The biology family

By Kelly Schoessling
Staff Writer
The Biology FamilyIn all freshman Biology classes, students learn about the theory of evolution. While studying the unit, teachers will introduce a chart called ‘the tree of life’, which was created when evolution was first being studied and theorized.
‘The tree of life’ shows branches of different species all connected and entwined with each other, relating back to one common ancestor, or origin, which is believed to be the basic units of cells.
As we learn about ‘The tree of life’ today, it can be compared to the Science classes here at PHS. After freshman students take Biology class, they eventually move to Chemistry and Physics. Then students begin to branch out, getting choices available during their junior year for senior year enrollment. Students then join classes like oceanography, zoology, and other available courses.
No matter how far we branch out during the school years at PHS, we all still have one common ancestor, Biology. It’s reasons like this that Thomas Froats, freshman Biology teacher, calls his class the ‘The Biology Family’.
“People spoke very highly of the students and staff,” Froats said on why he decided to become a teacher at PHS.
Froats still teaches both Biology and Oceanography 22 years later, with the same form of unrepeatable passion and energy.
There are a lot of important factors Froats puts into teaching his classes, but one of the most notable is the atmosphere he creates with his students.
At the top of numerous unit packets given to freshman Biology classes, ‘The Biology Family’ is somehow incorporated into the papers.
One packet states “Biology (Once you’re in, you’re family…)”, or “The Byologee Family”, and even, “Biology Famileeeeeeeee”.
When walking into Froat’s classroom (room 330), it’s almost impossible to miss the letters on his front bulletin board that read ‘The Biology Family’ in stapled yellow letters.
Froats regularly refers to the class as the ‘The Biology Family”, making even the shyest students feel welcomed into the class with open arms.
“I enjoy teaching freshman and helping them become high school students from junior high students, and hope to spark a passion for Biology within them,” Froats said.
Some teachers find themselves pushing and striving to push material down high school students’ throats, but Froats has found the ultimate key to success is communication.
Daniela Barca has witness and experienced the Biology Family first hand after being in Froat’s Freshman Biology class for over a semester.
“He makes us(the students) feel included,”  Barca said. “It’s really important to him, and you can tell.”
Froats makes it a goal to create relationships with his students, so he can watch them grow and mature throughout their high school years.
“It’s different every day, everyday provides new challenges in developing relationships with students and classes; sharing passion with students and sharing career opportunities that will grow over the next five to ten years in science,” Froats said.
No matter where we end up in our high school and science careers, at least we’ll always know where we came from, the Biology Family.