Knightdale High’s Earth Day 5K helps fund first academy banquet

mhankerson@newsobserver.comMay 2, 2014 

Runners from all over the country and students participated in Knightdale High's Academy of Environmental Sciences' first Earth Day 5K.

PHOTO COURTESY OF GEOF DUNCAN — COURTESY OF GEOF DUNCAN

— A group made up mostly of high school sophomores can take some of the credit for helping Knightdale High School’s Academy of Environmental Science have its first end-of-year banquet on May 6.

With an estimated $3,000 raised from the student-planned Earth Day 5K, the Academy will be able to hold the banquet and pay for some new technology and instructional materials for next year, said Geof Duncan, Knightdale High’s career academy coordinator.

“We thought we did really well,” he said.

The 5K was planned by students as a way to bring more money to the academy. Although the school and county can provide some extra money, it’s not a lot and Duncan said academy students and faculty were itching to try some new things.

In addition to the banquet, the academy would like to create scholarship opportunities for seniors. Duncan said the $3,000 this year wouldn’t be enough – they want to offer more money to outgoing students – so he’s hoping next year’s event will help with that project.

Nikki Duke, a junior in the academy, said students helped plan the race by doing things like securing sponsors. During the race, students like Duke and sophomore Juan Maciel were also cheerleaders for the runners who came from all over the country.

“I was just yelling and saying, ‘You can do it’ ... we had a lot of runners,” Maciel said.

Among the group of over 100 runners was one woman from Michigan who had recently recovered from lung cancer. Duke said she talked with her and found out the runner wanted to run a race in each of the 50 states.

The day before, she was in South Carolina. The Earth Day 5K was her 48th race, Duke said.

“It was really inspirational just seeing everyone out there,” she said.

The students’ first banquet, complete with attendance from some of the 5K’s sponsors, will be on May 6.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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