Animal attraction: pets find a place on campus

At last, it’s Friday, and that means it’s time to eat.

And boy is he hungry.

After all, he hasn’t had anything to eat all week.

But that’s completely normal.

He’s not malnourished, or being underfed in anyway.

He’s a snake.

And he only eats on Friday when librarian Chelsea Hamilton feeds him.

I believe it helps engage students during their time here in some cases,”

— librarian Chelsea Hamilton

The favorite meal of Snapey Snake, Hamilton’s 2-year-old corn snake she keeps in the office of the library, is a frozen mouse.

“I have always wanted a pet in school,” Hamilton said. “I believe it helps engage students during their time here in some cases.”

Ever since 2019, Hamilton has been keeping Snapey at school, to the point where it’s grown to be his home. She sees this opportunity as a way of attracting students to the library, while also not having to worry about him while she works most of the day.

“He’s very shy, but at the same time really good with the students,” Hamilton said. “I get a lot of students here because of that, and some who have never even been in the library before.”

Freshman Pritika Bhasin has met Snapey already and likes being able to interact with the reptile on campus.

“I think the pets add more of a fun kind of aspect to school,” Bhasin said. “It’s a super cool concept and it doesn’t bother me at all.”

But Hamilton isn’t the only one on campus with pets in a tank. AP Human Geography and Economics teacher Scott Li has guppie fish in his classroom tank, and until this year, they were nameless. But a class project changed all that with Sebastian, Evan Knuckles, and Lord Fishquad helping develop chemistry in Li’s social studies classes. 

As long as it’s not a disturbance…. the class has become a lot more fun,”

— social studies teacher Scott Li

“I think that as long as it’s not a disturbance and not too hard to maintain, the class has become a lot more fun,” he said. “Students really love the pets. I definitely hope to continue keeping the same energy we have in the classroom now for the rest of the year and so on.”