A true Salemite, Trina Bateman has practically spent her entire life in Salem. Before she was a Salem Spartan, she was an Andrew Lewis Wolverine. Before she was a Wolverine, she attended G.W. Carver Elementary. For years, she has been the Head Cheerleading Coach at Salem High School. She is this week’s Q&A participant.
Talk about your education background. Where did you go to school?
I was born and raised in Salem. I started my education at GW Carver Elementary then went on to Andrew Lewis Middle School before graduating from Salem High School in 1988. I decided to continue my education at Virginia Western Community College and after a semester decided that I wanted to get out into the working world. I received my license in cosmetology at Gibboney Technical Center and worked as a hairdresser for five years.
What are some of your earliest Salem memories?
Oh goodness there are so many! Playing behind the bleachers at Kiwanis Field when the Spartans played their football games there immediately comes to mind. Also, sledding at Longwood Park and the golf course, walking to Brooks Byrd Pharmacy for a fresh squeezed Lime Ade among many others. Cheering for the Spartans for the first touchdown that was scored at Salem Stadium is also an early memory that I have.
How long have you been employed at your current occupation?
I have worked at Salem High School for 17 years. I started out as an Office Aide and took over as the Attendance Secretary about six years ago. I have also worked for Salem Parks and Recreation for the past eight years.
What are some things that you like to do in Salem?
Of course there isn’t a Thursday or Friday in the fall that I am not at a Salem Football game. During the winter you can find me at the high school gym taking in both boys and girls basketball games. During the summer months you can find me keeping stats and announcing softball at Moyer Field. I enjoy Mac N Bobs for dinner or the Salem Ice Cream parlor for a sweet treat.
What does an average week look like for you?
I really enjoy spending time with family when school is out. My husband Rich is also an employee for the City of Salem at the Salem Civic Center. My daughter Morgan is a case worker for Goodwill Industries and my son Patrick is a rising high school junior who plays football and lacrosse. I also spend time with my two grandsons – Levi, two, and Ryder, one. They really keep my weeks busy! During the school year an average week is also very busy. I don’t think there is a parent I have not talked to which is something that I’m really proud of. I have a great team of administrators and co-workers that I work with. Salem High School is my second home. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
How did you become the head cheerleading coach at Salem High?
I was an assistant coach for Salem High School for four years. When our head coach decided to step down, I was elevated to the role. My husband and children were extremely supportive throughout the transition. I’ve received overwhelming support from the administration, fellow co-workers, football coaches and the community. Most importantly the overwhelming hugs and tears of excitement from the cheerleaders themselves when Athletic Director Chris King announced that I was their head coach. What an unbelievable feeling! I knew then and there that I made the right decision! I have an AMAZING group of coaches working with me in Hannah Keen and Dana Turner. Tammy Chitwood and Victoria Preston will be coaching our sideline girls this year.
What motivates you?
God first and of course my family. Not only my immediate family, but the City of Salem as well that you can’t help but embrace. Wanting to keep this small town feeling alive in all of our young people really motivates me also. I hear “I can’t wait to get out of Salem” sometimes and I just don’t get it. I have worked at Salem High School for years and the amount of families that come back to raise their children is off the charts. There is not better feeling than knowing you played a positive role in someone’s life.
What books on history have you read that you would recommend to others?
My former history teacher John Hinkle would be very disappointed in me but history has never been my strongest subject. If you want a book recommendation, then it would have to be a good love story along the lines of someone like Nicholas Sparks.
How would you describe the City of Salem to someone who has never been?
It is a small town with a huge family atmosphere. There is a feeling of pride that I have never seen anywhere else. We are about helping our neighbors roll out the trash and supporting our young people reach their dreams. When one of our own is in need of something, we can together and see how we can help. There is no where else that I would rather be than this small town I call home.
If you could go back and give an 18-year-old Trina some advice, what would you say?
Don’t take a single minute for granted. Always tell your loved ones you love them daily. Live life to the fullest and always strive to be your very best. Enjoy high school and college because life as an adult is much more difficult. Oh yeah…and HAVE FUN!
-Compiled by Shawn Nowlin