Fun run honors elementary school teacher

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 3:10 PM
Robin Duffy-Wirth, right, talks to the crowd at the Ignacio Elementary School's Superhero Fun Run on Saturday near the SunUte Community Center. The run was held in honor of Laura Wagner, a third-grade teacher at Ignacio Elementary School who is recovering from brain surgery.
Robin Duffy-Wirth, fitness director for the SunUte Community Center, center, cheers on Destiny Gonzales at the Ignacio Elementary School Superhero Fun Run on Saturday. George Bogatiuk is married to one of the teachers at Ignacio Elementary School and was running with Gonzales.

Capes billowing in the air, small superheros ran with parents and teachers to honor Ignacio Elementary School third-grade teacher Laura Wagner on Saturday.

Wagner fell ill in November with a lesion at the base of her brain and ultimately needed emergency surgery.

About 90 people attended the run and fundraiser organized by Ignacio Elementary School staff and SunUte Community Center staff.

All the elementary school students wore capes they made during school out of the more than 400 pieces of fabric donated by the Durango Quilt Co., said organizer Tracy Strohl.

"You know how you become a superhero? By being a good person. That's what you guys are doing," Robin Duffy-Wirth told the students. She is the fitness director for the SunUte Community Center.

Gabe Archuleta, 8, is a member of Wagner's class and ran in a cape that read "Wagner Warriors."

"She is nice," he said. "She lets us get extra recess."

Since her surgery, she has stayed in touch video-chatting with her class, he said.

Wagner could not attend the run because she was at Craig Hospital for rehabilitation in Englewood.

But she wrote a note to the community thanking them for their support.

"They call me a superhero. I am humbled by this title; however, the entire Ignacio community has become my hero. Without their support and encouragement, I may not be where I am today."

Wagner is recovering and hoping to return back to school for the 2017-18 school year.

In addition to donations raised at the run, all the classrooms at the elementary school are collecting change for Wagner.

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