From fitness to film: Nick Westfall says farewell to education with final 5K runs (with video)

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P.E. teacher Nick Westfall is staging two more free 5K runs this spring before making his exit from education to pursue filmmaking. Courtesy photo.
P.E. teacher Nick Westfall is staging two more free 5K runs this spring before making his exit from education to pursue filmmaking. Courtesy photo.

He is an author, a filmmaker and a champion for childhood fitness.

And before Nick Westfall makes his exit from the world of education, he’ll stage two more free 5K runs aimed at fighting childhood obesity.

Westfall’s final round of Color Runs are set for Saturday, Feb. 27 in Leland and Saturday, March 5 in Holden Beach. Since 2011, he has organized 16 such races to motivate the district’s staff, students and their parents to get active. More than 1,000 people showed up to last year’s Holden Beach race, according to Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki.

Westfall, a longtime Brunswick County P.E. teacher who currently works at Lincoln Elementary, has announced he will leave his post at the end of the school year to pursue his dream of writing, directing and producing his next feature film, “Self Help.” He has taken a job with a studio in New York City to help accomplish that goal.

Armed with a degree in filmmaking from Full Sail University, one year ago Westfall co-founded Dock Street Productions, a Wilmington company focusing on socially aware films.

In November, he screened his first movie, “Finding Home,” a tale of adoption, inspired by his own mother’s adoption, starring local actor Cullen Moss of “One Tree Hill,” “The Walking Dead” and “The Notebook” notoriety.

While the camera is a relatively new angle for Westfall, writing is not. The 20-something already has two published novels—“Sink on Impact” and “Escaping Yesterday”–under his belt and finished a third in 2015.

“Brunswick County Schools wishes Mr. Westfall much success in the future and extends gratitude for his willingness to go above and beyond for the students, staff and communities he has served,” Swencki said.

As in the past, Westfall’s last two Color Runs will award $500 to the school with the most participants. Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary, which had 91 students and adults representing the school, won last year’s prize.

Click here to sign up for the Leland race. Registration for the race in Holden Beach can be made here.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.