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Mustang High School (MHS) Freshman Biology Students Reach Out To Support Total Stranger

Mustang High School (MHS) Freshman Biology Students Reach Out To Support Total Stranger

(Mustang, Oklahoma – October 15, 2019) – When freshman Biology teachers began planning to teach Natural Selection with a focus on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, they knew they would need to make it interesting and relevant to students.  After much research, they decided on a case study of an Arizona teenager who the students would relate to as a peer. In the end, this lesson became about much more than Science as students reached out to “Addie” to offer support and well-wishes.    

[Our students] have been learning about Natural Selection by studying a medical case of a young lady named Addie,” Biology I teacher, Leiha Chaisson, explained.  “We have been using her story to teach natural selection with antibiotic resistant bacteria as our anchoring phenomenon. The students were able to storyline her illness and make driving question boards for us to research (MRSA, Addie, resistance, etc.).”  This was merely the beginning of the story, though, as teacher fielded daily questions about Addie’s status and how they could help. In the end, the teachers had to relent to go beyond the curriculum and took a day to explore the human side of this story.  One of the teachers, Michelle Laughter, reached out to Addie’s mother via Facebook, and arranged a way for the students to reach out and support the family.

Student Notes

On Friday, almost 1,000 freshmen wrote positive and encouraging messages to Addie which the teachers mailed to her and her family in Students WritingArizona.  “Our students truly practiced the Mindset of ‘Live To Give,’” Leiha Chaisson, Biology I teacher said.  “They all worried about her and insisted [that] we reach out to this total stranger; I am so proud of them and the empathy that they’ve shown.”


More About Addie

This is the video students watched from when she was 11 years old (2011):  https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/hunting-the-nightmare-bacteria/

Here is an update from 2017 -  https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/an-update-on-survivors-addie-rerecich-and-david-ricci/  

About Mustang Public Schools

The Mustang Public School District covers 69 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,000 certified and support employees. Voted one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces for the past two years, the school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.

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