May 19 ‘All Around Weed’ run is all for Weed schools

Liz Pyles
Students from the Weed High School Advanced English I and II class line a part of the 5k and 10k course of the Run for Schools event they are planning as a fundraiser for the high school and elementary school. The caption for this photo in the April 25 print edition of Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers incorrectly identified this as the start of the race.

It’s happening on May 19, and the students of Weed High School’s Advanced English I and II class are working hard to get things ready.  Saturday, May 19, is the date chosen for the first Run for Schools: All Around Weed half marathon, 10K and 5K race.

As part of WHS’s emphasis on project based learning, Dan DeRoss’ English class has taken on the responsibility of planning this community event and fundraiser.  

“There are so many layers to something like this,” explained DeRoss. “(The students) want it to be good, high quality.” All proceeds from the run will help Weed high and elementary schools fund school activities and field trips that have suffered due to budget cuts.

Every detail has been carefully considered, right down to the awards.  Designed and hand crafted by WHS students Bettina Darger, Kaitlynne Ekman, Spencer Hall, Jillian Neel and Lauren Gubetta, the awards are being constructed in the school’s wood and metal shop.  Carefully selected Manzanita wood, cut by shop teacher Damon Zeller, Hall, and Aidan Hagarty is being used for the base.  Polished sheet metal, cut in the shape of Mt. Shasta, is mounted on the base along with award information.  The race logo was designed by Darger, and is a combination of different ideas. Aid stations, food, and music are being organized by students with the help of adults from the community.  Getting approvals and insurance for the race is another component the students are handling. 

“Things like this have a lot more work put into them than we thought,” said Ekman.  

Hall, Ekman, and Darger are so deep into the planning stage that they haven’t thought about getting excited and are feeling nervous as May 19th approaches.  They are hoping for at least 200 participants and want them to enjoy the area, their school and town.  “It’s good for a small town to get noticed,” said Spencer Hall.  “It’s showcasing the town of Weed and the school.”   

The courses selected will give participants the opportunity to see the area.  As it’s described on the registration form, “Both the 5K and 10K courses start and wind through the scenic cross country trail surrounding Weed High School.  Views of Mt. Shasta abound and spring fed creeks meander throughout the forested landscape.  10K runners will pass through historic downtown Weed on their way to the finish.  The half-marathon will begin north of Weed in the beautiful Shasta Valley.  Runners will pass the Edgewood Store built in 1888, follow the Old Stage Coach trail past Robbers Rock and the Weed Golf Course, continue back toward Weed passing under the nostalgic Weed Arch through downtown and finish at the picturesque Weed High School campus.”

Tri Counties Bank is partnering with WHS and has donated $1000 to get the project started said bank manager Sandi Duchi.  Eighth graders from Weed Elementary School are also working with the high school students to put on the event. “The kids have been working very hard,” said Duchi.

DeRoss said the community has been positive and supportive.  “There are people out there that want to work with kids.”

Run for Schools has many community partners: David Downey Jr. from Tri Counties Bank; Ronda Gubetta – Scott Valley Bank; Mark and Cindy Stensaas and Tim Pearce – The Weed Store; Suzan Towlen, Dusty Miller, and Nancy Quigley – Mountain Runners; Tami Frisbie – Mountain Runners and WES; Darin Quigley, Dennis Campbell, and Matt Hill – CAL?FIRE/Weed Fire Department; Martin Nicholas – City of Weed; Shelley Pappas – Subway, Mike Matheson –  Siskiyou Union High School District; and Steve Neel, Mike Kirwin, Mike Ristuccia, and Damon Zellar – WHS.    

The event is open to both runners and walkers.  For more information on the race, registration or to become a sponsor, visit Run for Schools website at or on Facebook at runforschools.  Or contact Dan DeRoss at WHS 530-938-4774 ext. 3014 or email  

Weed High School students are organizing every aspect of the upcoming "All Around Weed" run, which will feature a 5k, 10k, and half marathon on May 19. All proceeds will go to help WHS and Weed Elementary School during these challenging economic times.