Cheer and Dance Tryouts
Blanca Rodriguez and Sidney Whittaker
Waiting their turn to try out for cheer and dance, nervous teenagers felt the anxiety ooze. Before official try outs, students attended a mandatory meeting with their parents. Mrs. Storey and Mrs. Holland discussed expenses of being on a spirit squad, expectations, spring schedule, and deadlines for paperwork and physicals. Students also collected teacher recommendations, learned skills at clinic, and practiced through mock try outs.
“The biggest challenge for me was memorizing the dance routine,” Giselle Alvarado, 8th, said. “It took me some time to memorize it, but I got it, and I was proud of myself."
Each potential cheerleader and Raiderette had some type of inspiration to take on the challenge.
I tried out with a friend and found out I really enjoyed doing the dance routine,” Lorena Martinez said. “It’s funny to think that I was just supporting a friend.”
Others had been encouraged — and discouraged — to try out.
“My teacher, my mom, and some of the girls who were already on the cheer team inspired me to try out because they said ‘Cheerleading is fun’ and ‘You look like a cheerleader,’” Destiny Phengthouy said. “Some of my friends said I couldn’t make it so I wanted to prove them wrong.”
A panel of judges scored each potential cheerleader for run on, jumps, cheer, and dance, and these scores were added to points earned from teacher recommendations and citizenship, which is based on attendance, tardies, SDC, and suspension. Potential Raiderettes were judged on dance and kick routine, turns, leaps, splits, and overall presentation.
At the end of the try outs, Mrs. Storey and Mrs. Holland posted the list of names of those who made the squads — and then ran!
“Sometimes, girls who I know from class or in the halls try out, and I hate it for them if they don’t make it,” Mrs. Holland said. “I didn’t make it at my junior high in 8th grade so I personally know how bad it feels to not make it. And as hard as it may be for my students to believe, I do hate it when they are sad.”
Not everyone was sad.
“I was very ecstatic and happy because I worked my butt off all week,” Gavin Garrett, 8th, said.
Making the team affected students emotionally.
“Oh gosh, I cried!” Aaliyah Newman, 8th, said. “I felt like I was in a movie, all slow-mo and stuff. I am finally on a team that can uplift me.”
A committee is currently planning multiple events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Kimmons Junior High. We are looking for Kimmons alumni, parents and former teachers who may have photographs or memorabilia they would like to share for us to showcase in these celebrations.
Please check out our "Kimmons Junior High 50th Anniversary" page on Facebook to contribute, reminisce and get updates on events that are currently being planned.
This past summer, our Partner In Education Georgia Pacific, sponsored 9th grade Civics teacher Jennifer McKinney at the Bill of Rights Institute's "Founders Fellowship". Mrs. McKinney was one of 20 educators chosen from hundreds of applicants across the country. She traveled to Washington, D.C., in July to participate in the intensive workshop focused on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In addition to work in the classroom and lectures from a West Point Military Academy professor, she and other participants visited the National Archives, George Washington's home Mount Vernon and toured the monuments on the National Mall. Mrs. McKinney also had some personal time to take a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol, courtesy of Senator John Boozman's office, as well as visiting the U.S. Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the White House. She is very thankful to Georgia Pacific for providing this opportunity for her to enrich our students' learning about our nation's government.