Madill Middle School gets surprise visit from OKC Thunder

Evan Grice
Madill Middle School algebra teacher Kyle Bare and his class pose together with "Rumble the Bison" and cheerleaders from the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday morning after being announced as monthly winners of the OKC Thunder StatLab contest.

MADILL — While it might have been misting early Monday morning outside Madill Middle School, some special guests decided to bring a little “Thunder” to Kyle Bare’s Algebra classroom.

Bare’s class was surprised by mascot Rumble the Bison along with cheerleaders from the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they were selected as a special winner for the month of December in the Thunder StatLab program, which is powered by Chesapeake Energy.

The program is designed to help students discover the role that statistics play in the world of sports. Each month every registered classroom is given a new activity, with a winner being chosen at random after they have successfully completed and submitted their assignment.

With a loud pound on the door, Rumble burst into the classroom Monday morning to give the students in Mr. Bare’s classroom new sneakers along with calculators and a new charging station for their chrome book computers. In total the upgrades amounted to $5,000.

“This is huge for us here at Madill,” Bare said. “The two previous schools who won this were much larger schools than us. For them to come down 2 1/2 hours to Madill is just super special and it shows how much the Thunder care about this program and the schools who participate in it.”

“We’ve had a limit on how many Chromebooks we could charge at once,” Bare added. “Now we can charge all of them at once, and the whole class can now use the equipment together. The first month we did this process, we kept getting the wrong answers. It was little things that were making a difference and I was able to catch them. I pride myself on being able to teach the students to be able to solve problems, and we were able to do that.”

To liven up the mood a little AC/DC’s famous “Thunderstruck” was played in the classroom as the students got to enjoy interactions and photos with Rumble and the OKC Cheerleaders during the surprise visit.

“I’m not going to lie, I had to look away a couple of times because I got choked up a little,” Bare said. “These students are very special to me and to have this happen to them was very exciting and wonderful for me as a teacher here at Madill.”

While the moment was exciting for teachers and faculty alike, the moment was just as great for the students, most of whom were decked out in OKC Thunder T-shirts for the occasion.

“We had no idea what was going on at first,” student Evan Watts said. “All we were told was to wear a lot of Thunder gear and Thunder colors. When Rumble knocked on the door it scared us all to death and got us terrified because we didn’t know what was going on. But once we saw him come in with the cheerleaders smiling it was just really special for us.”

“It’s been so much fun to incorporate math and algebra formulas together with sports like we have,” Watts added. “Mr. Bare is always available to help us if we don’t understand something, and he’s always made learning so much fun when it comes to algebra.”