Overcoming adversity, one mile at a time

A Kentucky school superintendent is using his story to inspire others.

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – Overcoming adversity isn’t easy. One school superintendent is looking to inspire others with his story, one mile at a time.

Mercer County Schools Superintendent, former basketball coach, and Pikeville High School Principal Jason Booher is one of forty survivors of the deadliest drunk driving accident in U.S. history, the Carrollton Bus Crash in 1988. Out of the 27 people killed, 24 were children, on their way home from a day at Kings Island.

“Only forty of us made it out, which left twenty-seven who passed away, and that included my best friend, Chad, who was sitting right next to me,” said Superintendent Booher.

Superintendent Booher recalls the aftermath of the traumatic accident.

“Thirteen years old is a fragile age in and of itself. And to go through something like that, to have to go through 27 funerals, one of whom was one of your best friends, was very tragic,” said Booher.

Now, he’s using his story for good, running in the New York City Marathon on November 7. He’s dedicating each mile to the 27 people killed in the crash, with the last sprint dedicated to his best friend.

“If there’s one thing I could tell him…I’m trying my best, each and every day, to take advantage of opportunities that I’m giving to spread the message of the consequences of drinking and driving,” said Superintendent Booher.

Booher says that he got into running after he retired from coaching basketball.

“I’m an extremely competitive person. Through high school basketball coaching, that allowed me to keep that competition going…but when I got coaching out of my blood after 20 years, I still needed some competition. Coaching in the state of Kentucky still gave me that platform to share the message, so once I stopped coaching, I found running and distance running. My son and I, who now runs cross country and track at Georgetown College, picked up distance running together,” said Booher.

According to Booher’s son, Harrison, his dad is an inspiration to him. He says the two will train together when he’s at home on breaks from school.

“He took such a tragedy and didn’t let that define him. And so throughout his whole life he’s found ways to overcome that tragedy. Whether that be through his job, and sports, coaching–and now running–taking whatever it is and using that to make something of himself,” said Booher.

Superintendent Booher says he hopes to run in all six international marathons to spread his message that even through adversity, you can still accomplish your goals and dreams.

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