The Shelton High School Pom Pon girls are back.
The Board of Education Wednesday night unanimously approved appointing city resident Linda Gagner, a veteran pom pon coach from the Pop Warner football league, as acting adviser for the Pom Pons.
The group hasn’t made an official appearance as a team since the Memorial Day parade.
After losing an adviser this year, the team missed action at football games and other events for the first time since 1969, when they became half-time regulars in a wide variety of sports.
“We’ll be practicing days on end,” said Paige Colon, 17, a member of the team who spoke in the hallway outside the school board’s meeting at the district’s administrative building on Long Hill Avenue.
There are 16 girls on the team.
The girls missed Senior Night, but will at least catch the final football game of the season on Thanksgiving Day.
It’s the 100th annual Shelton-Derby Thanksgiving Day game.
Gagner joked that she will “crack the whip” and get the team ready to perform publicly again.
“This is all about the future, and it’s all going to be great,” Gagner told the school board during a brief presentation after she was appointed. “These girls deserve this, and it is worthwhile.”
Pom pons are known for their dance moves, while cheerleaders are more into the gymnastics and the stunts. Their performances entertain the crowds during half-time at athletic events.
The lack of an adviser for so long had enraged some team members, especially seniors like Colon who will graduate in June.
The district advertised for a pom pon adviser in July but no suitable applicants responded. The job is a paid stipend position and the responsibilities include monitoring team members’ academic performance, coordinating performance dates, keeping track of inventory and helping with fundraising for the team.