Central Florida middle school teacher quits job to compete in Paris Olympics

WESH2 | By Billie Brightman | June 24, 2024

Donavon Banks resigned from Windy Hill Middle School last month with dreams of competing in the Olympics.

On Sunday, Banks placed in the top three at the Olympic trials and will be heading to Paris to compete in javelin.

Lake County Schools said Banks moved to Clermont to train at the National Training Center and was hired at Windy Hill as a robotics teacher in July of last year.

“All of the children loved him and all of us, staff included, were inspired by his work ethic,” said Principal Kelly Cousineau. “He trained every day after school. He would tell all of us, ‘I am going to the Olympics.’ It was never ‘I hope to go’ or ‘I might go.’ ”

The school district posted pictures on Facebook of students and staff watching Banks throw on a makeshift qualifier on the school’s track back in April.

The district said the event would “allow students to see a future Olympian in action and to get Banks accustomed to throwing in front of a large and sometimes unpredictable crowd.”

Windy Hill students and staff watched the competition Sunday night, and Cousineau said the school plans to host a watch party when he competes in Paris next month.

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