Age: 40 // Middle school Cheerleading Coach at Wildwood Middle/High School
Cheers: Before becoming cheerleading coach at Wildwood Middle High School in 2014, my only previous head cheerleading experience was in 2005 at Lyman High School. Ironically, the five girls on my middle school team had little to no cheerleading experience. We essentially learned and grew together. I’ve taken cheerleading courses, attended cheerleading camps and watched many videos about cheerleading so I can become the best coach possible.The girls are now performing back bends, cartwheels, round-offs, stunts and full extensions.
Showing spirit: Many of the middle school’s past cheerleaders have shown our team lots of support. Some attend our practices and teach our children various cheers. Others who live outside Florida contribute monetarily through a GoFundMe.com account.
Bigger isn’t always better: Because there are only five girls on my cheerleading team, they get along very well. There’s no drama on the squad. I look at them as five daughters I did not have one year ago. We have lots of fun together and that is what’s important.
Inside the classroom: I have spent the past 14 years as a teacher’s aide and I’m currently at Lake Panasoffkee Elementary. I’ve always worked with kids who have behavioral problems because I like the challenge of working through their emotional issues and earning their trust. It’s like solving a puzzle.
Something few people know about me: I like to work on automobiles. I’ve changed tires, timing belts and oil.
Guilty pleasure: I don’t watch much television, but when I do I typically watch vampire shows and movies. I like them because they’re cheesy. I saw all the “Twilight” movies at the theater. When each one was released, I drove to the store at midnight to purchase the DVD.
Proudest achievement: Going back to college in my 30s. I have to complete eight more classes to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Worst grade in school: I took behavioral statistics in college and made an F. Any kind of statistics … yuck. However, I did make a B the second time I took the course.
Favorite junk food: Twix candy bars.
Favorite animal: Definitely alligators, because they get to lie out in the sun whenever they want. Also, nobody dares bother them.
Last book read: I just finished reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the 13th time. When I’m reading this book I become lost in the time period. I wish Harper Lee would’ve written more books because she is an incredible author.
Kelley is enrolled in online courses at Ashford University and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science.