Welcome to the 2016-2017 Santa Margarita Pep Squad website. The SMCHS Pep Squad is a program for athletes striving to promote school spirit, support interscholastic athletics, and represent their school in the competitive spirit industry.
John Neville (Head Coach)
John has over 25 years of experience in this industry as an athlete, coach, judge, choreographer, and speaker and cheerleading conferences around the country. He started his cheerleading career as a high school cheerleader for two years before cheering at Oregon State University for four years, where he was captain of that team for the last two seasons. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in French from Oregon State he became an instructor for the United Spirit Association (USA) for ten years. Six of those years he was a head instructor teaching high school and college camps all across the West Coast from Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and Nevada. After coaching one season at Glencoe High School near Portland, Oregon John became a high school French and Spanish teacher from 1997-2001 at Jesuit High School, also in Portland, Oregon. There he coached the high school varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams. He also coached pole vault for the track team as well as Football for his last season. During this time, he started the first of two all-star cheer gyms as well as was a member of the NBA Portland Trail Blazers stunt team. While in Oregon, John choreographed for various high schools and colleges around the Pacific Northwest while judging National high school and collegiate cheer competitions. In 2001, John moved to Southern California and began coaching locally while still teaching summer camps for USA. He also became a member of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers stunt team. In the Spring of 2003; John and his wife, Heather, co-founded OC All-Stars Cheer & Dance. Since then John and Heather have become the sole owners of OC All-Stars and are proud of the hundreds of National Championships they have won in their 13 years with competitive cheer and dance. As both a team coach and tumbling coach he enjoys working with all aspects of competitive cheer and tumbling. John is USASF certified level 5 as a career member with the USASF and AACCA Spirit Safety certified through the NFHS He is also certified with the NFHS for concussions in sports, heat illness prevention, and fundamentals of coaching. Some of John’s proudest accomplishments were becoming a dad to his 3 amazing children Nathan, Brandon, and Ashley.
Alison Klesczewski (Junior Varsity Coach)
Alison has been involved in cheerleading since 2001. She began her coaching career as a gymnastics instructor and cheer coach in 2002, and taught recreational and team gymnasts for 4 years before switching over to cheerleading. She has competed on advanced level All Star, High School and College teams since then and has competed four times at the USASF Cheerleading Worlds. Alison has also worked and judged for JAMZ and NCA cheerleading companies. Before cheerleading, Alison spent 10 years in competitive gymnastics, having spent her last year training level 8.
NICOLE CESTONE – Song Director/Head Coach
- Nicole has over 25 years of dance and competitive team experience. She is nationally known for her choreography and coaching ability. Nicole was a scholarship dancer at Jimmie Defores Dance Center in Costa Mesa, and a member of the Tremaine’s Dance Company in Los Angeles with Margarite Derricks.
- Graduate of UCLA and a former UCLA Bruin dance team member for 2 years.
- Former Dance/Song instructor for the United Spirit Association for 10 years, a member of USA’s Program Development Team and is a Head Judge for High School, Collegiate, and All-star Competitions.
- Songleading/Dance Program Director for two years where she managed 80 staff instructors, directed competitions and conventions, choreographed for camps, clinics, and workshops and created curriculum for all dance programs.
- Danced two seasons for the Disney California Angels performing at Anaheim Angels home baseball games.
- Production and choreography for the American Bowl in Mexico City with Ricky Martin, the Paris and Austria NFL Tours, the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and numerous pre-game and half-time shows for NFL, NBA and College teams. Nicole has choreographed for numerous NFL, NBA, WNBA, CFL, and Arena Football Pro-dance teams including the San Diego Charger Girls, San Francisco 49er Gold Rush, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings Fast Break, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and New England Patriots to name a few.
- Featured choreographer at the Pro-Dance Convention for NFL and NBA dance teams.
- Taught dance at many studios in Northern and Southern California and coached several nationally ranked college, high school and all-star dance teams and has been featured in many LA dance projects and national commercials.
- Over the past years of coaching, her teams have won numerous national titles and awards including Innovative Choreography, Superior Showmanship, Grand Champion, and Technical Excellence. In 2014 & 2016, she was named Coach of the Year at the California State Dance Championship. Nicole has also turned her attention to producing and directing corporate events for Fortune 500 companies and their affiliates including Disney, ABC, NFL, ESPN, GM, Toyota and many more. Nicole is the Dance State Director in the West Region for Varsity Corporation and directs numerous camps and competitions within the US. Nicole is currently moving into her 7th season as the Song/Pom Director at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She lives in San Juan Capistrano with her husband and three kids.
