MINOT, N.D. - Minot's Val Curtis is on her way to Atlanta for the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials on Feb. 29.
She's a substitute teacher for Minot Public Schools, and students and faculty surprised her Wednesday with a pep rally at John Hoeven Elementary School.
Curtis made her way through a packed hallway of cheering fans all the way to a finish line and overhead sign with the Olympic logo made out of painted handprints.
The Fargo Marathon champion said she couldn't believe it.
“I was absolutely shocked. I never in 100 years would have guessed that that was outside my door I felt like my heart was exploding with so much joy with all the support and love that I got today just in general from the staff and the kids and it just it makes me so happy,” said Curtis.
Curtis and her family will head to Atlanta on Feb. 27. She added that her journey inspires her students to set goals and work for them day by day.