Cheerleading may be making a comeback in the Iola-Scandinavia School District.
A request to reinstate cheerleading was presented to the I-S School Board at its Sept. 13 meeting. Representatives for the local cheer squad were Blake Spink and Rebecca Olson.
The teenagers listed several benefits of cheerleading including provides good exercise and improves coordination, helps young people build confidence, and there are college scholarships available for cheerleaders.
Spink and Olson promised that the high school squad will be self-sufficient. They have already raised $250 toward purchasing uniforms.
“How many are interested?” board member Randy Frye asked.
Originally there were about 13 members, with six current members. “But when we actually start showing people (what we do) they will realize how much fun it is,” Olson explained.
The squad already has two volunteer coaches – Jody Spink and Tricia Olson.
“These girls have dreamed of cheerleading and I want them to be able to do that,” Tricia Olson explained.
“It’s a great idea,” stated High School Principal Sara Anderson. “But you will need to follow all the procedures of other school sports.”
Anderson explained that the cheerleaders would need to be approved as a school-sponsored squad, hire coaches, adopt codes and work closely with the district’s athletic director. Because it is not a WIAA-approved sport, cheerleading would be treated like an extracurricular activity, much the same as forensics.
“The board would like to see it be a school-sponsored squad,” Frye stated. He asked that Anderson and the athletic director research the matter.
The board agreed to include the topic on the Oct. 11 meeting agenda.
The board approved the rehiring of one part-time teacher and a part-time educational assistant. The staff additions are possible due to the district receiving $184,397 from the Education Jobs Funds.
The district’s plan is to use the remainder of the funds to retain staff for the 2011-12 school year, according to district Administrator Joe Price. “We carefully developed our budget and it’s balanced for this year, so it’s not advisable to just dump money into it,” he explained. “We will make the best use of the money in our plans for next year.”
Nicole Sparks was rehired to teach 4-year-old kindergarten, and Michelle Bonikowske was rehired as a teacher’s aide. Both will work half-time.
In other business, the board approved Michelle Mork as the ninth-grade volleyball coach and accepted the resignation of Tim Welch as junior varsity baseball coach. Price explained that Welch wanted to spend more time with his family.