Track Honors Gifted Runner
Posted On:
Friday, June 14, 2013

By Lauren King
Sand Mountain ReporterPublished May 15, 2003
Evans Elementary School now has a feature that students are excited about using: a running track. However, the story woven into the track is what makes it so special. Monday, the school dedicated the track in loving memory of a former student who, during her years at Evans, left a strong impact on the faculty and her classmates.The Jillian Carlisto Memorial Track honors the young lady who was killed in an automobile accident in August 1999. She was 16 years old and a junior at Albertville High School. Teachers, administrators and classmates from the Albertville City School System said they have many memories of Jillian, notably of her outstanding talent in running and upbeat personality.The idea for the memorial track arose when Brody Fletcher, a junior at Albertville High School, was required to complete a project for an Eagle Scout badge. Brody’s mother, Ginger Fletcher, a fifth grade computer teacher at Evans, mentioned the project to physical education teacher Kim Womac. She thought naming the track and erecting a sign in memory of Jillian would be a fitting tribute.The project spanned a total of three years, said Ginger. First, the track had to be paved and then the school had to wait until last December for the decision on the new addition’s location. In a letter, Womac stated, “I have been teaching at Evans Elementary School for over 13 years. During this time, I have had the privilege of teaching thousands of students. Each of them has brought something unique and special to my life, but some leave a more lasting impression. Jillian Carlisto was one of those students. “She never bragged about her accomplishments, never belittled those she defeated. Her attitude was always positive and encouraging, even towards her competitors from other parts of the state whom she had not previously met. “In the future, when students read the name of our track and ask, ‘Who is Jillian Carlisto?’ I will gladly answer that question in great detail,” she said.Jillian’s father, the Rev. John Carlisto, said Womac helped ignite the running passion within his daughter. He said Jillian was in third grade when she really began enjoying running and competing. “When she was in fourth grade she entered the Hershey’s Invitational Track meet and in fifth grade she won first place in the state in the 400 meter run,” said Carlisto. “I want to thank Mrs. Womac, Dr. (John) Slivka, Dr. (Rob) Sparkman and the board for their willingness to do (this) and Brody for his project. Jillian loved to run. She used to get me to time her. My family and I plan to come out here and walk,” he said.Slivka, federal programs coordinator and technology coordinator for the city system, expressed some of his memories of Jillian. He said, “Jillian was a go-getter and very positive. She was student council president and she competed in the Hershey’s Invitational. She was also instrumental in the 50-mile Club at Evans. “I think it’s great that Brody took this project on, to have this track dedicated in her memory,” Slivka said.Womac said the track is adjacent not only to Evans’ gym, but also to Memorial Field, which is dedicated to students from Albertville who died much too soon.

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