The standard-issue human skeleton that stands at the front of the class is joined by a rogues’ gallery of hanging humans created by the students out of everything from aluminum foil to pipe cleaners.
Earlier in the semester, 30 of these anatomical ghouls hung from the ceiling. Only five remain. The construction of the skeletons serves as an educational tool, and it’s also
a contest based on their sturdiness.
The one that lasts longest wins. That’s all part of the fun atmosphere that Rexford creates in his popular science classes.
“Students take the class because of him,” said Becky Riley, another science teacher at the school. “I’m not sure how much the students
are really interested in anatomy, but his students are engaged every day in his class.”
Rexford combines his engaging style with deep knowledge of his subject, a self-deprecating sense of humor and a calm demeanor. The
halls may teem with teenage angst but inside his classroom calm and stability rule.
“In 20 years, I’ve never once seen him act in a negative manner in any way, period,” Riley said.
Like Riley, Rexford has worked at Henry Clay High for 20 years, starting as a fresh-faced, 22-year-old right out of college who was mistaken for a student.
“A few days before classes started I asked when I would get my text book and I was told ‘On the first day of class, with all the other students,’” Rexford said with a laugh. Two decades later, Rexford may still look boyish, but don’t let appearances distract you from his seriousness of purpose.
Rexford is currently working on his National Board Certification and he re-instituted the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, opening it up to all students.
“It’s not too much to say that it’s a mission for me to serve as a positive influence to the students I encounter and to keep my teaching fresh by interacting and involving students,” Rexford said. “My goal is whenever my last year comes, I enjoy teaching as much as I do now.”
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