Running Full J-Steam Ahead!

It's not every day that you get to run the NYC Marathon, but one SAA teacher will be pounding the pavement and representing our school.   

The New York City Marathon is one of the hardest races to get into, with over 50,000 people running it annually, but one Sinai Akiba Academy teacher will be lacing up her sneakers as part of a special teachers’ team. Kim Huelsman, Middle School teacher and Graphic Designer here at SAA, entered the Team TCS Teachers contest hosted by Tata Consultancy Services.

She was one of 50 teachers honored with a VIP experience to run the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon as part of Team TCS Teachers. The contest recognizes exceptional teachers in the US and Canada, for incorporating their passion for running into the classroom to inspire their students and promote overall mind and body wellness.

In addition Mrs. Huelsman’s entry into the race, TCS is also providing her with access to resources from its flagship programs, Ignite My Future in School and goIT, designed to enhance students’ computational skills and computer science education. Additionally, TCS and NYRRs will offer all schools access to Rising New York Road Runners, a program designed to develop movement skills in kids of all ages and abilities, through a mix of running and fitness activities.

This will be Mrs. Huelsman’s second appearance in the NYC Marathon. The first time she ran it was in 2014 when the race landed on her birthday. She added, “Best birthday gift to myself ever!” She made it into the race via the NYC Marathon lottery the first time. “I figured, if I’m able, it would be cool to run it every five years,” she noted. 

Unfortunately, five years later she did not get a spot for the 2019 race through the lottery. Not wanting to give up on her new dream and goal, Mrs. Huelsman started looking for another way to enter the race. That’s when she found the Team TCS Teachers contest and landed a spot in the 2019 race, which lands on her birthday once again. In her application for the TCS Team, she wrote, “My goal for each class as their mentor and teacher extraordinaire is to inspire them to create anything their minds can think up and to help them figure out the best way to achieve their vision. What amazes me over and over again is how much they, in turn, inspire me to be more creative and inspire me to run!”

A casual runner since college, Mrs. Huelsman joined a running club in 2009 when she moved to Southern California from New York with her family. “Moving across the country, leaving my career and friends behind wasn’t easy,” she shared, “but after a few years, I met some of my (now) closest friends through that club. They motivated me to make my runs more goal-oriented.” That motivation has helped Mrs. Huelsman to complete five marathons (this will be her sixth one), more than twenty half marathons, one ultra (50k), and numerous 5k, 10k, and 10-mile races. 

When she’s not running, Mrs. Huelsman works as the Graphic Designer for the school, teaches the sixth-grade J-STEAM Photoshop elective, and co-teaches the yearbook class. “In Photoshop, students learn all of the basics and I encourage them to explore and create whatever they can think up. I help guide them in their endeavors and with the overall design when applicable,” she shared. In the yearbook class, students take their skills a bit further to create the publication that every family will receive. “I help guide the class in all design aspects, including Photoshop options as well as photography and page layout, along with pairing it all with a concept.”

The inspiration to teach and work in education started early in Mrs. Huelsman’s life. “My mother was an art teacher when I was growing up, and she adored her career! That stuck with me through all of my career choices and goals,” she said. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned her BFA in Illustration. Mrs. Huelsman added, “While I was in college, I taught elementary kids portrait painting in an after-school program. I just loved it!” 

While her career path took her away from education and into the advertising/design world for many years, that all changed when she heard of the opportunity at Sinai Akiba Academy for a graphic designer. “It was more than just being a graphic designer, it was also a chance to be a teacher of design and Photoshop. The opportunity came at exactly the right time in my life, and it has been the perfect fit.”  

Anyone who wishes to cheer Mrs. Huelsman on and follow her journey can do so by downloading the TCS New York City Marathon app and search for her by name or by her bib number, #58610. 
Sinai Akiba Academy is a private Jewish day school in Los Angeles, serving students in Early Childhood through Grade 8. We also offer a variety of parenting classes and programs for children through our Parenting Center

Sinai Akiba Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

10400 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles CA 90024
310 475 6401

a Sinai Temple school

A Sinai Temple School