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Spotlight on our female head coaches. Donisha Harris: Cheerleading, John W. Bate Middle

Women's History Month feature

The DISD will be sharing some Q&A interviews with female head coaches at John W. Bate Middle School and Danville High School during Women's History Month. Here, we're spotlighting Donisha Harris.

Spotlight on our female head coaches. Donisha Harris: Cheerleading, John W. Bate Middle

Donisha Harris is the head cheerleading coach at John W. Bate Middle School. The Danville Independent School District asked her some questions about her pride in her squad, her experience, and more. 

Tell me a bit about your past experience as a coach, and as an athlete.

My coaches tried to get me to cheer, but I wasn’t confident in myself. I was too afraid of what others would think. I was the cheer manager and learned everything by watching and doing it at home. Then, I was able to help my teammates. Once I got older, I knew I wanted to coach. So when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. Because I wasn’t confident in myself, when I became head coach, I wanted to encourage kids to always try new things and know that yes, it is scary, but you’ll never know if you like something until you try first. 

How have you seen your squad grow and shine in the time you've been head coach? 

From day one, I’ve watched them become way more confident in themselves, doing things they thought they couldn’t do!

What about your squad makes you most proud?

I love their determination and how they work as a team to do things and encourage each other. 

What qualities or values do you hope to instill in your cheerleaders? 

I hope to instill the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, dedication, confidence and self-love! 

In your opinion, what is the importance of representation for women in athletic leadership positions? 

I think the importance of representation for women in athletic leadership positions is to gain more respect and be role models to young women. People automatically and unconsciously think of men when you say 'sports.' As a cheer coach, you make sure your participants realize through hard work that they are athletes too! I hope that young women see me coaching and can envision themselves being a coach some day as well! 

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