Ms. Gardner taught English/Plays at MHS from 2005 to 2015. She was among the first to reach out to us at the MHSAA in creating a fundraiser for Naire’ McCormick, our school safety agent who tragically passed away in September. While we are working hard with the MHS community to create a lasting tribute on behalf of Ms. McCormick, Ms. Gardner is asking if we can sponsor her 50k run, where all proceeds will go to Ms. McCormick’s memorial. Read Ms. Gardner’s heartfelt story below and contribute what you can! A little goes a long way.
From Ms. Gardner:
On November 16th, I will be running my first ultramarathon (The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K). I ran my first marathon two months after graduating from high school and have been a distance runner ever since! That was 22 years and 15 marathons ago, but I hadn’t really considered an ultra race until this year.
I taught at MHS for a decade, and during that time some of us on staff had a running club together for a few years. A highlight was running in the Brooklyn Half-Marathon together.
Naire’ was a huge part of my time at MHS. She was funny, encouraging, motherly, and loads of fun to be around. When I was expecting my first child, she gave me advice and encouragement. And she was always so genuinely happy to see my daughter anytime she was at MHS. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I was expecting my second child. And even though Naire’s home was without power and heat for much longer than my own, she kept asking how SHE could help ME. Was my family ok? Was I feeling well enough to teach? I was always amazed to never see her falter in her support of students and staff.
The last time I saw Naire’ McCormick was this summer when I was back at MHS for the class of ’09 reunion. We had kept in touch since I moved away 4 years ago, and seeing her was top of the list for me and my daughter (now 8).
We hugged, talked about our kids, talked about past MHS kids that we both kept in touch with, and talked about running. I told Naire’ that I had signed up for an ultra, but was regretting it. And I told her how inspiring her own fitness and health journey of the past year was to me. I liked seeing glimpses of MHS in the videos she posted from the workout room, or the pictures of her morning protein smoothie that she shared. We agreed to keep cheering each other on in Instagram posts. And she laughingly said, “Don’t come back to MHS to see me without that race medal! I wanna see what an ultramarathon medal looks like on you!”
I’m humbled to run this ultramarathon in Naire’s memory. And I’m honored to fundraise on behalf of Millennium High School Alumni Association’s efforts to create a lasting memorial to Naire’ McCormick.
A note from the MHSAA:
Thank you all to have donated and helped us get past our goal of $2,000! Your response and support has been incredible. If you are still interested in donating to the MHSAA to keep Naire’ McCormick’s legacy alive at MHS, please use the link below and select Naire McCormick legacy from the dropdown menu. You can donate any amount you wish, or even set up a recurring donation that we will pass on to MHS for the scholarship. We thank you for your immense support!