Teachers’ Pets

The animal companions of Salem staff


Irene Straw, Staff Writer

We’ve highlighted student pets in the past, but now it’s time to check out the furry, scaly, or slimy companions of our staff members!

Biology teacher Krista Lewis: Oz, an Aussiedoodle

“He is the most handsome boy and the best boy,” said Lewis.

English 12 teacher Victoria Macoul: Keeper, a Cattle dog/Pitbull mix

“Keeper loves to hike and swim!” said Macoul.

Geometry teacher Kerri Manyo: Salty, an Aussiedoodle 

“Salty’s current record for destroying a new toy is 3 minutes,” said Manyo.

Algebra 2 and Algebra 2/Trig teacher Elizabeth Kress: 1 Betta and 3 Guppies

“The betta will come to the top of the aquarium and will let me ‘pet’ him,” said Kress.

Chemistry and AP Chemistry teacher Patricia Cook: Sydney, a Mini Aussie dog

“She knows when I am supposed to get home from school and waits on the stairs for me!” said Cook.

School Counselor Danielle McGovern: Salem, an all black cat

“He’s a chatty little guy! I always know when he wants to tell me something,” said McGovern

Fine Arts Theatre teacher John Moss: Chaser (Lakeland Terrier), Brutus (Maine Coon), and Dipper (American Short Hair.

“She (Chaser) is almost 20 years old and her full name is ‘Hollybriar Always Chasing Rainbows,’” said Moss. “(and) when rehearsing for “Julius Caesar,” he (Brutus) would loudly chirp whenever he heard his name during the Marc Antony speech. His (Dipper’s) purr is so loud it gets picked up on Zoom calls.”

School Improvement Specialist Margaret Wilson: Bonnie, a Scottish Terrier mix

“She will only go in and out one door in our house. She will back up and bark when you try to get her to go out the others.” said Wilson.

Gifted Resource teacher Kelly Lepkowski: M&M and Twix, Betta fish

“M&M likes to sleep floating on top of tank like he’s passed away! First time he did it I thought he was dead, so I ran to the store & got another Beta (so the kids would be less sad when they got home). When I got back from buying Twix, M&M had woken up & was swimming around like nothing had happened! That’s how we ended up with 2 Bettas & I’m glad I didn’t flush M&M before I went to PetSmart!” said Lepkowski.

FACS teacher Maureen Hampton: Riley, a Puggle (Pug and Beagle)

“(He/she) has an underbite but is very sweet so it’s an oxymoron!” said Hampton.

VPAA Theatre teacher Sharon Byrd: Stella, Chesapeake Bay Retriever

“Stella likes to shower every morning – in fact, she insists on it,” said Byrd.

12th Grade English Teacher Alex Bergren: Summer, a Goldendoodle

“Despite being 45 lbs, she thinks she’s a lap dog … and we let her get her way!” said Bergren.

10th Grade Health/PE teacher Linda Newsome: Sophie, a Maltipoo

“Her leash is stored hanging up in the pantry in the kitchen. When she has to go out to potty, she goes in the pantry and barks,” said Newsome.

Academy Vocals teacher Corbin Pinto: Elsa (Cavapoo) and Kitty (cat)

“Kitty likes dogs and wants to play (while) Elsa loves humans only,” said Pinto.

English teacher Lacy Krell: Griffin & Penny (English Bulldogs)

“They have no sense of personal space!” said Krell.

Academy Coordinator Amy Schuiteboer: Arwin, a Long Haired Torti

“She plays fetch better than most dogs,” said Schuiteboer.

Biology teacher Carol Macdonald: Freddy, a mutt

“His favorite food is cheese and he’s a good co-pilot on a road trip,” said Macdonald.

Health/PE teacher Kristyna Oyola: Velvet, a 9 month old mixed breed kitten

“Velvet loves to play fetch and carry her toys around the house. She also loves to show off her tricks for a treat!” said Oyola.

VPAA Dance teacher Katherine Flint: Oscar, a Pitbull Terrier mix

“He is allergic to grass. He is a protective big brother to my two daughters,” said Flint.

Algebra 1 teacher Jessica Carlson: Panda (Great Dane mix), Mr. Wilson (Boston Terrier), and Hatter (Pug)

“Hatter is sweet old man, Panda is a gentle giant, and Mr. Wilson is always down to play,” said Carlson.

Principal Leeane Turnbull: Gracy Ray, a cat

“She puts her paw in her water bowl and drinks the water off her paw then flicks her paw and gets water everywhere! Always,” said Turnbull.

Economics and Government teacher Mary Stevenson: Sherlock Bones, an English Cream Goldendoodle

“Sherlock loves to dance! He loves to dance with his family and he does a ‘happy’ dance before each meal,” said Stevenson.

Culinary Arts teacher Markus Pfeiffer: Sheep

“When my sheep see me they always make a lot of loud baa baa noises until I give them some food!” said Pfeiffer.

English 11 teacher Rylee Toler: Bowie, a black cat

“Bowie loves to just sit in the bath tub for no reason. I think he finds it comforting,” said Toler.

12 Grade English teacher Kim Baker: Keeper and Gogo (Yorkies)

“They are inseparable! Gogo is the little one. He is Keeper’s uncle. They love the beach!” said Baker.

Distance Learning Assistant Jamie Caruthers: Maxwell Sheffield, a Tuxedo Cat

“When you scratch the top of Maxwell’s back, he licks whatever is closest to his face, uncontrollably. It’s hilarious, and surprising!” said Caruthers.

Literary Coach Carly Krekorian: Indy, an Australian Shepherd

“He is the best big brother to his human sister,” said Krekorian.

World History I teacher Veronica Ruiz: Bolt (Hound mix) and Lyla (Labrador Retriever)

“Bolt is a pup influencer, and Lyla is our new addition- she LOVES to cuddle,” said Ruiz.

English 11 teacher Allison Schroyer: Vanellope and Domino (cats)

“They both love to watch the birds and bunnies that visit our backyard,” said Schroyer.

Tech Foundations teacher Jason Borte: Prince (Boxer) and Rocky (Mutt)

“They sing duets,” said Borte.


So many of our staff members have such interesting, loveable pets. If you have pets of your own, leave a comment about what animal and or breed they are.