by Aliyah Armstrong | staff writer
Since graduating from Johnson in 2010 and majoring in English at the University of Texas, Texas Ladies Pep Squad Director Caroline Hagan has dreamed of working at her alma mater. Thus, when she found out she got the job, it was a dream come true.
“I kept checking it [the NEISD website] daily and then when I saw Johnson on there I thought I was dreaming because it seemed so unreal that Johnson would be open for English. And then I saw Pep Squad next to it and I knew I had to have the job,” Hagan said.
Before landing the job, Hagan also had to get her dance certification to qualify as a pep squad director.
“I made contact with Mrs. Trevino to let her know I’d be applying and then she helped me to get through the dance part of my certification and then I got the job,” Hagan said.
Being able to work with her former director has also been a unique experience this year.
“I spent a good deal of time with her in the summer and I had such a blast doing it. Now I just can’t wait for her to get back so that we can enjoy more time together,” Hagan said.
In addition to working with her former director, the shift from being a student to being a teacher seems to have also changed Hagan’s perspective on the impact that teachers can have on their students.
“It’s so much fun to be back in all the old traditions that I grew up with in high school. It’s more interesting to see it from the other side- to see all the planning that goes into making all of the special occasions and special surprises for the dancers. I see all the work that she [Trevino] put into it and I truly appreciate everything she did when I was in high school,” Hagan said.
Along with directing Pep Squad, Hagan also teaches English I, which allows her to combine her two passions: dance and English.
“As much as I love dance, I want English in there too [because] that became my second love,” Hagan said.
Even though the dance program may have changed slightly since Hagan was here last, some qualities of the academic subjects seem to have remained the same.
“The standard’s still the same, the great caliber of the teachers is still the same- everything is the same in that sense,” Hagan said.
When applying for the job, Hagan followed the same standards she learned from her own high school teachers.
“I was familiar with the standards and expectations in the school and I think that that helped because I knew what was required of me to live up to in the classroom,” Hagan said.
This year, in addition to coaching the Pep Squad and teaching English, Hagan is also working with the dance and drill teams.
“Getting to see everyone’s face and see the hard work that they put in and how dedicated they are, it’s been a blast and as far as the organization and just everything, the behind the scenes part for the directors, it’s just…it’s a fun challenge honestly,” Hagan said.