Like most runners in Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon, Andrea Feldman will have her own cheering section. The only difference may be who will be in it.
Feldman expects her parents — Billy and Alison Feldman — and sister Lisa Schwartz and her husband David to be in attendance. Fiance Sean Marx plans to meet her at the finish line.
But the loudest cheers probably will come from 50 of her seventh- and eighth-grade science students from the Joseph Pulitzer Magnet School/I.S. 145 in Jackson Heights, who will be attending the race as part of an organized field trip.
“I love my job and my students,” said Feldman, 33, of Island Park, who is in her 10th year as a teacher. “When I told them I was going to be running my first-ever marathon, they were so excited for me and wanted to be a part of my day.”
In some ways, Feldman owes her place in Sunday’s race to her students. When she began running five years ago, she started entering the lottery for marathon participants hosted by event organizers New York Road Runners, only to not get picked. This year, race sponsors TCS offered a special entry for teachers under the theme “Empowering teachers. Inspiring students.” More than 500 teachers applied, and Feldman was among the 50 selected.
The TCS program was focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Feldman, who teaches earth, physical and life science to her seventh-graders and life science to her honors eighth grade students, fits the bill. She’s also incorporating her marathon participation into her teaching, giving students incentives for turning in homework via her “Can you keep up with Miss Feldman?” competition and providing a platform for them to establish their own fitness goals. She’s also starting a running club at the school.
“I feel great when I run,” said Feldman, a multisport athlete in high school. “I want to pass along the health benefits of running to my students. There’s no better way to do that than getting them involved with me in the marathon.”