Lambert’s New Faculty Member: Duck!


A teacher by the name of Mary Nicoletti – who works as a teacher of exceptional students at Lambert and sponsors the equestrian team – owns the school’s therapy dog who turns frowns upside down!


Duck had been donated from Scott Rucker, the owner of Rucker dog training, and had been taken to his new home only a week before school started.

The adoption process began a week before Christmas break, and according to Ms. Nicoletti, “I had contacted him [Scott Rucker] about possibly getting and training a therapy dog…  I wanted to pick his brain because he knows a lot, and actually said that he had a dog that would be perfect.”


“He didn’t really know where to start in getting him [Duck] in the school… with a classroom, and then I just so happened to call and it all worked out perfect,” Nicoletti continues.


Duck is a 8 ½ month old american lab who was previously sent to duck hunting school, and he was even named Duck for that exact reason. Unfortunately, he failed the hunting school, but Rucker decided that Duck would make a great therapy dog!


Ms. Nicoletti talks about Duck’s purpose at Lambert. 


“There is a lot of research that shows that interaction between students and having a dog in the school reduces stress, increases social interaction, increases student performance, and increases natural student interaction.”


She proceeds, ”Not to mention assisting students through panic attacks, anxiety concerns, and that kind of thing… So that’s how he helps… and increasing reading scores by reading to the dogs.


While students are allowed to see Duck, they would have to respect his rules:

  • He must sit before he is pet
  • He is not allowed to lick
  • People should ask before they pet him – always ask!!


Ms Nicoletti states what people should do when they want to see Duck, “The best thing to do is to come in and say, ‘can I pet him?’, and usually I’ll put him a ‘sit’ position and say, Absolutely.”

When asked about how many people Duck helps each day, Nicoletti replies, I seriously could not count because… you don’t know how many people he helps that you don’t know they were having a bad day,” she continues. “But from the amount of smiles I’ve seen, it’s astronomical, so I know that at minimum he helps people in my class and when he works in the counseling office.”