Don Juan Avila Middle School
Dominique D’Orazi Assistant Coach
Hi everyone! I am new to WeROCK this year and I am beyond excited for this journey with you all.
A little bit about myself: I am originally from Reno/Lake Tahoe, Nevada where I lived most of my life. During my years in middle and highschool I ran track and cross country and I learned that running was definitely one of my passions. My other passions include painting and cooking. I went to grad school in Oregon and am proud to say “Go Ducks!” (for any college football fans out there!). I have lived in SoCal for a couple years now, and started my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist in schools. My cousin has completed 5 marathons with WeROCK, (this year will be her 6th! wow!), and she introduced me to this group. Thank you Coach K for developing such an amazing opportunity for our youth and thank you for letting me be a part of it! I have never ran a marathon before so this experience will be one for the books! I know that I, along with all the kids and members of this team, are committed to bringing blood sweat and tears to the table in order to achieve our end goal: 26.2 miles. Yipee! See you all at the finish lines!
Sienna Pixley Assistant Coach
Hello! My name is Siena and I’m so excited to be an assistant coach at DJAMS this year! I’ve been running with WeRock for the past 5 years as a middle and high schooler and this will be my first year as an assistant coach. I started my running journey in 8th grade and loved it so much that I continued for all four years of high school. I really enjoyed being able to stay active and be surrounded by such a supportive group! I’m so excited to see you all out there this year!
Kelly Brunke Assistant Coach
Hi, I am coach Kelly and I love endurance activities. I am entering my 30th year of elementary teaching. This year I will be teaching fourth grade, yippie! I am looking forward to this season of WE ROCK being live race events, and watching all the WeROCKERS grow in their running journey.
My History with WeRock:
My journey with WeRock began in 2009-2010 season when my daughter Kaylee began training for the LA Marathon at DJAMS. As I began to see her running accomplishments and all the hoopla surrounding running events, I felt the urge to begin to run! By the time my son Kyle entered 6th grade in 2010 I was determined to volunteer and put myself out there and try my hand at coaching. During his 3 years at DJAMS I was an assistant coach and made a circle of running friends that I still run with today. Fast forward to the 2020-21 season, I found myself once again as an assistant coach to the final Brunke (Karson) to try his hand at running. This will be my final season coaching, or will it? WeROCK has touched many areas of my life over the last 12 years and the impact of all the people involved has motivated me personally and professionally.
It is always fun to hear a coaches race history:
My first marathon was OC with WeRock in 2011. Out of the 3 marathons I have run, my favorite was the LA marathon. Since my journey of endurance events began in 2010, I have lost count of how many events I have done. However my favorite endurance event to train for are triathlons . Never say, never. Once you get the bug it is hard to stop! Thanks to coach K 🙂
Everyone has a favorite race they will run with WeROCK and mine is the OC Marathon. It is the ultimate triumph, for all the hours you endured to prepare yourself for the ultimate mind game! It is an amazing accomplishment!
Andrea Kooiman Co-Founder | Executive Director | DJAMS Head Coach
Hi! I’m Coach K and I LOVE to run! Believe it or not, I like to do other things as well. I used to be a mobile KJ (Karaoke DJ) and I enjoy singing. I also have a passion for rollerskating. My goal for the team this season is for each person to challenge their fears and their doubts. I would like to see every runner meet or exceed their goal of distance, time or endurance.
My history with WeROCK
My coaching began with SRLA – Students Run Los Angeles back when my son was in 6th Grade at Newhart Middle School. There I coached with the program for 3 years before co-founding WeROCK. I learned very early the positive impact that training for a marathon has on the kids that run with us. For that reason, I will continue to work with our amazing coaches and the surrounding community to assist in growing the program for as long as I can.
It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
I have run over 100 marathon/ultra races. Some of my race accomplishments include the Boston Marathon, LA Marathon, Chicago Marathon, the Grand Slam of Ultra (running the 4 oldest trail 100’s within an 11 week period of time), Badwater 135 3x, HURT 100 and the Mt. Gaoligong Ultra in China. Although my favorite place to run is on trail, the fact is, anytime I have the opportunity to lace up my shoes and run outside, I feel lucky.
Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and mine is the OC Marathon. As the official WeROCK sweeper, I spend my entire race at the back of the pack. It is exciting to receive phone calls and text messages about the progress of the runners. It also allows me a lot of time to reflect on the season and the people that have forever been changed during the year. Since OC was my 1st and my 100th marathon, it will always hold a very special place in my heart.