Stephanie Grace is the newest teacher here at West High. She teaches English for Sophomores and is the new cheer advisor. I interviewed her about her new experience here at West.
Q:What made you want to become the cheer coach?
A: I’ve been coaching cheer for most of my teaching career. I coached at Torrance High many years ago and Orange County as well so it’s something that I’ve always enjoyed.
Q:What are your first impressions of West High?
A: I’ve loved it. I think West is a fantastic school. Our (Cheer) Squad doesn’t have any seniors so they’re a little bit young. About half of them are freshman which is fantastic because we continue to build and the kids hopefully will stay in the program and as years go by it’ll get stronger and stronger.
Q: Any comparisons s to your previous cheer coaching?
A:What differs the most is I’ve had to take over in the middle of summer so ideally I would have liked to have more time with the squad before school started. But as far as I’m concerned, working with the kids has been just as enjoyable as at any other school so it’s a little bit of a work in progress as I get used to my new position and as the cheerleaders get used to me,but I think overall we’re in pretty good shape.
Q: Do you feel like your bond between the students and yourself is becoming stronger.
A: Absolutely. The culture and the bond between not only the cheerleaders themselves, but them with me I think is real important. Since you physically lift people up into the air, you have to have a close bond and trust each other, otherwise they’re not gonna trust each other to throw them twelve feet in the air. So we do a lot of bonding activities; we do a lot of things together so that the kids can trust each other, and to respect as a coach. I think it’s hard for them to have somebody new that they’ve never met and so now they’re learning that I do have their best interests in mind and we’re gonna become a very strong team.
Q:As of right now what is your outlook so far on the cheer team as a whole?
A: I think it’s great. Like I said they’re a young squad so it works for us because there’s a lot to build towards. We don’t necessarily have years and years of leadership or tradition on the squad right now but it means we have a very bright future ahead of us.