The squeals could be heard down the hallway Thursday at Harrison Hill Elementary as fifth-grader Collin Shaw pulled Rio from the bag.
“Cool!” some of the students shouted.
“Ewwww!” others yelled.
Colin remained calm, petting the ball python’s tail with ease – but making sure to keep an eye on it at all times.
Beth Wood of Indiana Wild visited with students Thursday as part of a schoolwide lesson about North America.
Indiana Wild is a nonprofit organization in Woodburn that promotes conservation, education, rescue and culture of animals.
Students learned about animals of North America, the difference between invertebrates and vertebrates and what to do if they find a tortoise (or other wild animal) in the road.
To the surprise of the Harrison Hill students, Wood brought with her a collection of animals – some furry and friendly and others exotic and, as one student explained, “creepy.”
Students cheered and inched forward in their seats, craning their necks to watch as Wood pulled out one animal after the next.
Paw Pa Lae Say, a first-grader, was the first to join Wood on stage as she removed Shimmer, a rabbit, from the crate.
Up next was Colin with Rio the snake, then fourth-grader Sherriya Paw with an unexpected visitor – a hissing cockroach.
“It’s so creepy,” Sherriya said, holding the cockroach on her hand as far away from her body as possible.
•Bailey Miller, a Fort Wayne resident, recently received a 2014-15 NSLI for Youth scholarship that will allow her to study Russian in Russia this summer through the American Councils for International Education.
•Harlan Christian School student James Sylvester recently received a $950 scholarship from iAB Financial Bank to be used toward tuition for the 2014-15 school year.
•Matt Maples of Fort Wayne has been named “Law Student of the Year” by the Indianapolis Bar Association. Maples is a 2014 graduate of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.
•Adams Central High School senior Erica Bluhm recently received a $1,000 Road to Success Scholarship from Mutual Fire Insurance Agency of Decatur and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company of Grinnell, Iowa.
•Joey Filosa, a student at Northrop High School, won this year’s Third District Congressional Art Competition. Filosa’s entry “First Love,” was a graphite drawing of his nephew embracing a baseball. The drawing will hang in a tunnel under Capitol Hill for a year beginning in June. Northrop High School student Kaylea Hanes placed second in the contest with her painting “Pavochristatus,” an ink-and-watercolor painting of a peacock.
•Huntington University has named Dr. Michael Wanous as the institution’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.
•The Northeastern Indiana Section of the American Chemical Society has announced eight outstanding high school students who competed in the National Chemistry Olympiad Exam on April 25 at Huntington University. The students are Benjamin Dvorak and Natalie Hawken of Homestead High School; Logan Hille and Anne Lietzke of Carroll High School; Water Li of Canterbury High School; Kyler McVoy and Charles Mettler of Huntington North High School; and William Pierce of DeKalb High School.
•The Dowden Science Hall was dedicated April 24 in honor of Dr. G. Blair Dowden and Chris Dowden. The Dowdens, Huntington’s 12th president and first lady, led Huntington University for 22 years before retiring in May 2013.
•Huntington University will add three new bachelor’s degree programs – psychology, social work and criminal justice – at its Huntington, Fort Wayne and Columbia City locations starting this fall. The classes are offered in the evenings and online.
•Trine University’s Ketner School of Business will offer two new master-level programs that will debut this fall: the Master of Science in Engineering Management and the Master of Business Administration.
•Gifts and pledges from a large variety of sources have vaulted Trine University to a new record in fundraising for the 2013-14 academic year. The university raised nearly $20 million, surpassing by a third the previous record of just over $15 million in the 2006-07 academic year.
•Judy A. Morrill of Garrett, donated $500,000 to Trine’s new T. Furth Center for Performing Arts. The Morrill Concert Balcony and Presidential Suite in the Ryan Concert Hall are named in her honor.