As some of the state’s cheerleading coaches already know, the Georgia High School Association added an important staff position this summer. With an extensive background in cheer, Penny Pitts was named as the GHSA’s newest Associate Director in July of 2016. Her main responsibilities include the administration of Cheerleading and Title IX compliance, two extremely vital areas.
“I am excited about the continued growth of cheerleading on a competitive level, as well as on the sideline,” said Penny. “I think it is important that cheerleading move into a more ‘traditional sport’ mentality with athletes, coaches, officials, parents and administrators.”
Penny is a graduate of West Georgia College, receiving a BS in Physical Education in 1982. She was a PE teacher for 31 years in various Georgia systems including Elbert County, Rome City, Stephens County and Jasper County.
She completed her high school teaching career in Monroe County where she taught PE and was the head varsity cheerleading coach for 13 years. She is a member of the Georgia Cheerleading Coaches Association where she has served in many roles, including secretary, vice president and president. Her team was named Georgia Team of the Year in 2007. She was named Coach of the Year in 2010.
In the fall of 2010, Penny became the Spirit Coordinator over Cheerleading and Dance teams for Mercer University in Macon. Upon her retirement from teaching, she became the Administrative Assistant for the Bears Football program at Mercer and served as the cheerleading coach until 2016 when she came to the GHSA.
The GHSA considers this one of its most important additions in recent years. With the increasing popularity of cheerleading as a competitive sport, the GHSA felt it was important to have someone “in house” to answer questions from coaches, athletic directors and principals.
Penny will work closely with Pam Carter, who will continue to act as the State Cheerleading Coordinator and will deal mainly with questions from cheerleading officials and about rulings. Cheer coaches should contact Penny directly at the GHSA office with any questions or suggestions about cheerleading policies and issues.
Penny will be circulating around the state, attending and observing competitions and games this school year.