We are thrilled to announce the 2023 FH5K ambassadors. These students, staff, parents, alumni and community members strongly believe in the mission of the Forest Hills Foundation for Education. They are excited to share their story with you and hope to motive and inspire you to join them at the FH5K and in raising money for all students. Be sure to follow them on their social media pages during their journey!
Hi! My name is Lizzie Flora and I am a 6th grader at Wilson Elementary. I chose to become a FH5K ambassador because I really enjoy seeing people have fun, get together and I love to run!
I like to be super active. Some of my favorite things are acting, running, and soccer. I really enjoy the FH5K and I am excited for the celebration at the after party. As a side note I also appreciate the FHFE supporting the Destination Imagination program in Forest Hills School District. My team and I just participated in the regional tournament and it was so much fun!
I plan to participate in the 5K by running (fast)
Training Plan: I am training for the FH5K by running other 5Ks with my friends, playing lots of soccer, doing QSA training at Wilson, training at D1 Training in Anderson, and I will take part in the Wilson running club.
Training Song: Fight Song-Rachel Platten
Follow me at: Instagram: RunLizzieRun2023
Ben Hartong (AHS, Sophomore)
Hello! My name is Ben Hartong. I am a sophomore at Anderson High School.
I chose to become a FH5K ambassador for the first time because I love to see members of the community get together and celebrate each other. Running has always been a passion of mine, and doing it to support mental wellness in our community is an added bonus!
I plan to participate in the race by running and helping out with the post-race festivities!
Training plan:I will be training alongside my dog, Norman, who runs much faster than me.
Training Song: You Make My Dreams-Hall & Oates
Follow me at: Instagram:@ben_hart07
Leslie Harback (AHS Alum & Summit Staff)
My name is Leslie Harback, I am a proud alum of Anderson, Nagel, and Maddux! I also am a teacher in the district, I teach 5th grade ELA at Summit Elementary. I am also the Summit Running Club Coach! I chose to become a FH5K Ambassador because I love FHSD and promoting a healthy lifestyle. It is a privilege to get to train with Summit students and share my love for running with them. It is so important to encourage our kids to set goals for themselves, and to be active, running club and the FH5k promote both! My favorite part of the 5K,m is watching my runners cross that finish line and seeing how proud they are of themselves! It is such a fabulous opportunity for our kids and the community!
Follow me on Twitter: @LeslieHarback
Shane Hartley (FHSD Staff)
Hi! My name is Shane Hartley, and I’m the Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning for the Forest Hills School District.
I chose to become a first-time FH5K Ambassador this year, because it involves the things I’m passionate about! It’s a great way for our Forest Hills Community to join together to support our students, and it’s a great way to help encourage each other. Exercise is a way that we can help ourselves and each other stay physically and mentally healthy!
I plan to run in the race through some nice and easy training and getting some group practice runs together with other staff members of the Forest Hills.
Training plan: Weekly group runs after work plus a little weekend sprint and hill work
Training Song: Welcome to the Jungle (Who Dey!)
Follow me at: @sehart00 on Twitter
Rob Fellows (FHSD Staff & Parent)
Hi! My name is Rob Fellows and I am the father of four (3 Ayer Elementary Falcons), the grandson of a proud AHS alum (Class of 1941), and the former Principal of Anderson High School. I currently serve as the Director of Human Resources for the Forest Hills School District and am PROUD to support our KIDS through the work of the Forest Hills Foundation for Education!
I chose to become a FH5K Ambassador for a second year because the 5K truly brings out the absolute best in our Anderson community! It is always so encouraging to witness thousands of people, mostly our own neighbors, friends, and family members, smiling and being together in SUPPORT of the INCREDIBLE YOUNG PEOPLE who attend each of our schools!!
DISCLOSURE: I am NOT a runner (unless I’m being chased!). With that in mind, I am EXCITED to participate in the race by being present with my family and friends and watching THEM run while I stroll leisurely on a beautiful spring morning with a cup of coffee in hand.
