TAMPA, Florida – (June 27, 2016) − The nation’s First Lady promotes it. The Center for Disease Control touts it. Physical fitness for the nation’s youths is also a hot button for Lynn Gray, candidate for Hillsborough County School Board At Large District 7.
A supporter of healthier children, improved literacy and better child advocacy, Lynn Gray is walking (and running) the talk by crossing the county on foot July 23, along with volunteer relayers who advocate for her stand on children’s issues.
Gray is the only candidate for the District 7 School Board with direct hands-on experience as a business owner and educator. She was a teacher, peer facilitator, and department head in the Hillsborough County Schools over a span of 25 years.
She will be walking and running the entire 36-mile course joining relayers positioned at wait stations approximately 3 miles apart.
WHAT: Relay for Education
WHEN: 5 am to 5 pm, Saturday, July 23, 2016
WHERE: Ruskin to New Tampa
START 5 am − Ruskin Elementary, 101 E. College Ave. Ruskin
FINISH 5:30 pm − Bartels Elementary, 9020 Imperial Oak Blvd, Tampa
HOW: 36-mile course is divided into 13 segments, about 3 miles each.
PARTICIPANTS: Lynn Gray and supporters, including teachers, students, parents,
and anyone interested in advocating for Hillsborough County school programs promoting healthy kids, literacy and child advocacy.
A seasoned marathoner, this is a natural fit for Gray who owns and operates Take…The First Step, a community-based non-profit with a mission to encourage children and adults to become physically active. As a longtime educator, she was twice voted Teacher of the Year at Middleton Junior High and was a finalist for statewide Teacher of The Year.
Gray founded the Running Club curriculum program for Hillsborough County Schools and plans to introduce a companion nutrition program for the 2016-17 school year.
“This extraordinary event is just one illustration of Lynn Gray’s perseverance and determination to address the needs of the students of Hillsborough County,” said Don Evans, retired Hillsborough County judge and advisor for Gray’s campaign. “Lynn’s business savvy and accolades as an educator have inspired thousands throughout this county to bring out the best in themselves.”
Evans said Gray will bring the same commitment to the at-large seat she is seeking on the Hillsborough County School Board.
“I believe our schools should challenge children intellectually and physically, while supporting them emotionally," said Gray, who is also committed to a school system that is fiscally accountable.
Among her endorsers are community leader Richard Gonzmart, former school board member Carolyn Bricklemyer, M2Gen CEO and former Moffitt Cancer Center CEO Dr. William Dalton, Miles for Moffitt Founder Karen Dalton, founder of Miles for Moffitt, Former Florida Speaker of the House Terrell Sessums and Retired Hillsborough County Judge Don Evans.
For route, relay locations and wait station times, visit Relay for Education. For information on Lynn Gray’s candidacy, visit lynngrayforschoolboard.com
Join me on Saturday, July 23rd, as I run from Ruskin Elementary in Ruskin to Bartels Elementary in New Tampa. This county - wide walk/run event will cover a total of 36 miles.
I will be helped by parents, students, and friends who will form relay teams of three and with each team covering approximately a three mile distance. Each relay team will pass a “baton” which is a graduate certificate, to the next team. There will be a total of 13 stop and starts which add up to the 36 mile distance. The pace will be average a twenty minute mile, a slow pace to make the July heat will be more manageable. We encourage multiple teams at each of these 13 stops. Participants can include friends and families of all ages. Each member of the team will be wearing bright yellow shirts with the Win with Lynn! logo on them. Teams will be supported by ice water and refreshments along the way.
I am encouraging both walkers and runners to take part in this astounding journey as I actually “run” for my county-wide School Board position. I am reminded of the importance of health and fitness as an integral part of my plan to get our school kids in shape so they are forever fit. This extended relay will bring focus to the importance of movement and fitness for our entire student population to see and hopefully take part in.
Learn more about my candidacy for Hillsborough County School Board, District 7 At-Large at
As a county wide school board candidate for the 8th largest district in the United States, strong leadership is critical along with years of educational experience. What are some key characteristics of leadership and what do any of them have to do with running an 13.1 mile uphill race in the Grand Tetons?
A leader must display endurance when circumstances get tough. Racing uphill in the Grand Tetons Half Marathon, takes months of practice and years of experience to have both the muscular and aerobic fortitude; especially in light of one training below sea level all their life, to running the next day uphill 6.000 feet in altitude.
A leader must embrace challenge. Leadership is all about solving problems others fear. Running with little if any altitude acclimation puts in place the famed scenario of “man against nature”. I simply love the challenge of mentally overcoming obstacles and turning them into strategies to succeed. Effective leaders do make it to their “finish lines” despite overwhelming challenges presented to them.
A leader mentally envisions their outcome. Before taking on this challenge of running a race event at high altitude I already practiced mental imagery and visualization of my finish/goal line. Mental strategy is used by goal seeking individuals especially in sports; when both mind and body must learn how it looks and feels when their future goal is on the horizon.
Lynn Gray, BA, M.S. – has run 99 marathons, 12 Boston Marathons, won her age division for almost 40 years, US. Track and Field recipient, plus has authored books and countless articles about the secrets of winning and “staying in the game.”
* Over 85% of public school children are on free-reduced lunch
* Children consume on average, one-third of their daily caloric intake at school
* Research show that one in five children are overweight or obese by the time they reach their 6th birthday
* "Inadequate activity" is now one of the top 5 risk factors of why children drop out of school early.
Begin with the following:
* Each school should incorporate and implement the Running Club** program in their school
* Continue with "My Plate" food group lunches in every grade
* Initiate a Health and Fitness class before school and/or after school
* Remove "competitive" foods availability found in vending machines, plus unhealthy foods offering before class and during lunch
* Develop school "wellness policy standards" so each school becomes a "healthy school"
* Implement a "From the Ground Up" garden, per school with each grade taking part
(** program I have already developed and implemented)
As a School Board member, experience and qualifications will count. Consider a few facts true of our Hillsborough County Public School System:
Look for me, Lynn Gray, for Hillsborough County School Board, District 7 At-Large, on your local primary ballot on August 30.
Lynn Gray B.A., M.S. has been an instructor and department head for over 26 years. Her instructional and administrative highlights include Teacher of the Year twice, a finalist once, and Peer Counselor of the Year, 16 years as an instructor and department head in the Hillsborough County Public Schools, 9 years of instruction and department head at Jesuit High School, and 3 years as a part time adjunct instructor for a religious school-JMJ of Tampa Bay Homeschooling.
Lynn is a business owner of "Take...The First Step" for of over 15 years and is President of her non-profit club, Take...The First Step Club. Both her business and her club train individuals of all ages to become physically fit. Lynn's club provides the Tampa Bay Community with events which contribute to overall physical and mental wellness for such charities as: Shriners Hospitals for Children, MADD, Guardian Al Litem, Bay Area Legal Services, Miles for Moffitt, and other non-profits.