McRae grew up in Reidsville, Ga. When she was 5, she watched her cousin cheer for her recreation league. Kenietha was too young to participate, “so I cried all year,” she said. The next year, she began her cheer career.
McRae continued all the way through high school (she graduated in 2011 from Tattnall County High School) and college (she graduated from Augusta University in 2015 with her bachelor's degree before earning her master’s degree).
In January 2018, McRae started as the Director of Extracurricular Programs at Augusta Prep. Before that, she would drive up and down Flowing Wells Road not knowing a school in her eyesight the entire time.
“Before I drove onto campus, I thought this was a neighborhood,” she said. “I would drive through here all the time to the grocery store. I never noticed the playground.”Camp Cavalier
McRae is entering her busy time of year at Augusta Prep. She oversees the popular Camp Cavalier
summer program, which includes a eight weeks of artistic, athletic and academic opportunities and more for children.
“Usually around this time of year, my phone calls pick up,” she said. “I’ve got a bunch of emails. Mid-March through August is busy season.”
Starting a Middle School Cheerleading Program
McRae, who works four days a week at Augusta Cheer Academy, began Augusta Prep's Middle School cheerleading program this past fall. Six girls came out in the summer for tryouts, going through a weeklong process where they learned different cheers, dances and techniques before going in front of judges. Later, all the girls received letters saying they made the team. They practiced twice a week throughout the summer. By the time football season began, 11 girls were on the squad.
“That went really well,” McRae said. “They got to do pep rallies. They learned two or three different dances. They performed at halftime quite a bit; they liked to do that.”
After a one-week break, the cheerleading squad shifted to basketball season. Twelve girls and one boy tried out for the team, everyone making it. They cheered for all the boys and girls ‘A’ team games, finishing with the boys championship contest at Augusta Christian.
“They were a good group of kids,” McRae said. “They loved to stunt. They loved to get the crowd pumped up.”
McRae said the thing she enjoyed most about Middle School cheerleading was the kids.
“They were a hoot,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m younger, but I understood them and they liked that. They would say things like, ‘No cap.’ My generation would say, ‘No lie.’ And they would say things like, ‘Coach K, you’re so with it. I love that you say ‘No lie,’ because you’re a millennial.’”
“Around here, I get to do all the fun stuff,” McRae said. “I get to organize the stuff the kids want to do. They want to do their academics, but they also like to do the fun stuff, too, like football and robotics, and I get to coordinate those activities either after school or in the summer. That’s the best part, being the fun coordinator around here.”