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January 11, 2023

Teaching Channel Talks 65: Community Partners That Enhance Educational Outcomes (w/Heidi Austin-Cook)

In this week’s episode of Teaching Channel Talks, Dr. Wendy Amato sits down with Heidi Austin-Cook, owner of the local independent store Sole Focus Running. Heidi and Wendy discuss the positive impact community partners can have on regional students and their families while offering tips on how small businesses can get involved in education. From how she first got the idea of opening a running store to the almost catastrophic event that nearly ended it all, Heidi shares the inspiring journey behind how her business has become a pillar of the community.

Our Guests

Heidi Austin-Cook is the owner of Sole Focus Running in Staunton, Virginia. As an active member of the community, Heidi has used Sole Focus Running to bring together local runners and cultivate a supportive and inclusive environment for athletes of all levels. In addition to her work with Sole Focus Running, Heidi is also an avid runner and cyclist, and certified Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Race Director. In addition to her dedication to health and wellness, Heidi is a lifelong learner who is currently taking up the challenge of learning to play the violin.

Our Host

Dr. Wendy Amato earned her Master’s in Education and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. She holds an MBA from James Madison University. Wendy began teaching in 1991, has served as a Middle School Administrator, and still teaches at UVA’s School of Education. She has delivered teacher professional development workshops and student leadership workshops in the US and internationally. Wendy and her family live near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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