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Jessica Burgess (left) organized the special celebration in Ginny Shikle’s honor, noting it was a way of showing the school was all behind her.

The staff at Center Hill High School came together last month to support a fellow teacher, Ginny Shikle, who has lost her hair while battling breast cancer. 

The Mustang family surprised Shikle one day at school by wearing head scarves, hats, chemo beanies, and pink for breast cancer awareness.

"We're wearing this in honor of Mrs. Shikle," said head boys basketball coach Newton Mealer, who along with assistant coach Josh Barnett wore pink T-shirts that day. "She has done a lot for my program. I made sure we wore pink today to show the support and love."

Some faculty members even wanted to go a step further to show how they feel.

"We had somebody who wanted to completely shave their head," said dual credit psychology and Tech Foundations teacher Jessica Burgess, who organized the special celebration in Shikle's honor. "This is our way of showing that we're all there for her. She is an amazing lady. You don't often see someone who goes through what she does and is still smiling."

Shikle, who teaches English and journalism, was diagnosed in December with invasive lobular breast cancer. She underwent a partial mastectomy in January and is currently receiving chemotherapy, which first caused her to lose her hair in April. Her treatments will also include radiation this summer.

"My diagnosis was such a scary moment in my life, but every step of my treatment and recovery has been filled with love and encouragement from my Center Hill family," Shikle said.

The Center Hill faculty went all out to ensure that Shikle felt that love and support.

"We love Mrs. Shikle and are honored to support her in this journey," librarian Kari Jamieson said.

At the end of the day, Jamieson was one of several staff members who gifted Shikle with 25 scarves and caps that were worn in her honor.

"My surprise celebration was such a blessing, and I love my Mustang family," Shikle said. "I appreciate them very much."

Editor's Note: Kymoria Mottley is a staff writer for The Pony Express student newspaper at Center Hill High School. The article is printed with permission.

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