PACE trekker Paul Staso visits LEMS.

by Sharon Emerling

Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School

Students at Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School not only had the opportunity to see Paul Staso in person, but they also had a chance to participate in his 500 mile, three-week run across Germany.

Mr. Staso, who is a Promoting Active Children Everywhere Trek runner, left Grafenwöhr, Germany, three weeks ago. He ran through snow, storms, rain and wind. He leapt over guardrails and ran through fields. He did all this to motivate students and adults, and it worked. Students ran miles at school to match his, and when he was just miles away from Landstuhl, students made posters and gathered as he came around the corner to the school.

Mr. Staso’s first PACE Trek across America was to fulfill a promise. Now, he does it to motivate students to stick to their dreams. Sponsored by the LEMS PTSA, Mr. Staso was awarded the first European PTA Youth Ambassador Award.

When he finished his trek at Landstuhl, Mr. Staso was met by enthusiastic students, parents, teachers and administrators. They had run every day for the past three weeks, adding up their miles to try to match his. In total, the school ran more than 6,000 miles. Students were quick to mention that it was “really hard at first, but got easier as the days went on.”

After the welcome, Mr. Staso gave a motivational speech for the students. Mr. Staso reminded students of three main points: First, “always keep your promise. That’s called integrity, and it’s very very important,” he said. “Next, remember that this is the only body you will ever have. You have to take care of it. Watch what you eat, what you put in. Exercise and keep it in shape. Third, always keep your goals in front of you. Others may try to discourage you, but you can keep working, and you will succeed. Don’t get impatient. Things may not come immediately, but with your effort, there is no limit to what you can do.”

Students from around the world watched Mr. Staso run across Germany via his Web site. Already, Landstuhl students are waiting anxiously to see where he will run next year, so they can join him again.