Seventeen-year-old, school-wide favorite, Layne Redeagle proves her strength through her unwavering character and exemplary attitude. The Bella Vista High School Varsity Cheer squad does not recognize her for her Down Syndrome, but for her bright personality that leaves everyone with a smile. Poised, resilient, animated and fun, Layne Redeagle goes the extra mile just to get the crowd involved, all while keeping her teammates energetic and optimistic.


Coach Karen Van Tassel has been the cheer coach at Belle Vista High School for the past eight years, sharing that Layne is their second special needs cheerleader. Coach Van Tassel is thrilled to have Layne on her team, as she is the epitome of spirit and hard work. “While she grows, our team grows as well,” Van Tassel states. “Layne teaches us so many things— empathy and respect some of the many. She is a beacon the light in our community. She shows us that different is okay.”


This summer Bella Vista High School participated in UCA Camp at the University of California-Davis where Redeagle had the opportunity to try out for All-American. All-American is a coveted honor at UCA Camp. The cheerleaders who make All-American have the opportunity to perform in a parade at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida over Thanksgiving.

Belle Vista High School fully encourage and reinforced Layne’s voyage to be an All-American. Sandi Karagianes, Vice Principal at BVHS says “Karen Van Tassel has worked hard to grow and define this program as one of school spirit, good sportsmanship and inclusiveness. We are proud of our great coaching staff and the role they play at our school. We support Layne in her journey and can’t wait to see all she can do!”

Come Thanksgiving, Layne is determined to be at Walt Disney World to participate in the All-American parade. Congrats Layne, we are cheering for you!