DANIELLE CALTA– Varsity Coach
Danielle has over 15 years of experience coaching, teaching and choreographing dance. She started dancing at the age of 3 and has been professionally trained in various styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, pom/song, theater, character, modern, pointe & lyrical. At the age of 13 she was chosen as a member of the Tremaine Dance Company and trained with world renowned choreographers in the dance/entertainment industry such as Marguerite Derricks, Michael Rooney, & Keith Young. She had the opportunity to dance for various live events, videos, TV, and films, such as Austin Powers, The International Man of Mystery, WB Dubba Commercial, Miss Christy’s Dancin’ Videos, & The Royal Danish Ballet. Danielle also has experience working behind the scenes in the dance/entertainment industry. Danielle worked for MSA Agency, one of the top dance/choreography talent agencies in Hollywood. Their clients work can be seen everywhere, film, TV, stage, you name it! Some of the projects she worked on included, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, the High School Musical franchise, Michael Jackson's This Is It, just to name a few! She also worked for The Movement, Dance Management Company with Dance Agent/Manager Jim Keith. Danielle is a graduate from UC Irvine and was the captain of their dance team for 3 years. She was a member of the United Spirit Association where she served as a Head Instructor and a member of their Program Development staff. She currently judges for various event producers when she is not with her teams competing. Danielle has coached and choreographed for numerous dance and Songleading teams throughout the United States including high school, college, semi-pro, and pro teams, including the 49er Gold Rush Cheerleaders, San Diego Charger Girls, & OC Gladiators. During the past 15 years of coaching, her teams have won numerous national titles and awards including Innovative Choreography, Technical Excellence, Superior Showmanship, Best in Category, Grand Champions, & the Bronze Medal at USASF’s Dance Worlds. In 2013, Danielle was named CheerPros “Dance Coach of the Year”! She loves sharing her passion for dance and her competitive spirit to motivate and push her dancers to be the best they can be. Danielle takes pride in her dancers and dedicates herself fully by investing in each of her dancers’ growth and development. Danielle recently finished a credential program through Institute of Integrative Nutrition and founded DC Consulting, to help coach and consult individuals in their dance, health, and/or lifestyle needs. This is Danielle's 6th season coaching at SMCHS!
STEPHANIE BROWN– Varsity Coach
Stephanie is from Belleville, Illinois and is now living in Los Angeles, CA. She has 20 plus years trained experience in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and pom. She teaches workshops and choreographs for multiple studios and high school dance teams around the country earning top awards, national/state rankings, and choreography awards. Not only does she coach at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, she also coaches at world ranked all-star studio, South Coast Freestyle Dance Training Center in Mission Viejo, CA. She has worked for Universal Dance Association for 7 years heading dance camps and working/judging regional and national competitions. A few credits include the London New Years Day parade, Varsity Spirit Spectacular in Florida, UDA college and high school dance nationals, USASF Worlds, ICU Worlds, she has danced in L.A.’s choreographers carnival, performed at the Industry Voice Awards, was a dancer in Anjulies “White Lights” concept video, Sir Charles official music video “Soulja” , danced for r&b artist Mai Lee and has appeared on “Home and Family” on the Hallmark Network TV channel. Stephanie is also a licensed cosmetologist and has worked on many photoshoots, video shoots, and music video sets doing hair and makeup for dancers and artists. A few singing credits include House of Blues on sunset blvd, Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, many cafes in the Los Angeles area, Republic of Pie, Molly Malones, and Good Hurt Night Club.
Katie Murphy – JV Coach
Katie is a Pep Squad Alumnus of Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Katie has had an incredible amount of dance training and experience. She started dancing at the age of 3 and has been trained in various styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, pom/song, and lyrical. After graduating from SMCHS she was able to share her passion for dance as a coach for a local All-star program. She is currently pursuing her interests in interior design while coaching here at SM. She is entering into her 5th Season with the JV Song team. We are so pleased to have Katie on board!
I am Eagle, SMCHS's costumed Eagle mascot, in my 30th season as a spirit leader and goodwill ambassador for Santa Margarita Catholic High School. A popular character among Eagle fans and one of the most beloved mascots in Orange County, CA, I have been called the living spirit of SMCHS.
- We Are SM!
- I Believe We Just Won!
- 2017 NDA National Champions - Song
- 2017 USA National Champions - Song
- 2016 USA National Champions - Song
- 2015 USA National Champions - Song
- 2014 USA National Champions - Cheer and Song
- 2014 JAMZ Grand National Champions - Cheer
- 2014 JAMZ Grand National Champions - Dance
- 2014 JAMZ National Champions Cheer & Dance - ALL JV & Varsity Teams!
- 2014 4th Place UCA National High School Cheer Championships
- 2013, 2014 Top 10 NDTC/UDA National Dance Team Championships
- 2013, 2014 Cheerpros State Grand Champion - Dance
- 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Cheerpros State Champions
- 2014, 2013 UCA West Coast Champions
- 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 USA National Champions
- 2010, 2011 King of the Bleachers National Champions