Raymundo brings personal experience to squad, strives for spiritual strength
On top of being a first grade teacher at FC's Northeast campus and now the new varsity cheer coach, Raymundo is also a mother of one daughter and wife to her husband, Gregg Raymundo.
Teaching a first grade class can prove quite a challenge with little ones but adding on the responsibility of becoming the new varsity cheer coach requires a lot of attention. Courtney Raymundo teaches first grade at FC's Northeast campus and has filled the open position in the cheer program.
Due to the high demand required by both occupations, Raymundo is already experiencing the difficulty in controlling these two positions. Not only does she have to manage her time, Raymundo also has to keep focus on the students at hand and not confuse responsibilities with each job.
"Being a first grade teacher and a cheer adviser are two separate jobs; it is important I remember that," Raymundo said. "With that said, while I am at school I am a first grade teacher; after school I become a coach. Learning to keep these two jobs separate helps me prioritize my jobs."
Raymundo not only cheered in college, but she also competed in competitive gymnastics at level nine (competition ranges from 1-10).
"I was a gymnast for 14 years," Raymundo said. "After finishing my gymnastics career, I took three years off to attend Fresno State as a competitive cheerleader. There are many skills I have learned through gymnastics and cheering that I believe are an asset to this program."
With these skills in mind, Raymundo not only brings a background of knowledge for the new cheer program but also strives to put God first in everything the squad does.
"My plan is to create women professing godliness," Raymundo said. "Christ is the center for everything in our lives. When we lose sight of that, our mission becomes in vain. Through this I want to produce women with godly character. If the Lord wills, our team will build on this and become very successful."
Principal Todd Bennett agrees with Raymundo's views of leading the girls in a Christ like fashion.
"I hired Mrs. Raymundo for several reasons," Bennett said. "She is very strong in her Christian faith and understands the importance of being a positive role model for young Christian women. She has a passion for teaching in a Christian environment and came highly recommended by people with whom she had worked.
"My plan is to create women professing godliness. Christ is the center for everything in our lives. When we lose sight of that, our mission becomes in vain. Through this I want to produce women with godly character. If the Lord wills, our team will build on this and become very successful!" --Courtney Raymundo, Varsity Cheer Coach and first grade teacher
Along with the Christ-like goal she brings, Bennett also says that Raymundo is well qualified for the job with her cheer experience and character traits.
"She has the coaching experience as well as the college participation experience to do the job effectively; she has a strong work ethic and commitment to professionalism," Bennett said. "In addition to being extremely qualified for the cheer position, she is a highly qualified first grade teacher. Finally, she is committed to FCS and bringing stability to both the cheer program and our teaching staff."
Varsity cheerleader Alli Breedlove, '15, enjoys and shares the unity and push Raymundo provides for the squad.
"I like her; she's good," Breedlove said. "She gives us what we need by making us work harder instead of letting us slack off. She has us work and brings unity by helping us find a position in our stunt groups with people that we know, and she wants us to get to know each other better."
Aside from the typical practice on campus, the girls are allowed to use the Break the Barriers facility twice a week for a change of pace. Co-captain Rayna Endicott, '14, shares the struggles that not practicing everyday holds.
"It's a bummer because we only get to practice two times a week instead of five times a week," Endicott said. "If girls are going to play other sports it is going to make it harder but it is nice that we get an hour and a half together instead of 45 minutes. It's cool being over there and getting to see the Break the Barriers team; we get our own space and don't have to share the gym."
Having three coaches in the past three year Raymundo has stepped up to the calling of the Lord and may have become the saving grace for the squad.
After a 14 year gymnastics career, Raymundo took three years off to attend Fresno State as a competitive cheerleader. Through her personal experience, Raymundo hopes to excel the varsity cheer program.
"The Lord led me in this direction," Raymundo said. "I have always loved cheerleading and I have missed it since I graduated from college. I wanted to be able to teach girls new skills that I was able to learn as a cheerleader and build the talent on our team."
Co-captain, Callista Fries, '15, hopes that Raymundo will remain the coach for a while and expresses the difficulty of acquiring a new coach every year.
"For this cheer coach, I hope it lasts so that we can have her for multiple years and not have to change; drop everything and start over again," Fries said. "It's been challenging because every time we feel like we've accomplished something we have to start over because we get a new coach and they don't know anything about us, so its hard."
Along with Fries, Bennett also aspires for the consistency and stability of the cheer program.
"Stability; it is important that we build a program that is consistently excellent year-in and year-out," Bennett said. "My expectations for cheer are similar to my expectations for all sports. I want the girls to have a highly competitive, positive experience that is different from any other school. I want our girls to learn how to glorify God and be examples of Christ-like character while experiencing the camaraderie, discipline and dedication offered by an outstanding cheer program."
For more features, read the Aug. 24 article, Europe tour ends with London 2012 Olympics.