For questions and inquiries, please contact Katie Runge (

Dance Coaches 2020-2021


Katie Runge grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area dancing Pom for most of her younger years. She danced for her high school team, the St. Francis Lancerettes, went on to coach Pop Warner Cheer, and had the amazing opportunity to dance in the NFL as a San Diego Charger Girl while attending San Diego State University. Katie went on to become an elementary school teacher for seven years and now is a part-time substitute teacher for Poway Unified. She is married to her husband, Brad, and enjoys being a sports mom to her two sons, Jace and Logan, who are active in basketball. Katie is excited to add to the Game Day experience with the Del Norte Nighthawks!


Vanessa Mercado is an SDSU graduate who has always had a love and
passion for dancing at the young age of 2 years old. She was a trained competitive dancer for 15 years where she won various high point and title awards. She went on to become a dance teacher and instructor at the studio she grew up dancing at under the direction of Kristi Fair. She is on Song/Pom staff with United Spirit Association where she travels teaching dance camps and workshops to students of all ages, levels, backgrounds. In her first year coaching at Del Norte, she has led the competition dance team to their best season to date, with the competition team bringing back overall placements for all of their routines, as well as bring back two Group National Championships and 3 Solo Championships. She loves being able to work with students and share her love and passion for dance, just as her teachers did for her. 

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The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840,

Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406