It's now a regular sight to see Mulloy, 40, and her students jogging
around McKinley's outside courtyard and athletic fields.
"I remember watching the torch runners when I was a kid and thinking
it was the next best thing to being in the Olympics," Mulloy said. "I am
so excited. I've been joking with friends that I hope I won't trip or
that the flame won't go out on me.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Mulloy will run a quarter-mile stretch of the Olympic Torch Relay at 8
a.m. Jan. 17 in Paso Robles, sporting the standard red, white and blue
The torch relay began in Atlanta Dec. 4 and will travel 13,500 miles
through 46 states before arriving in Salt Lake City Feb. 8.
Mulloy was nominated to participate in the relay by a colleague, Dedy
Fauntleroy, who wrote a 50-word essay describing Mulloy as an inspiration
to students and teachers. The essay was among thousands submitted to
Coca-Cola, the sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay.
"I'm so proud of her. She is a role model and such an inspiration when
it comes to physical fitness," said Fauntleroy, a sixth-grade teacher at
David Starr Jordan Middle School. "I don't know how she does it. She's
very patient and inspires students to play sports the right way, by the
rules and with a positive attitude."
Fauntleroy added, "She is a good sportswoman and very athletic
herself. She really talks to them about sports and gets them motivated."
Mulloy, like all elementary school teachers in the Burbank Unified
School District, are responsible for providing their students with 200
minutes of state mandated physical education every two weeks.
But Mulloy thrives in the opportunity to teach her, and her
colleague's students, the finer points of sports like volleyball, and
encourages them to seek out athletic activities outside of school.
"It's really fun. We do warmups and running and learn skills like
dribbling and batting to inspire them to join the park league," Mulloy
said. "I grew up doing this stuff, but some of these kids don't know
about all the options they have."
Mulloy said she and her students have turned the relay into a
geography lesson by tracking the torch's progress across the country. She
plans to have her segment of the relay taped and will show the tape to