“A New Era” in Laramie High School Cheerleading – Blog 2


***The 2016-2017 Laramie High School Cheer Team. Picture by Jillian Martin***

“A New Era” is the theme for the 2016-2017 Laramie High School Cheer team. Under the direction of new Head Coach Danielle Cole and Assistant Coach Jillian Martin, the team is attempting to create new traditions at the new building. Cole is hopeful that challenges with school spirit in the past are going to be remedied with a fresh start.

Start of the season….


**The team attempts new stunts and formations at the games. Photo by Jillian Martin**

Cheer numbers are up this year with 16 girls on the roster. While Cole says the girls lack some in experience and basic fundamentals of high school cheer, they are overflowing with enthusiasm and drive.

“The girls are doing awesome. They’re working very hard and adapting to the mindset of the new program,” Cole shared. “I’m super proud of them and the hard work that they’ve put in and their willingness to trust me and the new direction that I’m taking the team. I’m looking forward to the rest of this season and many more seasons to come to build the program even more.”

Meet Coach Cole….

Danielle Cole is a familiar face around Laramie. While growing up here and in Broomfield, Colo., she acquired 15 years of gymnastics experience and was on the Varsity squad at Broomfield High for two years.

After high school, Cole attended the University of Wyoming where she and Assistant Coach Jillian Martin both cheered on the University of Wyoming Cheer Team. Cole was on the co-ed team for one year, and the poms team for two years, one of which as captain. She went on to Laramie County Community College to complete the physical therapist assistant program.

Danielle and her husband, C.J., live in Laramie and both work at the Spine & Injury Clinic of Laramie, PC. When she is not busy with work and coaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and puppy Hurley, hiking and cheering on UW at various athletic events.

“She has a lot of energy and is doing a nice job with the kids,” said Bruce Schmidt, Athletics Director at Laramie High School.

White-Out: A new tradition….


**The team create signage to advertise ‘A New Era’ for their fellow students. Picture by Jillian Martin.**

The team started off the 2016 football season with a White-Out Event in which fans purchased white T-shirts from the team and wore them to the first home game. The girls sold over 400 shirts and made quite the impression on the community and school administration.

“It is a new tradition that we’re starting since we’re at a new building and every first game for football and basketball is a white-out, which is a fundraiser for the team as well as a way to unite the student body and community,” said Angie Jones, a senior on the team as well as one of three captains.

Budget cuts and rising participation costs at the Wyoming State Spirit Competition are a concern for the team. New uniforms, decorating lockers for other sports on game days, shoes, pom-poms and now a charge for approved music at the state competition are costs associated with this season that the event helped to cover.

A new building….

The new high school has already benefitted the team in numerous ways, most importantly by giving them their own space to practice in.

“The new building has given us that platform to start new, a fresh start for everything. We got new uniforms and they have a nice school that they’re all proud of. It has boosted morale,” says Cole.

With a new space to practice, the team can focus on improving the necessary skills to perform well at State Cheer later this spring.

“We’ve improved more in one month than we have in the last three years,” says senior co-captain Sarah Shinstine.

Coach Cole said her goal for the season is “to continue to improve stunting and tumbling and build trust so girls are willing to do higher levels of stunts.”

 Looking forward….


**The sprit squad encourage the student body and fans to get involved in school spirit. Photo by Jillian Martin**

“My goal is to lift up the student body in our school and also get involved in our community. We’re not just representing the spirit team, we’re representing our school. We are a good high school and we have good athletic programs,” said Shinstine.

The next home game is Friday against Cheyenne Central at 7 p.m.

The girls will also be making an appearance at the annual “Burning of the L” homecoming event. Shinstine says the team will be “trying to pump up spirit for the student body for the game the following day.” Homecoming this year is against Cheyenne South on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.

 “I’d like for it to be a program that the whole school and community can be proud of. A program that other schools can look at and want to strive to be like,” says Cole.







