'Good Morning America' surprises Gibbons coach

Jenny Marks stayed home to watch what she was told would be a story on local cheerleading.

Instead, she learned that she was the subject of a national morning show’s ‘Make Your Monday’ segment on live television. The segment, which is produced weekly by ‘Good Morning America,’ recognizes hard working people by making their Monday special.

Ginger Zee, ABC chief meteorologist, knocked on Marks’ front door around 7 a.m. and persuaded her to talk to GMA anchors live from her front lawn in North Raleigh. Marks, who has coached at Gibbons for 23 years, was also met with pom poms, signs and applause from friends, family and members of the Gibbons community.

Paige Greener, a cheerleader at N.C. State University in Raleigh, was there to support her former high school coach.

“It means so much to me that she is getting this recognition,” she said. “I love Jenny so much; she has been a huge mentor and influencer in my life.”

Marks, who works full time at a hospital, coaches and is a mom to five children, was nominated for ‘Make Your Monday’ by her husband, Taylor.

“She’s so deserving,” he said. “She’s a wonderful mother, wife. She works really hard, gives back to the community and school, and she does it with a smile on her face.”

Those who work with Marks agree.

"Jenny embodies what the original idea of a cheerleader is -- selfless love for somebody else doing something,” said Nancy Barkan, Gibbons’ principal. “For 23 years, Jenny has been that cheerleader for her athletes, on the sidelines, on the competition floor, as a mom and as co-worker.”

As part of ‘Make your Monday,’ Marks received a day at a local spa and a day off from coaching. Not to worry, though; members of her squad will still have practice. The Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleaders, who were on hand for the fanfare, will coach the Gibbons athletes today in Marks’ absence.