Harrell heads Lowndes Academy cheerleaders for 20th year running

Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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Kristen Harrell has been a cheer coach at Lowndes Academy for twenty consecutive years. Harrell is a 2001 graduate of Lowndes where she learned the ins and outs of the sport as a Rebel cheerleader herself. 

During her tenure at Lowndes, Harrell has taken her squads to many camps and competitions, bringing home numerous Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) state championships as well as countless other awards. While Harrell takes pride in the trophies and titles her squads have won over the years, she said winning isn’t the reason she decided to become a coach.

“Our youth are our future,” Harrell said. “It is important for us to invest our time and effort into them. I got into coaching because I love getting to be around young people and be a part of helping them grow into good young adults.”

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For Harrell, the sense of pride she receives from helping her girls is all the thanks she needs for her continued dedication to the Rebel cheer program. 

“It’s so rewarding to see my girls graduate and go on to do great things in life,” Harrell said. “That’s my goal, and seeing it happen makes everything worthwhile.”

Harrell’s dedication and efforts to empower her cheerleaders have not gone unnoticed. Members of her cheerleading squad excitedly shared their love for the coach.

“I started cheering for Coach Kristen when I was only eleven years old and she changed my life dramatically,” said senior cheerleader Bella Robitaille. “She is truly the best and I will forever be incredibly grateful for her.”

Cheer captain Carolyn Jean Forest also professed her admiration for Harrell.

“She takes the time out of her demanding job to make sure we are prepared for pep rallies and games, but it goes so much further than this,” Forest said. “She makes sure we are confident not only in cheerleading, but also in our day to day life. We know she is always there. I am so blessed to have her in my life, and so is my school.” 

Harrell’s love for cheerleading and passion for serving her community’s youth are the driving forces that led her to begin coaching. The coach credits those who guided her into her position as well as those who have supported her along the way with the squad’s success. 

Harrell said she is grateful to have been chosen to lead Rebel cheer squads over the last twenty years. She appreciates the backing she has received thus far and offers her deepest sincerity to her supporters.

“Our cheer program would not be what it is today without the overwhelming support we receive from our girls’ parents and our awesome faculty,” Harrell said. “I owe a huge thank you to Headmaster Barry Mohun and Athletic Director Matt Marshall for allowing me to be in this position.”