New Year, New Faces

New art teacher Libby Blanke was hired as the head cheer coach after three coaches had left.


The four new cheer coaches prepare for day one of cheer camp, 2019.

Kenzie Ward, Photography Editor

As the new school year begins, the building sees new faces not only with the freshmen class, but as well as incoming teachers and coaches. While many students say their goodbye’s to staff leaving, they welcome the incoming staff to fill the previous positions. 

This past summer, Libby Blanke was hired as a new art teacher to the school. Not only is Blanke the new art teacher in place of Mrs. Mouttete, but she is also the new head coach of the cheerleading team.  

The cheer team had lost the three main coaches this past year due to various reasons. Now, since the cheer team has obtained all new coaches, Blanke and the assistant coaches had somewhat of a clean slate for their team. 

We’ve changed quite a few things formation wise, but rulewise I feel like we haven’t changed too much,” Blanke said. “We’ve changed jumps, were playing with different stunts, but for the most part, and especially for the first year, we’re trying to keep things as streamline and as simple as possible.” 

The process of recruiting new coaches to any team isn’t a task that can be completed over night.  Athletic director Jason Ryan and his staff put out advertisements to fill the positions.

Its definitely not a job that people are knocking down your door to do,” Ryan said. “There’s lots of ups and downs during the season with any team including lots of good times, but also some bad times.” 

While looking for new coaches to fill the positions, they must meet certain requirements. The main thing Ryan looks for is the experience one has in that particular sport or activity 

When we found coach Blanke as our new art teacher, she had that cheer experience that we were looking for,” Ryan said. “At that time, she said she was willing to take on the position [as the head cheer coach].” 

Blanke had been a been a high school cheerleader which helped her gain that experience. Today, Blanke not only coaches for the high school cheer team but is also on her second year as a coach at Elite Cheer in Omaha.  

Although experience is the focus when searching for new staff to fill the positions, the ability to teach at the school is a factor that is beneficial to not only the cheer team, but also to the school.  

Our preference, if we can, is to find a teacherIf they have a teaching degree that means they’ve gone through training to work with kids and problem solve,” Ryan said. “It worked out this year that we have one of our cheer coaches teaching in the building.” 

While many may think that by not having any previous coaches to guide the new staff, Blanke believes it was a benefit to her and the assistant coaches. 

“There weren’t any adult figures saying ‘this is how it was done before’ and it was kind of just up to us to figure out how to do things and the way things run,” Blanke said. “The girls have been really great about telling us ‘this is what we’ve done before’ and us coaches have just been taking those tips and changed them or decided it was a good idea and just kept it the way it was.” 

Although many staff members left our building for various reasons, the new coaches and teachers picked for the positions are noticed as a benefit to the school as well as students.