It’s tough, but each morning, I get up super early and am VERY disciplined about putting in the WORK of repeated 8 oz. coffee curls. Let me tell you, the proof is in the pudding – without fail, my mind is more alert, I feel more attentive, and the ol’ biceps get toned with each sip!! ;)
TRAINING SONG: “As Good As I Once Was” – Toby Keith
FOLLOW ME AT: Twitter: @FellowsEdu
Melanie Hartong (AHS Alum, FHSD Staff & Parent)
Hi! My name is Melanie Hartong, and I am a (nearly) lifelong resident of Anderson Township. I’m a 1998 graduate of Anderson High School, and the parent of an Anderson sophomore and a Nagel eighth grader. I hold two professional positions within FHSD--one as an occupational therapist, and the other as our Community Partnership Specialist. If you’re interested in learning more about our Community Partnership Program, you can click here!
I’m thrilled to be in my second year as an FH5K ambassador. Few things are more important to me than the wellness of this community, particularly the wellness of our most precious commodity--our kids!
I love to run, I love to encourage people, and I love seeing kids and families working together to strengthen our schools. The FH5k checks all of those boxes for me!
I plan to participate in the race by running in person on the day of the event with my family.
Training plan: I am planning to train by running outside whenever the cold, wind, and rain refrain from hurting my eyeballs. On the days that Ohio weather doesn’t cooperate, I’ll log some miles on my treadmill and attack that Netflix queue instead!
Follow me at:
Facebook: Melanie Hartong
Amanda Muenchen (THS Alum & Maddux Staff)
Hi! My name is Amanda and I am an alum of THS (2007), and a third grade teacher at Maddux Elementary. This is my second year serving as the “Maddux Run” coach!
I chose to become a FH5K ambassador for a second year because I know how big of an impact the event has for our students, staff, and community. My favorite part of the event is seeing students set goals, work hard, and be proud of their accomplishments!
I plan to participate in the race by being a coach, and a cheerleader as I watch Maddux students run the race!
Training plan:I am planning to train by running with my “Maddux Runs” team!
Training Song: “Shake it Off” Taylor Swift
Follow me at: Twitter:@AmandaMuenchen
Gracie Helbig (Nagel, 7th Grade)
Hi, my name is Gracie Helbig. I am currently a 7th grader at Nagel Middle School. I went to Summit Elementary (Go Bees) and will proudly attend Anderson High School. (Go Raptors)
A little about me: I love being active and spending time in the great outdoors. I love running, hiking, surfing, rock climbing, and roller skating. Running is really good for the soul and great for one’s mental health too. I have personally discovered this through running. Also, running keeps you in great physical condition. I love having fun and being with friends and family. My favorite subjects are Social Studies and ELA. I love learning about History and reading/writing. I ran cross country this past fall. It was so much fun. I am also going to run track this spring. My dream is to run for a D1 college. (Go Wolfpack) I am very involved in clubs (Super Hawks, Yearbook, FCA, Wyldlife, and the great outdoors club) and activities throughout Nagel. Recently an opportunity came up to be a peer helper (working with your peers with special needs) and I absolutely love it. It has been the highlight of my day. In college, I want to pursue becoming a special education teacher.
I plan to participate in the FH5K by running and supporting all the participants.
What I love most about the FH5K is how it brings the whole community together, benefits the school district, and promotes physical fitness and wellness. After the race, everyone can celebrate their accomplishment by hanging out at the after-party. It’s a great time to socialize, play some games and eat some great food.
I plan to train for the FH5K by running with my track team.
Training song- any motivational music.
Strava- Gracie Helbig
Maggie Frye (FHSD Parent)
Hi! My name is Maggie and I am a parent of two Nagel Middle School students. I have also mentored several FHSD high school students the past four years through a summer fitness and leadership program for young women called EmpowHer & Move (historically known as Athletes as Leaders).
I chose to become a FH5K ambassador for a second year because the event embodies two things I care deeply about - this community and personal wellness! I have much love for FHSD for the education, experiences and friendships it has brought into my children’s lives over the past eight years. The FH5K is a fun and active way to support our students!
Training plan:I like to mix up my exercise throughout the week! So I’ll be doing some running, swimming, cycling and walking to prepare!
Training Song: I love silence when I run - no music for me! Running is a calming and meditative force in my life.