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Since she was a kid, Cassie Boone has been preparing for her new roles as an Eagles Cheerleader and a student in Gwynedd Mercy University's Master Teacher program - even if she didn't realize it.
"I remember I had a giant easel chalkboard growing up, and I used to line up all my stuffed animals in front of it to play teacher," Cassie said. "I started dancing at the age of five and haven't stopped since. I was raised on Eagles Football. My dad and uncles have been season ticket holders for 45 years now. I remember the first Eagles game I went to; I watched the cheerleaders and thought to myself, ‘I want to do that someday.’”
Cassie earned her bachelor's degree in food marketing from Saint Joseph's University where she also was a four-year member and one-year captain of the dance team and won three Division I National Championships at the Universal Dance Association College Nationals. After graduating, she worked in the marketing industry for a few years while still staying connected to dance by teaching on the side.
It wasn’t long until she realized teaching was the career for her.
"Looking back at my time in marketing, my favorite task was always training new employees. Between that and teaching dance, it reminded me of my passion for teaching and helped me decide this was the best career for me,” Cassie said. “I started researching universities with graduate programs that offered certifications and GMercyU was suggested to me by a friend who went through the same program. I also heard so many great things about the program from other people, which helped solidify my decision to go here."
As if one major life change wasn't enough, Cassie decided to follow another dream she's always had - to be a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader. After four rounds of intense auditions with dancers from all of the world, Cassie was chosen to be on the 2021 team.
As an Eagles Cheerleader, Cassie is both an entertainer and a brand ambassador. When she's not on the sidelines, she is representing the team at various community events such as the Eagles Autism Challenge and Junior Cheer Clinics.
"I can say without a doubt the most amazing part has been connecting with the fans. It is so cool to meet and interact with them and hear a little bit of their stories.”
She added, “We also have the opportunity to support important initiatives on gamedays, such as Crucial Catch which creates awareness for cancer early detection. The stadium always feels like a close-knit community, but you could feel even more camaraderie and love amongst everyone at that game.”
While Cassie's journey as a teacher has just begun, she already has her eyes set on graduation. With the skills and values she's learned both in the classroom and on the sidelines, Cassie hopes to secure an elementary teaching position in the Philadelphia area.
“I currently work at a charter school in Northeast Philadelphia and have been lucky to spend some time in the Special Education classrooms,” Cassie said. “Working with these children has inspired me, and I hope to incorporate that into my work after graduating as well.”
Photos: Brian Garfinkel