VVS students get visit from curator, reptiles

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VERONA — Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Middle School students recently welcomed Tim Becker, a curator at the Upscale Exotics reptile breeding facility, to their classes to teach them about genetics, endangered species, and adaptations, the VVS school district said.

Becker brought snakes, lizards, and turtles to the science classes of teachers Nora Burnop and Deb Kiskiel.

“This gives kids a realistic view of how these species are becoming endangered and what they can do now to protect them in the future,” said Burnop.

“Our honors students will create pamphlets that Mr. Becker can give to customers who purchase reptiles. The brochures will contain a care sheet and information about these organisms that are in danger of becoming extinct,” Burnop added.

Becker’s daughter, Lillian Becker, was in one of the classes he visited. “He taught us about the value of keeping these species in existence for generations,” she said.

Tim Becker said “my daughters have always asked me to come in and do a presentation. This is my way of giving back — doing what our organization does takes a lot of time, but when teachers ask me to come in I’m all about it.”

“The excitement it generates in the kids is great, especially when they see the boring field of genetics turn fun,” he added.

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