Meet Hilltop's Animals

Many of our classrooms have animals that reside in appropriate cages or homes. Aside from being cute and interesting to watch, pets bring a lot to a classroom. Having pets to care for helps teach responsibility, compassion, empathy, and an understanding and respect for other living things. Pets teach children to value life other than their own, in addition to teaching them about the natural growth and life cycles of many different species which they can observe on a daily basis. Another benefit is the stress reduction that occurs as a result of observing and petting the animals, from which both the children and the animals can benefit. We invite you to come in and meet our representatives from the Animal Kingdom.

Rooney

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Rooney the chinchilla lives in Ms. Stephanie’s lower elementary class and enjoys having lots of attention from his students. Chinchillas are fascinating creatures and Rooney is no exception.

Froggy & Lily

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Ms. Cindi's two African Clawed frogs bring wonder to the classroom. Students enjoy caring for them and watching them swim.

Severus

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Severus is a ball python that resides in Ms. Roopa and Ms. Melissa’s classroom. If you can’t find him at first glance, just look under his rock! He might be hiding!

Mario

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Mario is a giant bearded dragon that lives in Ms. Cindi and Ms. Mary Jo's class. The most interesting thing about Mario is that he is actually a “he” that lays eggs, which is not typical. He has “boy” parts and “girl” parts, which is highly unusual and is always interesting for the children to observe.

Chloe

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Chloe is another giant bearded dragon that lives in Ms. Cindi and Ms. Mary Jo's class. While still very young and immature, she looks up to Mario for guidance about proper classroom behavior. Both Mario and Chloe love to accompany the children outside during recess so they can soak up the fresh air!

Finn

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Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Ona’s class offer the calm and peace of a fish and it’s not uncommon to have learners starting their morning by observing this calm creature.

Apiary

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The Agape Apiary in honor of Cindi Stehr and Susan Nelson: Our bees are quite famous and greet the students in the carpool line every morning. Although they are not indoor animals, their work is a frequent topic of discussion as it gives our students a glimpse into the life cycle of these hard working creatures. HMS honey is on sale annually.

Petunia the Axolotyl

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While Axolotyls are critically endangered in the wild, they are much loved in our classroom. Axolotyls are in the salamander family. While most amphibians grow out of their aquatic phase to begin their lives on land, the axolotl largely retains its larval characteristics and spends its adult life in the water. It does, however, get bigger—up to a foot long.

Hermit Crabs

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Mr. Pincers and Spirit have beautiful shells and reside in Upper Elementary’s room. Hermit crabs are fun to watch but be careful! Mr. Pincers loves to pinch! The students enjoy watching and waiting for the crabs to change their shells. The crab habitat is fascinating to watch during the morning work cycle.

Snowdrop and Cotton

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Oreo

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Wayne the Axolotyl

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