Dedicated duo – Educators molding youth

Published 11:52 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

In the heart of Luverne, two exceptional educators have dedicated themselves to molding young minds both in the classroom and on the field. Mandy Wills Horn and Patrina Sankey, the dynamic cheer coaching duo at Luverne High School (LHS), are a solid and integral part of the athletic program at LHS. Their enthusiasm, commitment, and exceptional leadership shines throughout the entire school, not just the cheerleading program.

According to Luverne Principal Michael Kilpatrick, both ladies are valuable parts of the school’s faculty. 

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“Mrs. Horn and Mrs. Sankey are a terrific tag team at LHS,” Kilpatrick said. “They both do a phenomenal job supporting students, staff and the community. They go above and beyond for our Tiger Family. They consistently lead and assist with school events, extracurriculars and community outreach. Mrs. Horn and Mrs. Sankey both take pride in being Luverne Tigers and continuing the great traditions of Luverne High School.” 

Horn is a 2000 Lowndes Academy graduate and has spent 18 years shaping the lives of students. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education, with a minor in business from Troy University, she has an extensive educational background that complements her role as the varsity cheer coach. 

Her dedication goes beyond the sidelines as she teaches a high school business class and actively engages in several key roles, including Miss LHS Sponsor, homecoming sponsor, FBLA sponsor, yearbook sponsor and BASIC co-sponsor.

The dedication and commitment of the LHS cheerleaders and coaches were recently on full display at the UCA Summer Camp held at Auburn University. 

Horn proudly shared the achievements of the Varsity and Junior Varsity teams, which earned several top honors at the camp. Notably, the teams clinched first place in the Varsity Game Day Sideline and Varsity Game Day Overall categories, as well as securing third place in the JV Game Day Cheer competition.

Horn expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to guide young women and commended her co-sponsor, Patrina Sankey, for her invaluable contributions to the team’s success.

Sankey, a 1994 Luverne High School graduate, complements Horn’s leadership as the junior varsity cheer coach. With a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and a master’s degree in progress, Sankey’s dedication to education spans 15 years. 

Within Luverne High School, she serves as the Access facilitator, LHS Black history program chair, junior sponsor, and girls and boys basketball assistant. Her involvement extends to various committees for all school programs and activities.

Sankey’s connection to cheerleading began when her daughter participated in the pee wee association. Over the years, her involvement grew, eventually leading to her coaching roles for mini mite, termite, and pee wee cheer. 

For the past 3 years, she has brought her passion and experience to the JV and Varsity cheerleading teams. Sankey attributes her choice to pursue education to influential figures and teachers in her life and acknowledges the impact of her own high school coaches and Horn, who coached her daughter.

Sankey’s dedication to the Luverne High School cheer program is driven by her belief in its power to instill confidence and provide unique experiences for young women. As she continues to nurture the program’s legacy, she aims to preserve and further the pride and tradition that has historically characterized the LHS cheer program.