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October 26, 2023

Cheering for Farris: Teacher turns to gym after time in courtroom

Ainsley Dwyer
CHS9 cheer coach Krysten Farris (left) and Coppell JV coach Debra Sartin talk to the JV cheer squad after running a cheer during practice in the small gym at Coppell High School on Friday. Farris is in her first year as CHS9 cheer coach.

The sound of chants and tumbling echoes through the small gym at Coppell High School as English I teacher and new cheer coach Krysten Farris, leads the freshmen cheerleaders through their practice and drills.

Farris had taught English I for five years at CHS9 prior to accepting the coaching position. However, Farris did not initially plan on becoming a teacher, let alone a coach. Having come from a family of teachers, Farris was firmly against becoming one herself. Instead, she went into the Texas A&M School of Law for family law. 

“Even though I didn’t want to be a teacher, I still wanted to help kids out,” Farris said. “[The cases] ended up pulling more at my heartstrings than I wanted it to.”

After experiencing several hard cases, Farris decided to follow in her family’s footsteps and become an educator. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2018 with a teaching certification.

“I started thinking about teaching and eventually went down that path,” Farris said. “I decided to teach English because writing and reading have always been my passion.”

Over the summer, she was approached by fellow CHS9 English I teacher Debra Sartin and Coppell head cheer coach Lindsey Bates to accept the position of freshman cheer coach.

“It was entirely new,” Sartin said. “[But] she’s a more vision oriented person, so she knows how [performances] should look.” 

Despite having no prior experience in coaching, Farris is making an impact in the team. Her style of teaching and coaching is to put personal relationships first. She prioritizes building a connection with students and helping them grow.

“A lot of our job is supporting the athletes,” Sartin said. “She’s helping them hone in on their skills, look good on the sideline and be good teammates.”

Freshman cheerleader Sutton Rasmussen has greatly enjoyed Farris’ coaching. She puts Farris above past instructors, who had different goals.

“Coach Farris is one of those teachers that cares more about you [beyond being] a student or an athlete,” Rasmussen said. “She likes to connect with you on a more personal level.”

Not only has Farris coaching cheer had an influence on the team, it has also had an impact on Farris. She understands student athletes better, having better insight into the workload they have, a viewpoint that she otherwise would not have been able to get. 

“I see how much work they are putting in outside of the classroom,” Farris said. “We might stay out at a football game till 9 or 10 o’clock at night and I’m going to go home and go to bed, but they’re going to go home and do homework.”

Along with gaining a new perspective, Farris has also found ideals that coexist between the classroom, the gym and daily life. 

“When we face adversities in hard tasks, we have to ask ourselves, ‘what are we going to do?” Farris said. When they fall from a stunt group or are having a really hard time, they ask themselves  ‘How do you pick yourself up and keep going?’ I think that crosses the lines between sports, life and English too.” 

Farris has enjoyed her time teaching and coaching, despite the latter being something new. 

“It’s a challenge,” Farris said. “And I like a challenge, I like learning new things, so I’m glad to be here for that sake.”

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About the Contributors
Aasritha Yanamala
Aasritha Yanamala, Staff Writer
Aasritha Yanamala is a sophomore and first year staff writer  on The Sidekick.
Ainsley Dwyer
Ainsley Dwyer, Entertainment Editor
Ainsley Dwyer is a junior and the entertainment editor of The Sidekick. In her free time, you can find her hanging out with her friends, listening to dad music, watching her favorite movies, or hanging out with her dogs. She is a raging theatre kid and will sing showtunes at any given moment if it pops into her mind. You can email her at [email protected].

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