Teachers’ Pets

Mr. Crall – Hondo and Stella

“I think if Hondo was a celebrity, he’d be Steve Buscemi – he looks really nervous and wired, but he’s actually very chill and a very kind soul,” said special education teacher John Crall. “Some people think he’s strangely attractive – but when you look at him in the right light, he’s actually really really ugly.”  In addition to his stunning looks, Hondo also knows fine cuisine when he sees it. “He does enjoy the occasional forbidden snack,” said Crall, referencing Hondo’s affinity for cat poop. In addition to going to dog parks, Crall says one of their favorite things to do is snuggle – “He likes to lay his head on my chest and snuggle my beard, and we listen to music,” said Crall. “Every now and then, the music would fit the energy of the room and it would be really special.” Hondo’s partner in crime is Crall’s cat, Stella – “She likes to sit in high places and judge us, or plot Hondo’s murder.”


Mr. Mooney – Pirate and Pancho

Although APUSH students may no longer recall the definition of the Morrill Act or the causes of the nullification crisis, almost all will remember Mr. Mooney’s two dogs – Pirate and Pancho. To many of Mooney’s students, the two are synonymous with documentary nights and other extra credit events, making frequent appearances throughout the year. Outside of their educational duties, both are seasoned travelers – The pair accompany Mr. and Mrs. Mooney on their frequent drives across the United States, having visited New Mexico, Colorado, and Louisiana. Although their travels are certainly memorable, Mooney says his favorite thing to do with the two are their simple walks, taking them to Inis Grove and the municipal golf course.


Kiwi, Lola, Rook

Zmolek – Kiwi, Lola, Rook

Chad Zmolek has a well trained pack of three German Shorthair Pointers that go by the names Kiwi, Lola, and Rook. Truly formidable! Zmolek on occasion will employ his dogs to pull him on his bike or on skis. While they are great work dogs, they also are very affectionate Zmolek said. “They are like velcro, particularly to me because I trained them,” he said. All three are rescue dogs.





Mr. and Mrs. Schmaltz – Kaia 

Rhonda and Kirk Schmaltz have a thirteen year old Australian Shepherd named Kaia. They got her ten years ago from a friend of their daughter’s who had too many pets and had to let one go. Kaia’s favorite activities are sleeping, chasing squirrels, and barking at people on bikes. Kaia loves eating peanut butter toast and popcorn, but only if it has lots of butter.

Update: Since the writing of this article Kaia, age 13, has passed away.





Mr. Ripley – Chewy

In between grading papers, Mr. Ripley gets to spend time with his beloved dog, Chewy, otherwise known as Chewbacca Jones. They met in February of 2009 at a shelter in Grinnell and have been inseparable since. Although Chewy is in the “Grandpa” phase of his life – he still loves to sleep, watch traffic, and wake his owners up at 5:30. On a good day, you might see the two of them walking through the woods after a nice breakfast of bacon and bananas.


Toby and Mrs. Cakrasenjaya

Ms. Cakrasenjaya – Toby

Toby is a spunky, 3 month old, adorable puppy in his crazy stage. “Currently he likes to see his reflection and bark at it because he thinks it’s another dog,” said english teacher Ms. C. His name was chosen because he resembles Toby from the office with his “droopy eyes” and also a character from one of Shakespeare’s plays said Ms. C. Given as gift from her fiance in July, Ms. Cakrasenjaya has a lot left to learn about Toby – but look how cute he is!!!



Mr. Todd – Fred and Ginger

While working on the pollinator project in Mr. Todd’s classroom, you might have wondered what was in the tank by his desk. That tank is the home of snakes Fred and Ginger, who are a crucial part to the classroom environment. Three years ago, Mr. Todd received these snakes to use their eggs for science projects from someone who didn’t want them anymore. “They like to hang out in tubes, cardboard tubes, that’s their go to,” Mr. Todd said when asked what the snakes like to do. Maybe next time when you’re in Mr. Todd’s Ap Biology class you can ask him about his snakes or  to feed them their frozen mice.