LeAnne Caston will become head coach of the Smith-Cotton High School cheerleading program, pending approval by the school board.

Caston is owner and head coach of Leap of Faith Gymnastics, Cheer and Tumbling in Sedalia. She has previous experience as an instructor and team coach at No Doubt Gymnastics and cheer coach at Cheer Challenge Gym.

An Arkansas native, Caston was recognized as a Universal Cheerleaders Association All-Star in high school. She went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 2008 from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she performed all four years on a cheerleading scholarship. She also holds a master’s of science degree in Administration of Justice and Security (2010) from the University of Phoenix.

“I’m looking forward to a fun and productive season with S-C,” Caston said. “I hope that by introducing some new ideas and practices, we can enhance school spirit. My goal for this squad is to provide a positive and supportive environment for them to develop good quality skills and have fun doing it.” Smith-Cotton High Principal Wade Norton said, “I am excited to have Coach Caston on staff. She is highly qualified to lead our team. Her aspiration to build a strong squad is only equaled with her desire to strengthen our current school traditions and at the same time build new ones."

Caston plans to help her squad enhance their skills to improve their performances now and into the future.

“I like focusing on proper body positions and proper fundamentals of each skill because those are important, especially for those who wish to go on to college cheerleading,” she said. “College scholarships for cheerleading are real, but you must have the discipline and skills to perform at that level. I’m excited to encourage these young athletes to do their best at all times while being a positive coach and role model.”