Love for ocean fuels biology teaching


Nishant Medicharla

CHS9 biology teacher Laronna Doggett works with her students on a cellular respiration worksheet. Doggett’s passion for the ocean has allowed her to teach students in a unique way.

Anika Arutla , Social Media Manager

The turquoise ocean, golden sand and colorful flora and fauna is a landscape that CHS9 biology teacher Laronna Doggett witnesses almost every summer when she goes with North Lake College on trips to Hawaii. 

With a marine biology degree from Texas A&M University at Galveston and having taken classes at SeaWorld San Antonio working with dolphins on a daily basis, Doggett did not originally view herself as a teacher. 

“My mother [Carolyn McGehee] is a teacher, she teaches English, and she said, ‘honey you can be whatever you want, just don’t be a teacher’,” Doggett said. “When I was in fourth grade, she took me to SeaWorld and from that moment, I wanted to be a marine biologist.” 

However, after helping her roommate’s mom in college with tutoring for the state test, Doggett soon realized teaching was her calling. 

Doggett got a job at Moody Gardens in Galveston in its education department her junior year of college and taught children at the Dallas Zoo. After working at the zoo for two years, she went back to school to get a teaching certificate. 

From there, Doggett found her way to Coppell High School, where she has been teaching for 14 years. Doggett has taught various subjects outside of biology, such as AP environmental science, aquatic science and Integrated Physics in Chemistry (IPC). 

In addition, Doggett teaches a second-semester biology lab for science majors at North Lake College and serves as a lab instructor for the environmental biology class when they go to their Hawaiian field studies trip every summer. 

Nishant Medicharla
CHS9 biology teacher Laronna Doggett has a love for marine biology which has influenced her heavily in her teaching style and other activities. Doggett has worked with the Coppell Nature Park aiding with its construction.

“We really focus more on the animals, the environment,” Doggett said. “We go into tide pools and collect critters, pull them out and talk about what they are and classifications.” 

Having a strong background in marine biology and working with marine animals firsthand, Doggett integrates her experiences into her classes. 

“With teaching the biology course, there’s so many times she can pull in marine plants and marine animals and ecology into what we’re actually learning in biology,” CHS9 biology teacher Cathy Douglas said. “She can go into way greater depth from the marine plants background.”

Aside from teaching, Doggett has had a strong presence in the Coppell community in more ways than one. 

After starting the GO Club (Get Out and Do Science Club) 14 years ago, Doggett and members of the club were asked to design the Biodiversity Education Center at the Coppell Nature Park. Aiding with not only the structure of the building, Doggett also had her aquatic science students at the time create lessons about water quality and how to use the equipment properly. 

As a dedicated member of the Coppell community and a lover of all things ocean-related, Doggett makes sure her students receive every ounce of her enthusiasm. 

“She’s passionate about her teaching,” Doggett’s husband, Jeffrey Doggett, said. “She spends a lot of time making her lesson plans, and she just wants to give the best to the kids.” 

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