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Since 1976, the Loveland Classic 5K/10K race has been an annual tradition in Loveland. This year, the nearly 47-year-old race is getting a facelift and a new name. The race will be held on Saturday, April 22 (which you might recognize as Earth Day) and will be known going forward as the Earth Day 5K/10K, to be held annually on the Saturday in April closest to Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event observed on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, the day now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by, in which one billion people in more than 193 countries participate. The official theme for 2023 is “Invest in Our Planet.” (Wikipedia)

The Loveland Classic was originally conceived by the City of Loveland as a companion event to the Coors Classic. The Coors International Bicycle Classic (1980–1988) was a stage race sponsored by the Coors Brewing Company. Coors was the race's second sponsor; the race began in 1976, and under its first sponsor, Celestial Seasonings, was named after the company’s premium tea, Red Zinger Bicycle Classic. Over the years, the event became America's national tour, listed as the fourth largest race in the world after the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a España. The race grew from three days of racing in its first years as the Red Zinger to two weeks in the later Coors Classic years. Race stages were held in Colorado in the early years, expanding first from Boulder and Denver back to the Keystone ski resort, later adding Estes Park, Vail, Aspen, and Grand Junction, before further expansion that included Wyoming, Nevada, California, and Hawaii. All but the last year the race concluded with a short circuit in North Boulder Park. (Wikipedia)

But back to the Loveland Classic. As one of the oldest foot races in the city, the race has had many iterations, managers and locations over the years. Its original location was Orchards Shopping Center, and has migrated over the years from 34 Marketplace to Davidson-Gebhardt Chevrolet at The Motorplex at Centerra, and finally to its current location at the Lakes at Centerra.

There is scant information about the race’s early management, though it is known that the City of Loveland originally managed the event. From 1998 to 2005 The Loveland Classic was managed by the Loveland Road Runners, a local running club. In 2005, the Road Runners turned management of the race over to the Thompson Valley Preschool and the proceeds from the race began supporting early childhood education programs at TVP.

In 2014 the race, traditionally held in mid-July, changed to late April to encourage families with students in Thompson School District to participate. The race management also changed that year to Green Events, a race company based out of Fort Collins. The beneficiary of the race proceeds also expanded that year from Thompson Valley Preschool to include Thompson School District’s Integrated Early Childhood Program. Thompson Education Foundation administered funds to both organizations and today manages the race proceeds to benefit general educational opportunities to students in TSD. Since 2005, the race has generated over $95,000 to support educational opportunities for local students.

For the last several years, the course has run around the scenic Lakes at Centerra – Houts Reservoir and Equalizer Lake – with the race start and finish line at the Rangeview Office Campus. With an ideal, safe route exclusively on paved and cinder trails, the race draws families and fitness junkies alike on a usually mild spring Saturday morning. The route includes access to High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC), an urban environmental park that is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. The center includes 76 acres of land and three miles of trails that surround the two lakes covering an additional 200 acres. The lakes were dug in 1907 to store water for irrigation and have subsequently become a valuable habitat for migratory waterfowl. HPEC is committed to preserving Colorado’s unique natural beauty within a growing urban area and cultivating a conservation ethic.

The Loveland Classic’s late-April timeframe, locational partnership with HPEC and the Center’s mission “to educate communities to become replicable ‘living laboratories’ which demonstrate restorative examples of land-stewardship, native plants, and wildlife habitat” were the motivators for the Classic’s renaming this year as the Earth Day 5K/10K. A focus on sustainability by the race’s organizing company, Green Events, further strengthens the event’s ties to a day and month (April is Earth Month) committed to environmental awareness, ecologically friendly habits, and maintaining the health of our planet.

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A beloved Superintendent's impact on TSD lives on through a Memorial Fund in his name. Learn more about this remarkable leader.


Stanley Martin Scheer was born in Flint, Michigan on March 11, 1943 to Martin and Willodene Scheer, and grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. After being the first in his family to graduate from high school (Cheyenne Central, 1961), he went on to obtain three degrees from the University of Wyoming, culminating in a Doctoral degree in education. As an educator for more than 50 years, his career included stints as a 6th grade teacher, a building principal, a position with the Wyoming Department of Education, and an assistant superintendent for curriculum in two different school districts. He then went on to serve as a highly successful superintendent of four different school districts: Ferguson-Florissant in Missouri, Littleton Public Schools in Colorado, Murrieta Valley in California, and the Thompson School District in Colorado. He oversaw, and improved, the education of hundreds of thousands of students over the course of his career.

As a child, Scheer grew up in a family with very little. He once reflected upon a high school principal who stepped in when he was a young boy, buying him a baseball glove that his family could not afford. Scott Murphy, who succeeded Dr. Scheer as Superintendent of Littleton Public Schools, said Scheer told him he came from a rough and troubled childhood, and teachers were the first ones to see his potential, giving him direction lacking in his home life. “He came from the other side of the tracks, and he didn’t have a lot of people who believed in him in his young age,” Stan’s son, Darin Scheer, said. “The first people who believed in him, who saw something in him that he didn’t see, were educators. He had educators who played an immense role in his life.”

