By Martie Thompson

Middle school is traditionally a time of trying new things, while keeping up with increasingly challenging academics. For the 25 girls who are members of the Landrum Middle School cheer team, a busy balance of cheering, fundraising, and community service requires time management skills while providing the opportunity for fun and fulfillment.

The cheer team girls are from all grades, sixth through eighth, and many of them are brand new to cheerleading.

Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times

According to Monica Kohn, who has a sixth grader on the team, the veteran cheerleaders are assigned a “little sister” or new cheerleader to mentor throughout the school year. She said the girls are expected to keep a certain grade point average and lead as an example of school spirit, ethics, values, sportsmanship, and respect for self and others. In order to try out, each girl must have three teacher recommendations.

The team is coached by Taylor Leigh Beamer, a first grade teacher and athletic director at Palm Valley Academy, in addition to being Landrum’s head cheer coach. A graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., she is AACCA National Safety Certified, and has coached All-Star teams, Pop Warner competition teams and college teams in her 20 years of coaching.

Kohn said the team practices Monday and Tuesday for two hours and performs at football/basketball games (depending on season) for three hours every week. They may also cheer at other events as requested by the school.

The Landrum Middle School cheer team’s hours of practice and performing will hopefully pay off as they compete at the UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) Regionals in December in Tampa with the goal of a bid to Nationals again in their Game Day routine and as well as their Competition routine. Last year the squad placed in the Top 20 in the nation at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship with their Game Day routine.

Throughout the year the team participates in various fundraisers, including selling discount cards and sponsor tee shirts. Money raised goes towards things such as competition costs and safety equipment like safety mats.

This year the team put on a cheerleading camp, a half-day program that focused on the introduction of basic skills and cheerleading techniques. Attendees learned a routine that they then performed at the Landrum Middle School homecoming football game on Oct. 10 as well as the Palm Valley Academy volleyball game on Oct. 11. Coach Beamer and many of the current Landrum and Palm Valley Academy cheerleaders taught all the technical material and routines at the camp.

Community service is very important to the school and the cheerleading team. So far this year, the cheerleaders have taken on projects including making dog and kitty warmers and toys for the Jacksonville Humane Society and volunteering their time for the Coltman and Baughman Triathlon at Hanna Park. The triathlon took place on Sept. 23, and the girls cheered on the participants and helped keep them hydrated throughout the event. Future projects in the planning stages include a beach clean up and hosting a bake sale to raise money for SAFE Pet Rescue.


Photo courtesy Monica Kohn

Landrum Middle School cheerleaders perform at a game.

  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Anytime Fitness! Summer is Here! We Are Open!
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Forever Vets Animal Hospital coupon for free exam and discount on preventative care for dogs and cats!
  • Support Community Journalism in Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Affordable Water
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue! Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • JJs Bistro $10 off lunch or dinner
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue!
  • Tailored living Premier Garage solutions
  • Westminster St. Augustine. were here when you need us
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021