Jefferson Elementary School

Volunteer Highlights

Jess Fidrocki, parent of Zack and Luke


Special moments volunteering: As chairperson of JRC, I had the good fortune to experience many touching moments with the enthusiastic runners in our club. There was a time when a first-grade girl dropped her chain causing all the feet to fall into grass. Another boy stopped running and scrambled over to help her search for each and every token. I recall a time when one of our runners had a foot injury and all her friends walked the course with her instead of running. I have memories of first grade girls running holding hands with big smiles on their faces looking so cute. Fond memories of a pack of boys that always runs together and motivates each other to keep going in the friendly spirit of competition. I always find it so inspiring when kids from all grades will plead to squeeze in “just one more lap” when we are close to ending the session. This is an activity that truly inspires kids to be healthy and active. Whether they run, jog or even walk a lap, they keep moving which is the goal! And, they’re rewarded with colorful foot tokens to wear on their chains, plus bonus tokens we give throughout the season.


Fun Facts about your committee or about you: Lynne Kern started Jefferson Running Club in 2008 when her three kids were there. Lynne’s husband, Charlie Kern, is a renowned runner and record-holder for the mile with national and international acclaim. He is the track and cross country coach for the York Dukes. All three of the Kern kids are amazing runners. I was thrilled and honored to take the baton from Lynne when she “graduated” from Jefferson. It has been a rewarding experience to chair this activity for 5 years! 

We couldn’t do this without the support of the parents which has increased exponentially over the last 5 years. Thanks to each and every one of them for volunteering their time to cheer on the kids and keep them safe. With the frequency of JRC sessions (twice a week during the 1 & 1/2-hour lunch period totaling 15-16 sessions in each season), this couldn’t be maintained without a team of volunteers. I’ve also been blessed to have two amazing chairpersons assisting me this year: Laura White and Kendra Thompson. With Kendra’s awesome communication and recruitment efforts and Laura’s organization of inventory, raffle prizes and end-of-year running certificates, we are able to run a successful program. (pun intended!)


When Leslie Weber became our principal, she approved our request for an alternate course so that we could have running sessions on the sidewalk when Van Voorst was not usable due to rain. She has been super supportive of this activity, and we wouldn't be as successful as we’ve been without her assistance. This allowed our runners to amp up their mileage of which I track yearly totals and individual mileage. Our totals last year were the highest ever! JRC had a record-breaking year in 2015-2016 with 258 runners reaching 4590.49 miles! This was over 2000 more miles than the total from the previous year. I would bet we can beat this number by the end of this school year. Go JRC!!


Favorite Memory at Jefferson: I don’t really have a favorite as I ponder this question. The Giving Tree program would rank up there as a truly memorable moment. I’m always so proud of the all the kids and the performances. I would say that the end of the 5th grade year is also very special. I couldn’t have been prouder of my son and all of his classmates as they filed out of Jefferson for the last time on the last day. Jefferson Elementary is truly a very special place and provides a strong foundation for each and every student to move on to a successful career in middle school. Go Jefferson Tigers!!


Years at Jefferson: 2009-2017


Committees you have chaired: Jefferson Running Club (2012-2017)