Scheer went on to excel in sports and college. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 while he was studying at the University of Wyoming and served for two years, being asked to ultimately develop and run a sports program stateside for more than 15,000 men and women in the military. After he was discharged from the military, Scheer continued his education, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college and ultimately earning a doctoral degree.

Murphy recalled how Dr. Scheer and his wife, Marian, also a military veteran, substantially boosted how Littleton Public Schools marked Veterans Day, noting that Marian would often visit schools on Veterans Day in uniform, and would lead educational programs for students. “It’s a big deal at LPS, and it wasn’t before him,” said Mary McGlone, a former LPS board member. “Every Veterans Day, he found a way for every school to get educated about veterans and remember their sacrifice, everything from choir concerts at the elementary level to meaningful conversations at the high school level. It was about more than just parents and grandparents. He would bring in community members who served.”

“Stan was the rare combination of brains and heart,” McGlone continued. “He sought out the district’s critics and found ways to bring them into the fold. When he first got here, he spent months just meeting with people: teachers, district staff, everyone. He made parents feel like they had something to contribute.” Murphy, as the district’s then-director of operations, sat on the committee that hired Scheer. “He was a great communicator. His eyes didn’t wander as you spoke. He was focused on you and only you.”

Though Scheer was a gregarious man who loved golf and travel, Murphy said Scheer approached the job of superintendent more as a lifestyle than a career. “He’d go home for dinner, then he would head back out to school plays, sports games, whatever events were going on. He was there.”

Other moments stood out: On mornings when he was deciding whether to cancel school due to a snow storm, Scheer often would show up at the bus garage at 4:30 a.m. with a box of donuts for the drivers and mechanics. “He knew they would have a tough day ahead, and he wanted them to know their superintendent understood how important they were to the success of the district and the ability for kids to be in class learning on those days,” Darin Scheer said. Scheer would sometimes fill in as a substitute teacher, making sure he stayed grounded in what teacher’s daily lives were like. McGlone also recalled his habit of taping a $100 bill beneath a random chair at every graduation ceremony, and his practice of holding private graduation ceremonies for students whose disabilities prevented them from attending regular graduations.

In 2012, he took the job as superintendent of the Thompson School District, accepting a pay cut and insisting on a buyout clause of just $1 because he believed his skills could make a difference in the district, which those who worked closely with him say they did. Scheer join TSD during a time of both financial and political turmoil within the district. And Scheer took on the challenge, guiding the district through those difficult times, always keeping education a priority.

“He came in at a time when there was some level of turmoil and he was a steady hand,” said Cecil Gutierrez, former mayor of Loveland and close friend of Scheer. “He guided the ship with a steady hand. He did everything he could to maintain quality education for the students in this district and was very successful, in my opinion.”

Gutierrez said Scheer often spoke of the educators who inspired and mentored him, who motivated him to a career in public education. “He wanted to be a leader who could attract teachers who could have the same type of impact on kids in this community right now,” Gutierrez said.

Those who knew Scheer described him as smart, funny, hard-working, kind, generous, filled with integrity and dedicated to problem solving through collaboration. They spoke of how he had a heart for every kid and worked tirelessly throughout his career to nurture public education. “He had a real heart for Thompson,” said Darin Scheer.

During his time in Thompson, one of Stan Scheer’s major accomplishments was the construction of High Plains School in the midst of tough financial times. Other accomplishments include growing a robust school resource officer program and improving safety protocols within each school. “He was a visionary guy,” Darin Scheer asserted. “He got schools built. High Plains School, that’s his baby. He was so proud of that school. He got a lot of opposition on that … He was a visionary who tried hard to make sure that others were on board with him so he was always quick to spread the credit.”

Upon his retirement in 2018, Lori Hvizda Ward, then-president of the TSD board of education, told stories of how Scheer dipped into his own pocket to help students in need, once buying an electric keyboard for a student who was interested in piano but whose family could not afford one, and buying championship rings for students on a winning team who could not pay for their own. Gutierrez, too, witnessed many times that Scheer quietly paid for things to help students in need, knowing he didn’t want any student to miss out on an opportunity based on financial hardship.

“He was just such an important part of our community,” said Pam Howard, a school board member who worked closely with Scheer for many years and who stayed in touch with him after his retirement. “His leadership was remarkable because he led by example,” Howard said. “His actions always backed up his words, and they always led the way for others to follow. He truly lived a life of service and he left our community, and really the world, a better place.”

Upon his retirement, Scheer said he planned to spend time with his wife and family. Two years into his retirement, he died of COVID-19 at the age of 77 at Medical Center of the Rockies, just days after his beloved wife, Marian, 82, also succumbed to the virus. The couple lived in Windsor, Colorado, and left behind five children and 13 grandchildren.

Dr. Scheer’s legacy of selfless giving lives on in the Dr. Stan Scheer Memorial Student Opportunity Fund, administered by the Thompson Education Foundation.


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