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Back to Communications Home

Hackett students chill with therapy dog

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 7, 2018) -- William S. Hackett Middle School choral students rehearsing Friday for their winter concert next week showed no signs of the jitters, thanks in part to the presence of one Stella Louise McWrinkleson.

 

Stella, a 2-year old bloodhound, is a certified therapy dog belonging to Hackett and music teacher Frances DelSignore.

 

Stella spends two to three days a week in DelSignore’s classroom. The vast majority of DelSignore’s students said they find Stella a calming and soothing presence.

 

And It’s not just DelSignore’s students who benefit from Stella’s canine charms. Other Hackett students frequently stop in to DelSignore’s room to get a dose of Stella love.

 

Stella is one chill hound. But that’s due to rigorous training certified therapy dogs undergo. To get her certification through Therapy Dogs International, Stella had to learn to suppress a number of her natural urges, from nibbling on strangers to being startled by loud noises.

 

According to DelSignore, Stella comes from a long line of search and rescue hounds that work with the New York State Police. Some of her brothers and sisters are working in Africa to track down poachers.

 

When she’s not helping the folks at Hackett mellow out, Stella lives with DelSignore and her family.

 

Click here to see more Facebook photos of Stella visiting Hackett. (You don't need a Facebook account to view the pictures. A window may display the text, "To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account," but you can dismiss the message by clicking "not now.")

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves approximately 9,500 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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