Good grades are contagious for the Riverton High School cheerleaders. While a 3.0 GPA is required to be on the varsity or junior varsity squads, more than half of the members are maintaining a 3.5 or higher.
“This is fairly usual for them [to have high GPAs],” said Lisa Jackson, cheer mom in charge of marketing. “They all maintain their grades pretty well.”
Jackson thinks the girls are doing so well because they keep each other motivated.
“They’re motivated to do well to because they have to have a 3.0 to be on the team and once they start doing well and seeing their teammates do well, it motivates them to be better,” she said.
One of those girls is Jackson’s daughter, junior Taylor, who has maintained a 3.8 GPA since middle school while participating in school activities and community service projects.
“I put school first,” Taylor Jackson said of how she keeps her grades up. “I get my homework done before I go anywhere else. It’s pretty hard, especially when I have to give up hanging out with my friends.”
Taylor Jackson, who is a member of the National Honors Society, works hard at school in the hopes of getting a college scholarship and considers all the sacrifices she makes to get good grades “good practice.”
“I want to go to Snow College; I want to cheer for them,” she said. “I want to go into nursing but a lot of people do. It’s a hard program to get into.”
Sometimes Taylor has a hard time keeping up with all of her commitments, especially her college math prep class because, “I don’t understand math in the first place and they have a lot of assignments,” she said. But she believes it’s all worth it to be a part of the cheer squad.
“It’s hard keeping up with cheer on top of everything else but I love all the girls,” she said. “Bonding with them is the best part of being on the team.”
Along with Taylor Jackson, the other members with 3.5 or higher GPAs are Krisalyn Anast, McKenzie Barnes, Whitney Day, Haili Graham, Cassidy Holldaway, Hailee Johnson, Katelyn Josie, McKayla Koch, Megan Larsen, Megan McCleary, Josey Nix, Makayla Stratford, Madyson Totorica, Taneal Wartman, Taibree Woods, Breanne Mulqueen, Destinee Shook and Kaysha Timothy.