Katie Hightower -
Katie Hightower is in her eighth year at J.J. Pearce High School as the Pacesetter Director and twelfth year of teaching. Mrs. Hightower comes to Pearce from two years as JV Drill Team Director & Varsity assistant at Rowlett High School as well as two years as Varsity assistant at Wakeland High School in Frisco.
Mrs. Hightower, a graduate of South Garland High School, is a former member of the Southern Belles, having served as Lieutenant her junior and senior year. She started college at Richland Community College where she danced professionally for the Dallas Sidekicks "Sizzle" Dance team for one year. She then attended Kilgore College in Kilgore for two years. At Kilgore, Mrs. Hightower was a member of the World Famous Kilgore College Rangerettes and Swingsters. Her performance credits as a Rangerette include: Dallas Cowboy's game, George W. Bush's second Inaugural Parade, the Texas Society Black Tie and Boots Ball, and a Carnival Cruise.
Mrs Hightower completed her undergraduate work at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, she was selected for The Dallas Dance Company, under the direction of Mrs. Michelle Davis, dancing at various community and charity events. With a major in Communications, Mrs. Hightower graduated from UNT in 2010.
Mrs. Hightower was an instructor for Starmakers Dance and Performance Camps from 2003-2009. Currently, she is a staff member for the American Dance and Drill Team Camps as a summer camp instructor and contest season adjudicator. Regularly, Mrs. Hightower travels with Spirit of America Productions for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. In December of 2012, Mrs. Hightower was invited to perform with Spirit of America in the London New Year's Day parade.
Mrs. Hightower currently teaches Dance Aerobics, Drill Team Prep and Country Western Prep. She is married to her wonderful husband, Hunter Hightower. They reside in Richardson, TX with their dog Cookie.
Maddie Cothrun -
Maddie Cothrun is excited for her third year at J.J. Pearce High School as the Pacesetter Assistant Director. Ms. Cothrun comes to Pearce from R.L. Turner High School where she was the Drill Team Director and Men’s Dance Team Director. Ms. Cothrun, a graduate of J.J. Pearce High School, is a former Pacesetter having served as Lieutenant her junior year and Captain her senior year.
Ms. Cothrun completed her first two years of college at Kilgore College where she was a member of the World Famous Kilgore College Rangerettes. Her performance credits as a Rangerette include a Dallas Cowboy’s game, Goodyear’s Cottonbowl Classic, the State Fair of Texas, Contest of Champions at Walt Disney World, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin.
Ms. Cothrun earned her Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees from Kilgore College in 2016, graduating with honors. She went on to complete her undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University in College Station. At A&M, she was an active member of the Kappa Delta sorority and Dance Arts Society. She graduated from Texas A&M Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Dance with minors in Leadership and Business in 2018.
Ms. Cothrun is a staff member for American Dance/Drill Team as a summer camp instructor and contest season adjudicator. Ms. Cothrun is on staff with Spirit of America for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, which she also participated in as a Pacesetter. She formerly taught tap, ballet, and drill prep classes at Melva Smith School of Dance, now Legacy Dance Boutique, where she grew up dancing. Ms. Cothrun currently teaches Fine Arts Dance 1-4 and is the Director of the Ballet Folklorico team at J.J. Pearce High School. Newly, she will be teaching the Dance classes at the two PHS junior high feeder programs.