Leader Spotlight: Mr. Flores

Ciderio Flores tried Students Run LA in middle school, but did not make it to the Marathon. Now, he is beginning his sixth year with SRLA as a leader. Thank you for all you do!

Q: Where are you a SRLA leader? How many years have you been with SRLA and what brought you to us?
A: I've been an SRLA leader at Magnolia Science High for the past five years. My co-leaders convinced me to join SRLA. Besides going to the gym, I had not done much running before joining. The running bug hit me and here I am going into my 6th year with SRLA.

Q: What is your day job?
A: I'm a high school Spanish teacher. I teach Spanish 3, AP Spanish Language and and AP Spanish Literature. I love it. I get to teach language and culture. In my AP classes I'm able to incorporate current events into my lessons which helps me keep my lessons fresh and new.

Q:What is your favorite training tip, quote, or words of advice that you share with your students?
A: I tell my students that there's no such thing as a slow runner. We're scenic runners, taking in the sights and sounds of the course. I also like to tell my students that it does not matter if they finish first or if they finish last, what matters is that they finish and that they are able to get up and go the following day.

Q: What has been your favorite SRLA event of all time?
A: Hands down it has to be the Pasadena Half Marathon. It's a real test for students, especially since it's after the Holiday break. The course is a fun out and back run where I'm able to see all my students throughout the course and cheer on those that might be struggling. Also, we get to finish inside the Rose Bowl on the 50 yard line. That's pretty cool.

Q: What is the best thing about SRLA in your opinion?
A: Giving students the opportunity to partake in something so meaningful. Students get to see and partake in events that would probably not be available to them if not for SRLA. This year we ran the Nike 10K and students were given Beats headphones as a finisher reward. One student told me that he never thought that he would be able to have his own pair of Beats because they are so expensive and because of SRLA he was able to have a new pair of headphones. Every year our seniors are sad because SRLA is done for them. They always ask me when they can come back and be part of SRLA as a friend. Our school has alumni events and SRLA is one of the things that they miss the most from their high school days.

Q: What’s something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
A: When I was in middle school I participated in SRLA but dropped it after one race.

Q: Do you have a favorite teaching/mentoring moment you’d like to share?
A: At one of the marathons I had a student call me and she was in tears. She told me that she was about to hit the mile 22 checkpoint and that she was afraid that she was going to be pulled off the course. She stated that she was behind the 15 minute pace and feared being pulled of the course and not finish her first marathon. I told her to keep going, she passed the checkpoint and was able to finish her first marathon. This was the same student who was the last one from our group to finish the SRLA 5K. When she finished the 5K she was in pain and in tears, myself and another leader from our group went up to congratulate her on finishing. She kept on saying that she could not do SRLA, that if a 5K event almost killed her, how could she run a marathon? We coached her throughout the season, she showed up to practice and followed our advice. After the marathon I was able to find her and the look of joy on her face said it all. She had accomplished something that she thought would be impossible.

Q: What three words might your students use to describe you?
A: Dedicated, compassionate, funny

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
A: I'd like to give a special thank you to all the unsung heroes. Our spouses and significant others. They've dealt with all the craziness that is SRLA, they help us out at uniform pickup, are out there on the course giving out snacks, cheering us on and much more. Thank your for putting up with the craziness and cheering us on as we take part in SRLA.

Make a donation in honor of Mr. Flores today!

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