At Girls on the Run, our volunteer coaches are truly the heart of our organization, and we couldn’t do what we do without their support and dedication. Each season, hundreds of volunteer coaches spend countless hours preparing for twice-a-week lessons, coaching and mentoring our girls, and getting ready to complete a 5K. And the positive impact they have on the girls in our program is immeasurable!
We recognize that serving as a volunteer coach at Girls on the Run requires a huge commitment, which is why we wanted to give a WOW Energy Award to some very special Girls on the Run coaches who celebrated 15 and 10 seasons of coaching this fall. Much gratitude and appreciation to all our coaches who celebrated anniversaries this past season.
Tanya Frazee | Fifth Avenue Elementary (F.Ave)
Tanya is a coach who truly leads with an open heart. She started her journey as a parent coach when her daughter was a Girls on the Run girl at F.Ave Elementary, and even though her daughter is now a junior in high school, Tanya has continued her dedication to F.Ave and the team. Her belief in the GOTR mission led her to be hired in an administrative role at GOTR and has since taught herself the skills to grow into the roles of Development Manager and then Director and has been awarded for her stand-out performance on a national level.
Tanya brings her penchant for lifelong learning to her role as a coach as well, continuously seeing how she can develop her skills supporting participants of all identities and learning styles. She is currently the only staff member at Girls on the Run that coaches every season, and works part-time so that she can devote herself to priorities like being a GOTR coach in her spare time. Though Tanya's commitment to and impact on GOTR has been extraordinary, she would probably just want to say how impressive the girls on her team are. She truly listens to and values their needs, voices and unique spirits.
Andrea Tomlin | Wesley International Academy
Andrea Tomlin started coaching the Wesley International Academy team in 2014. When the team's Site Liaison stopped coaching there was worry that the team would not continue. Knowing that she wanted the girls to continue to have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run, Andrea stepped up to the plate as the team's leader. Throughout the last 15 seasons, she's created a Girls on the Run culture that people love so much that there are usually at least thirty girls wanting to join the team.
In 2020, Andrea truly showed her commitment to Girls on the Run when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the spring season. While most teams stopped meeting when schools shut down, Andrea was one of the first coaches to find creative ways to engage her participants virtually. While virtual learning became commonplace, back then we were really in the dark about how to do this, but Andrea figured it out. Because of her team's leadership in virtual Girls on the Run programming, Girls on the Run International asked three sisters from her team to be in the video that was used all over the country for teams to do Girls on the Run at home. Andrea continued leading her team every season, virtually or in person, through the pandemic, making sure that Wesley International girls had a place to connect with each other, even when they weren't physically together. We are truly grateful for her commitment to Girls on the Run and her team.
Stacey Miller | Roberts Elementary, Reunion Country Club, Buford Academy
Stacey Miller is a long-time volunteer who has brought the Girls on the Run program to girls wherever she is! Stacey started coaching with a council in Wisconsin for two seasons, and when she found a new home here in Georgia in 2014, she wasted no time in finding her GOTR home as well, quickly starting a brand-new team in Gwinnett county. After serving as a coach and site liaison for several seasons there, she passed the torch to another amazing coach (that team is still going strong!) and went on to bring GOTR back to another school after they had taken a break during the COVID-19 pandemic. After facing some challenges in keeping the program going there, she turned to her local community and took advantage of an opportunity to start a brand-new community site in Hall County, one of our expansion areas! This season, she has expanded the opportunity for girls from schools in her area to participate when they otherwise wouldn't have had a GOTR team to join. She deeply believes in the power of girl-focused programming and has worked with administrators and decision-makers to ensure girls have a safe space to learn and grow together.
Erin Davis | Campbell Elementary
Erin Davis started coaching for Girls on the Run out of a desire to give back to the community and to be able to empower young girls to be confident about themselves, to help them, and to be a person that they can come to talk to if needed. She has continued to keep the Campbell Elementary team going strong for years, even coaching a virtual team in fall 2020 when programs were not happening in person at her school. She knew that girls still needed a place to connect and be active. We appreciate her years of dedication!
Margaret Horton | Atlanta Speech School, Bolton Academy
Margaret started coaching with Girls on the Run at the Atlanta Speech School in the fall 2010. When her daughter, who goes to Bolton Academy, became Girls on the Run age in 2021, Margaret brought the program there. Margaret’s experience as a teacher and passion for the mission has grown the Bolton program into a thriving team. Margaret has even brought her skills to Team Addy as a mentor to other coaches.
Becky Levy | Fifth Ave. Elementary (F.AVE)
Becky started coaching with F.Ave elementary after seeing how much her niece loved doing the program. This volunteer opportunity turned to a true passion as Becky grew the program at F.Ave to have as many as four teams, serving 60 girls. She uses her master organizational skills to help us in the office with volunteer days and complex spreadsheets, and she is a member of our Empower Giving Society, a group of remarkable individuals who make significant annual financial gifts to ensure all girls are able to benefit from our youth development program. Beyond her dedication to the mission, you can tell that Becky just really likes her fellow coaches and mentoring the girls on her team. She is such a fantastic leader in her community.
Joan Wyman | Morris Brandon Elementary
It is a gift to have a coach who has been a physical education (PE) teacher for over 30 years. Joan Wyman started coaching with Girls on the Run in 2011. As a PE teacher, Joan truly embodies the Girls on the Run mission of inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. After the Morris Brandon team took a hiatus during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joan helped bring the team back together. We are so grateful for her service!