and then you run three more.”
Jones has since participated in many of these events and in 2019, she participated in 18 5Ks.
Jones is able to bike very long distances. When assisting the CCHS Waterpolo team, she biked from her house to CCHS and back––a total of 45 miles. Additionally, Jones plans to participate in the Dolphin’s Cancer Challenge consisting of a 52-mile bike ride, and later plans to travel to Spain to bike there.
“On March 18, I’m leaving for Spain and I’m biking 219.96 miles in six days, all uphill, through the wind and the rain and the cold weather, so it should definitely be a challenge,” Jones said.
Jones balances her career at CCHS with biking, as her rides are significantly shorter during the week. However, on the weekends, she bikes very long distances and participates in various events.
In math teacher Michelle Harding’s classroom, there is a noticeable display of trophies. However, these are not dedicated to math, but rather bowling. Harding has been bowling for the past 15 years.
“I bowl because it [is] a lot of fun and it is a sport anyone can participate in and be successful,” Harding said.
Harding is part of three bowling teams: two weekly teams and one monthly travel team. This sport has led her to many prizes and accomplishments.
“I have won prizes––money and trophies––for scoring well in tournaments in team, doubles and singles competitions,” Harding said. “Some of my other accomplishments include being named ‘most improved bowler’ in my league and highest match point winner.”
As a bowler, Harding is able to meet new people and enjoy something outside of the classroom.
“I enjoy the feeling of success after practicing and then bowling well in tournaments,” Harding said. “I also enjoy the social aspects of bowling like meeting people from all walks of life [that] I would never meet otherwise.”
Choral director and math teacher Anna Lotocky has been involved in the arts from a young age. Aside from being an educator in this field, she is also a dancer with Ukrainian Dancers of Miami, a studio that is very close to her heart.
“I have been dancing with Ukrainian Dancers of Miami since I was two, so that’s a really long time,” Lotocky said. “My dad and two other ladies started the group in 1949 [when] they were teenagers, and now my grandchildren dance there.”
Ukrainian Dancers of Miami was established to showcase and commemorate Ukrainian culture. Lotocky, who is of Ukrainian descent, has practically spent her entire life with this dance group.
“It’s to keep the culture alive, so people don’t forget,” Lotocky said. “It’s an ensemble and we have another show this year, [in May] at the Broward Center. We do a show there every year and it’s just Ukrainian folk dance and song.”
Balancing dancing with her teaching career is an easy task for Lotocky. She rehearses almost every Friday night during the school year and participates in events that typically fall on weekends.
“Well, my job comes first obviously but whenever I get the chance, I’ll go do it…” Lotocky said. “…mostly we perform for festivals and multicultural things, which are usually on the weekends, so it doesn’t interfere.”
English teacher Shauna Mogan’s classroom displays a few pictures of her running and that is because, aside from teaching, Mogan is often found running. She spends many weekends participating in races and events involving this sport.
“I started running because my friends ran,” Mogan said. “We went to California and they were like ‘you should run one of these’ and that was actually the first race I ever ran and I hated running. [But,] the minute that I ran that race, I got home and I signed up for another one.”
Since then, Mogan has participated in a variety of races such as the Australian Wildfire Relief Run, Busch Gardens Run for the Fund, Light Up the Night, the Rockin’ Rib run and many theme park races. In 2019, Mogan ran a total of 10 races, and her 2020 goal is 12 races.
Mogan prepares for races not by running, but by biking. This activity provides her with a different focus, which then makes her more prepared to run.
“Personally, I think that just training or running down the sidewalk is monotonous after a while, [so] I prepare by biking,” Mogan said. “I go bike riding four to five miles and that kind of gets me in the mode for wanting to run. In the evenings, I might, after work, ride all the way around [North Perry Airport].”
While running, Mogan is not just focused on the race––she is focused on her students. Mogan can be found preparing for the school week in her head while participating in a race.
“When running, you’ve got to be able to think about other things, because if you just focus on the running or the pain, it makes it tough,” Mogan said. “While I was running the race this past weekend, I was thinking about what I was going to teach this week at school. So I was kind of lesson planning in my head.”
From a student’s perspective, it may not seem like teachers do anything other than teach, but in reality, they do so much more. From biking to bowling, the CCHS staff participate in athletic activities outside of school while balancing their everyday lives as teachers.
Photos courtesy of those pictured.