Michael assumes new cheerleading post

Emily Clarke, Print Chief

Spanish teacher Jane Michael has obtained a second classroom, namely, the lower gym.

After the recent problems with the cheerleading team, Principal Madelyn Ball wanted a faculty member to help watch over the team. Ball believes a faculty member could help to manage the team and prevent bullying from occurring within the team.

Michael joined the cheerleading leadership after coaches Merribeth Morisi and Gina Day left the team on Sept. 28. Although Michael was managing the team, a new coach was needed. JV coach Kari Patchak, class of ’07, stepped up to the position.

According to Ball, she had very high hopes for the success of Morisi in the beginning of the season based on her experience coaching nationally-placed teams.

“I think there is a perception out there that the coaches were just fired and horrible things were happening. It was a great deal of a mutual agreement that it was best for them to step back . . . I greatly thank coach Merribeth and coach Gina for all of their efforts for trying to make this team work this year,” Ball said.

According to Ball, Michael was selected because “we needed to get somebody strong in there, and I can think of no one stronger than Mrs. Michael. She is just the perfect person because she is certainly well liked by the students and yet she doesn’t take any stuff off of anybody. She’s well respected.”

“[The team] needed a reorganization. [The Administration] wanted a known commodity to be an observer. [Ball] offered [the position] to everybody, and we all looked at her like she was out of her mind,” Michael said.

According to Michael, Athletic Director Larry Dukes and Liaison Tess Gauthier, Vice Principal Gary Scholl, and Ball thought she would be good for the job.

“I felt accosted, you know. Surrounded,” Michael said.

“We thought that it was a good fit. She’s there to kind of manage the girls,” Ball said.

“I do not do jumps and tumbles. I sit and watch them. I don’t go to games. I don’t make bows for them. “[During practice], I grade a lot of papers, that’s why everyone gets their tests back the next day. It makes me sit still for a few hours. I’ve already written my letters of recommendation,” Michael said.

While Michael presides over the team, Patchak coordinates the cheering.

Ball believes that Patchak has “blossomed from being just the JV coach to coaching everything.”

“The most important thing was to put into place something to enable the girls to finish their season and also to go to competitions,” Ball said.

“At first, I was very apprehensive because she [Michael] didn’t know anything about cheer so it was a weird choice. However, when she came I was very excited because she’s my favorite teacher. She enjoys spending time with us, too. She’s been a great addition to the team,” junior Andrea Roche said.

“I do keep an eye on behaviors to make sure no one’s being nasty to each other. I haven’t, as of yet, seen any bad behavior . . . So far it’s been a positive experience for me, it hasn’t been bad or anything,” Michael said.

Emily Clarke is the Print Chief of the Patriot and jcpatriot.com