Coaches & Volunteers

Coaches & Choreographers

All the coaches are volunteers. We love color guard and have all been touched by it in various ways. We want any interested kids in South Jersey to have access to this great ‘sport of the arts.’

Listed in alphabetical order:

Bethany BantleHead Coach for Surge Cadets & Surge 2.0. Bethany fell in love with the marching arts in high school and has been instructing for the Haddon Heights Marching Band for over 20 years. She began her color guard coaching with Synergy Junior Guard and later switched to take the helm of an elementary guard that branched off of Synergy, Short Circuit, where she is the current director and drill designer. She appreciates that she has been trusted with the first color guard experience of numerous students and loves seeing all their hard work rewarded as they progress up the levels of color guard. Bethany appreciates the stories and emotions that can be told through a color guard performance and is grateful for the impact that it has had on her life and can have on the life of children. Her dream is for every town to have its own affordable color guard, just like every town has a baseball or soccer team. This proud Oaklyn resident is just slightly obsessed with the sport of color guard and thankful that her husband and three kids are so tolerant of her hobby. In other facets of her life, she enjoys playing flute for the Wind Symphony of Southern New Jersey, teaching instrumental music for the Barrington School District, and teaching history, literature, writing, and music at several educational cooperatives.

Cindy Blum – Surge Cadets & Surge 2.0 Coach. My daughter joined Surge 2.0 during the 2019 season and I stepped up as a coach for the Surge teams the same year. I marched for Cherry Hill West’s outdoor program as well as their indoor guard, Amethyst, throughout high school. I love color guard and am so happy my daughter loves it just as much! I’m looking forward to the season and working with everyone again. Watch Coach Cindy perform as a member of Light Brigade Senior’s 2020 season!

Brittney DeAngeloHead Coach for Surge Cadets & Surge 2.0. Brittney was introduced to color guard by her aunt when she was in 6th grade (she vividly remembers being in her front yard as she taught her drop spins and tosses on flag) and she has been hooked ever since! Some of her marching experiences have been with the Nordics Junior Color Guard (1987 and 1989), Eastern Regional HS’s outdoor and indoor/winter color guard (1990-1994), and was captain her senior year. After graduation she joined the Nordics instructional staff, as well as Eastern High School’s, for a few seasons, and the Pennsville High School outdoor color guard for one season. She also marched with Extraordinaire Dansemble in 1996. Brittney went on hiatus for a few years to focus on work and starting a family but guard has always been in her blood and she’s so happy to be back! She is thrilled that her 11 and 13 year old daughters have also been bitten by the color guard bug and this will be their 3rd and 4th seasons marching with Surge. She also has a 4 year old daughter who loves being at practices and copying all the big girls! She is proud to be part of the teaching staff and feels privileged that she gets to work with such creative and passionate people who share a mutual love for this activity!

Stacey GallSurge Cadets & Surge 2.0 Coach. Stacey has done color guard for 9 years, beginning with the Nordics, and Co-Motion. She marched for Eastern High School’s outdoor and indoor guard through high school as well. She is so happy that both her daughters started on Surge Cadets and immediately fell in love! She’s so happy to be able to help with this amazing guard!

Darla Miley GibsonSurge Cadets & Surge 2.0 Coach. Darla comes to us with years of experience with Bensalem Color Guard (1989-1993) and most recently with The Guard (2016-2018). She was a key Surge coach whenever she could be free last year and we are pleased to announce that she will spend even more time with us this season. Her two children are involved in the percussion and color guard at Haddon Heights and this Barrington resident works in the Cherry Hill School District in the role of support staff in a special education classroom. Darla is another one who ‘lives’ color guard and is really looking forward to this season and working with everyone.

Leah Gibson – Surge Cadets Coach. Leah is a high school student who loves color guard. Watch Leah perform as a member of Haddon Heights High Voltage! She also marched with Bushwackers Drum & Bugle Corp summer 2019.

Debbie Heller  – Director of the entire Surge Independent Color Guard organization. Debbie has been involved in the marching arts as a visual designer for over 35 years. Although she has worked with groups all over the tri-state area, a majority of her career has been spent as Assistant Director, Program Coordinator, and Drill Designer for the Haddon Heights Marching Unit. She is the founder and drill writer of Synergy Junior Guard of Haddon Heights (a consistent TIA ACC medalist) and co-founder and current director and drill writer of the High Voltage Color Guard (winner of medals in numerous circuits in its 25+ year history.) Debbie formed Surge Independent A Guard with legend Joey Southerland in 2016 to create as affordable an option as possible for students to further their indoor guard career. In short, she has spent her life helping to make memories for countless numbers of color guard kids! For her ‘day job,’ she is head of payroll for the Haddon Heights School District.

Abigail KrealChoreography. Abby has been in guard for 7 years, marching with Collingswood High School for 6 years and Surge Independent. She was instrumental in writing wonderful choreography for Surge Cadets’ 2018 season and so giving of her time. She was especially good at writing rifle and dance for us and we are excited to see what she writes this year! She is very patient and responsive to the needs of the girls when teaching them. She also works for Haddonfield Memorial High School’s color guard. She’s really looking forward to working with everyone this season!

Maddie Phillips – Maddie  spent two years giving up huge amounts of her time to coaching Surge Cadets and the girls thrived on her commitment to excellence and patient instruction and encouragement.  Maddie is excellent at decoding Beth’s cryptic ideas and turning them into choreography that the girls can actually do! She began in Haddon Heights Short Circuit with Beth as her coach and was a color guard star from day one!  She went on to march five years in the high school’s marching band and three years in High Voltage. 

Melissa Trout – Surge Cadets Coach. I joined color guard in 7th grade and absolutely fell in love with both the sport and the people. I performed for 6 years with Synergy and High Voltage, and then switched to coaching. I am currently a senior in college working toward a psychology degree. Coaching has become one of my favorite things to do. Seeing the girls try new skills and achieve new tricks brings me so much joy, and I’m so grateful to have the chance to coach such an amazing team!

Jacolyn Vasil – Surge Cadets & Surge 2.0 Coach.

Additional Volunteers

Haddon Heights High Voltage Color Guard

Jeff Bantle – SC & S2 music mixing

Alon Blum – Floor muscle

Kourtnie Cunningham – S2 hair, makeup

Andrew King – SC props

Janine Swope – SC props, hair, makeup

Candice Stutzman – website admin, S2 hair, SC/S2 fundraising

Kirstyn Elizabeth – Surge A digital marketing design