MaST Charter first-grade teacher ready to cheer

Lucia Petrongolo, one of the newest Eagles cheerleaders, is a teacher at MaST Charter. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lucia Petrongolo is very passionate about dancing.

She’s just as passionate about teaching children.

So it’s not a surprise that Petrongolo has been able to combine those passions to teach dance.

Petrongolo is a first-grade teacher at MaST Community Charter. Ever since she was a child, she knew that was the line of work she wanted to be in.

It’s why she also spends time teaching at Chez Dance Studio in New Jersey, helping aspiring dancers ages 3 to 18.

“I’ve always had a passion working for kids, I love kids, ever since I was young at the dance studio, I would help the other students, help the teachers instruct the classes,” said Petrongolo, who hails from Turnersville, New Jersey. “Being at a dance studio and involving myself with those younger students, it made me have a passion for teaching. I feel like I was meant to be a teacher. I love to teach and watch children learn.”

She’s always had credibility as a teacher because she’s talented and caring. But she just gained her wings.

Petrongolo recently received an email stating she is officially on the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading team. She joins 10 other rookies and 21 veterans who will be cheering on the home team when the season begins in September.

“We are thrilled to announce our squad for the 2021 season,” said Barbara Zaun, Eagles director of entertainment teams. “As ambassadors for the organization, the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders embrace meaningful engagement with our fans and have a strong connection with the community. This year’s newly selected cheerleaders will have an integral role in welcoming our extraordinary fans back to Lincoln Financial Field.”

Not as thrilled as Petrongolo is to be a part of her favorite team.

Despite being a great dancer and cheerleader, it was still a dream come true for her to get an email saying she was an Eagles cheerleader. The excitement hasn’t worn off much even days later.

“When I got the email, what did I do? Scream and cry,” Petrongolo said. “I couldn’t believe it. I’m still on Cloud 9, I feel like I’m dreaming, it’s an amazing organization. I am so proud to be on a team with 31 extraordinary teammates. I’m so excited to be dancing and entertaining at Lincoln Financial Field. I can’t wait to make a connection and friendships with my teammates.”

That’s the fun part people know about, but there’s a whole other side of being an Eagles cheerleader that people might not see as much, but it’s an aspect Petrongolo is even more excited about.

Eagles cheerleaders do so much more than celebrate when the Birds score a touchdown. In fact, that’s just a small part of their job. Their main job is serving the community, attending fundraisers and spreading cheer everywhere they go.

In Petrongolo, they found the right girl.

As evidenced by her choice in careers, Petrongolo loves working with children.

And during the pandemic, she and her family started rescuing horses, and she spends her free time feeding, grooming and riding the horses.

Cheerleaders do a lot of work with charity, so she’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue to help people and animals.

Just another perk of being an Eagles cheerleader.

“I’ve had a passion working with kids, and through the Philadelphia Eagles and being a cheerleader, I can reflect my passion,” said Petrongolo, who graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in New Jersey and St. Joseph’s University. Events like the (Eagles Autism Challenge Walk), I’ll be able to do that.

“I’m able to do that at the clinic, and I want to inspire these young dancers. Hopefully, they can be in my shoes some day. I tell them if I can do it, they can do it, and they can because they’re so talented.”

She takes that same attitude into the classroom at MaST.

“I absolutely love it, the students are incredible, the staff, everyone is so supportive,” Petrongolo said. “The families are so thankful and grateful, it’s a great place to teach.

“I haven’t told my students in school, I’m excited to go back and tell them. They’re going to be so excited. All little Eagles fans. They support the Eagles at MaST. At dress down days, they all wear Eagles gear. I’m really excited to tell them.”

Almost as excited as she is to officially get started.

“Being a Philadelphia Eagle cheerleader, you represent more than yourself,” Petrongolo said. “I’m representing my town, my team, an entire Eagles nation. I’m not doing it for myself, but doing it for them, my students. I want them to know that you never give up on your dreams. You can always achieve your dreams.

“I love teaching, I love instructing dance and being around the students and watching them grow and get better. I love working with these amazing people and seeing them on the other side, watching them grow as men and women. Especially through the pandemic. They worked so hard and it was great to see what they can do. I hope I can inspire them because they inspire me.”

Lucia Petrongolo is looking forward to being a cheerleader, and the community service aspect of being on the team. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO