Gardner wants to promote integrity, community values
By Blanca Hernandez, Reporter
Tristen Gardner is the new coach for Senior High’s cheer team.
She is employed at Senior High as the Family Consumer Sciences teacher and recently got married. Her husband, Hayden, is a custom carpenter.
Gardner said she first became interested in cheerleading when she was attending Pierce High School.
“I did cheerleading in high school but injured my growth plate, so I didn’t try out again,” she said. “I came back to cheerleading because it felt like the place I belonged.”
She said that cheerleaders are the faces of the school and the expectation is that they are leaders in the classroom, at sporting events, and around the community.
She explained that she wants members of the team to show integrity, perseverance, and ownership every day.
Gardner said that she is really excited to be the coach and wants to get to know them better.
She said that she doesn’t plan on making any changes with the cheer team right now because the previous coach did a really good job.
Gardner attended Wayne State College and majored in Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education and said that she absolutely loved it.
“FCS is a field of study that focuses on the science and art of living and working well in our ever changing society. As a FCS professional, I get to help my students develop career skills, build strong families, make meaningful contributions to our communities, and lead better lives,” she said.
Gardner added that FCS is often called “”The People Centered Sciences.”
Gardner said she became a teacher because she wanted to see Family and Consumer Sciences content impact the lives of individuals.
“I believe this family unit is the building block of our society and small positive changes trickle down,” she said. “I love how the content I am teaching relates directly to students everyday lives and empowers them with skills and knowledge they will need to be successful in the future.”
Most goals with the cheerleading team have to do with continuing the success of the incredible cheer program, Gardner said.
“This summer and next year we will be working to develop strong bonds amongst team members, building strength and endurance in our student athletes, and promoting positive Islander spirt throughout our community and school,” she said.
She added that she would like to continue to see the cheerleaders practice leadership skills on the sidelines, in the classroom, and in the community.
“My hope is that they will take strong personal character, high expectations, and a heart of service with them and continue to be some of the best and brightest in Grand Island even after they leave high school,” she said.
She added that when individuals start making positive changes, it impacts their family. When their families make positive changes, it impacts the community as a whole.
Gardner said that her end goal is to help her students learn how to make a difference in the community.
Spring tryouts were held at the end of March and members have been chosen, have closed since March 26, but Gardner encourages students to tryout next spring.
“Any students interested in being a leader at our school and in the community showing
positive Islander spirit and being part of a competitive, hard working encouraging group of individuals should try out,” she said.
Islander Cheer Team for the 2022-2023 season are:
Varsity members: Alejandra Alvarez, 12; Daniel Lucas-Escobar, 12; Dakota Luther, 11; Galilea Guerrero, 11; Meleana Douglas, 11; Vanessa Hernandez Pastor, 11; Victoria Franco, 11; Nelly Medina, 10; Alanna Lepler, 10, Cara Camplin, 10; Jocelyn Richling, 10 and Ella Ziller, 10.
Junior Varsity: Krystal Kortes, 11; Addison Ross, 10; Kaitlin Payne, 10; Ramzi Conklin, 10; Sarah Burkhardt, 10; Sydney Lane, 10; Abby Christensen, 11; Aliah Starr, 9; Brisa Sanchez, 9; Chelsea Puk, 9; Gisselle Tabora, 9 and Jesenia Pedroza Sotelo, 9.