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Teacher uses 4-hour run around campus as motivation for students taking STAAR test

Elizabeth Reyes: "We all motivate in our own different ways"

SAN ANTONIO – It's a big week for students across the state as they take on the STAAR test.

At Gus Garcia Middle School, in the Edgewood Independent School District, one teacher is working out the nerves for her students by hitting the track.

Elizabeth Reyes said she is running to give her students the confidence they need to be successful on the standardized test.

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"I'm just circling the campus to let them know that I believe in them," Reyes said. "To just rid of them of their fears, any self-doubt that they have. I am just going to run and get rid of it."

Reyes ran for four hours straight around the Gus Garcia campus and the school’s track Monday to show the students that she's "got their back."

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"It's really great knowing that she is here for us," Lazaro Lopez, an eighth-grade student at Gus Garcia, said. "Her running is inspirational for us to do good not just in school, but in life."

The students even wrote out messages for Reyes to carry as she ran to support them. Some of those messages were well-wishes, some students asked for good thoughts as they take the STAAR and some asked for good thoughts with issues at home.

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"She willingly takes on the additional emotional baggage of our students because they need to focus on STAAR," Principal Daniel Pina said. "My kids need to know they can get it done. These kids have dreams. These kids want to go to college."

"We all motivate in our own different ways," Reyes said. "I just happened to have found it through running. The kids just absolutely believe in it. Hopefully, they'll do that tomorrow, they'll set themselves aside and take care of business."

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