MPS, Milwaukee Recreation celebrate 15 years of Run Back to School

September 1, 2022

When Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley kicked off the festivities at Wick Playfield on Saturday, August 27, 2022, there was a sense of renewal and anticipation for the 15th annual Run Back to School race. Hundreds of runners, volunteers, community leaders, staffers, and students safely gathered for the 5K run/1.5-mile walk through Washington Park to celebrate the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

The 2022-23 MPS academic year began on Aug. 15 for schools on the early start calendar; schools on the traditional calendar begin on Sept. 6. The positive energy was palpable throughout the entire morning, as the greater MPS community joined together in the spirit of school unity.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

MPS alumni, teachers, administrators, parents, students, and southeastern Wisconsinites all attended the run to support MPS’ growth within the city. Proceeds from the event are used to support youth recreation, wellness, and sports programs throughout the district.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

Schools that have at least 25 registrants also received a $500 mini-grant for the wellness programs at their school. This year, eight schools hit the 25-person mark, including MacDowell Montessori, Milwaukee German Immersion, Fernwood Montessori, Highland School, Hamilton High School, Milwaukee Excellence, Humboldt School, and Congress School.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

Fernwood Montessori put together the largest school-based team, and therefore received a $1,000 grant for youth recreation and wellness programs. In the past, schools have used the grant money to purchase new youth sports uniforms, gym and sports equipment, sports registration fees, the rental of the Wacky Wheels Skate Van, and more.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

Mark Beams, a high school science teacher at MacDowell, broke through the tape first in the men’s division. “The event galvanizes the community [and] brings everyone together around a healthy lifestyle,” Beams said. “I’m a big supporter of anything that gets people outdoors and active.”

Run Back to School also included music, awards for the top finishers in each age group, and carnival games for kids.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

“I coordinate sports at my school, so I love seeing kids running and getting exercise; this is a big deal for me,” Nacole Ewerdt, winner of the women’s division and a special education teacher at Maryland Montessori, said. “It’s a great run, and always really exciting. It’s a nice start to the school year.”

The 2022 Run Back to School was made possible with generous support from United Healthcare, Educators Credit Union, Voya Financial, Goodwill Industries, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Gruber Law Offices, Edvest, and Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company.

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

Thank you to all of our sponsors for this year’s event, as well as our participants and volunteers. We look forward to seeing you next year to celebrate the 16th edition of the run.