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Blog Post 2- Usability Test


Usability Test:

I started by scrolling through and looking at the graphics. They were interactive and had moving parts, which I found to be very entertaining and easy to follow.

I read some text, but not much. I was definitely more interested in the graphics and beautiful pictures. I liked the black background and felt like it made the pictures come to life.

I felt that the toolbars and search areas were hard to find and not placed in a “left to right, top to bottom” manner that is easier to follow.

There were many different types of content, which follows the tips on the course website, however, some of the user-friendly guidelines could have been achieved more efficiently. “Place controls and navigation in logical places” and “Don’t change the position and location of links” were tips definitely not followed on this page.

Contact information was difficult to locate. Usually there is a link at the very bottom of the page, but this website has comments at the bottom of the page which was difficult for me to navigate around and took up too much space. I would advise the author of the page to have the comments under a link, rather than just displayed openly.

Visually I give the page a B+, but navigation would receive a C.


Usability Test on Another Person:

My friend, Jason, helped me out with this assignment! During his time exploring the webpage, he was pretty quiet but took notes. He used Safari on his iPhone to open the site and right off the bat commented on the appeal of the black background which made the images seem interesting and more intriguing to him.

He chose to read the top paragraph under “Distant Oasis” first, then clicked on the first option ‘Astrobiology’ under the top toolbar. He then scrolled through the pictures, went back to “Distant Oasis” and read most of the text before the timer went off.

It took 3 minutes to start tracking down authors and contact information.

Overall, the website was average for user-friendliness and would get a passing grade, but not an A+.

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Blog Post 1- My News Diet

Where do I get my news from??

I generally get my news from MSNBC (which is definitely slanted toward a liberal bias) or the default Apple News (which is more on the unbiased side because it comes from many different sources.) I also subscribe to the National Geographic Instagram account to see pictures of current events from all over the world.


Do I consider any entertainment sources to be informative??

Jimmy Kimmel Live is the only entertainment news source I watch, mostly for pop culture news. I love his sarcasm and overall sense of humor. He really won me over when Cecil the Lion was killed and he did a very emotional segment on the incident. If I’m casting my vote in a presidential election, I won’t be going to Jimmy Kimmel Live to be informed on different policies and stances, but if I want pop culture related news and a good laugh, I’ll definitely be tuning in.

JK Lion*Pic from: http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/55b8ffdf371d2212008bace9/jimmy-kimmel-gets-choked-up-over-the-death-of-cecil-the-lion-slams-dentist-who-killed-him.jpg


How often do I talk to other people about the news??

I’m not one to openly discuss news or politics with people unless I am very familiar with them and their ideals. If it is something that is not controversial such as weather or sports, or something that is very happy and heart-warming, I am more likely to bring it up in conversation. My family and very close friends know my opinions on current events, and therefore, I like to have open dialogue with them. Mostly because I know that when we disagree on an issue it won’t be awkward or hostile to discuss. If I disagree with someone on an issue in public, I will usually try to find a way out of the conversation before the matter becomes heated or uncomfortable, unless it is one of only a few issues I feel very passionate about and comfortable discussing such as shelter animal rescue.


What improvements to my news diet can I make??

I’m sure there are many improvements I could make to my news diet, but I would say the biggest improvement I could make would be seeking out news from sources of different viewpoints from my own. I believe you can learn a lot from people who see things differently from yourself. Not that they are going to change your opinion, but hearing where people are coming from creates a more empathetic understanding when you go into a situation without allowing yourself to become defensive. It is important to remember that we are all human beings with feelings and agendas and we are all just doing the best we can with what we have.

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Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for stopping by! This blog was created to display various skills I am working on mastering- such as newswriting, audio and video production and photography. I love learning and have a powerful sense of curiosity about the world around me. As an aspiring communications specialist, I hope to not only continue learning after college, but also keep up on new technological trends to be as much of an asset to an organization as I can possibly be.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

-Anthony J. D’Angelo


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