Sticky situation entertaining students in C-Pod

Meet Mr. Sticky, borne from Mr. Dan Krueger’s passion for biology


Ethan Beleiff

Mr. Sticky ready for his close-up with his owner Mr. Krueger

TOWEMECIAN – A crown sits inside a baggy at the castle of North Penn. This crown is not for royalty like the homecoming court, but for the tiny gecko living inside a biology classroom. 

Mr. Sticky is a 10-year-old crested gecko owned by Mr. Dan Krueger, a biology teacher at North Penn High School. Krueger hatched Mr. Sticky out of his egg after becoming the owner of his parents.

My wife used to work at an animal shelter. People turned in two crested geckos but the shelter was for cats and dogs. They knew I was a science teacher, so they asked me if I wanted them.”

— Mr. Dan Krueger, NPHS Biology teacher

“My wife used to work at an animal shelter. People turned in two crested geckos but the shelter was for cats and dogs. They knew I was a science teacher, so they asked me if I wanted them. I took them and it happened that the one was male and the other was female and they ended up laying a bunch of eggs, and Mr. Sticky was one of those eggs.” Krueger said 

Kruger still owns members of the Sticky family. His father passed away recently after reaching his life expectancy of 15 years old. Mr. Sticky’s mother, Sobie, is still alive and lives at the Krueger home full time. While at home, Mr. Sticky is actually referred to as Baby Sobie because of his resemblance to his mother. 

Geckos have the ability to drop their tails when they are stressed. In the wild, geckos use their detachable tails to distract predators while they run. One summer at Krueger’s home, Mr. Sticky jumped out of his cage and ended up dropping his tail after seeing a predator.

“He came face-to-face with my cat. The cat wouldn’t do anything, she’s old and could care less, but he saw this predator, his instincts kicked in and he dropped his tail. The tail will flop around after it’s detached so the predator will eat the tail so the gecko can scurry away. Crested geckos like Mr. Sticky are the only type of gecko whose tail won’t grow back. ” Krueger said

Mr. Sticky was not hurt by this incident because tail removal doesn’t affect a gecko’s health or mobile ability. After all, he is brave as he is held by hundreds of students throughout the school year. Krueger allows his students to handle Mr. Sticky during lessons. The gecko is now essentially the classroom’s mascot with someone asking to hold him almost every period. Plants and animals fill the classroom with life, boosting student morale as they try to decode polypeptide synthesis. Krueger’s classroom attracts students who do not even have Krueger as a teacher. Riley Purfield, a junior at North Penn, goes with her best friend to see Krueger everyday.

“Everyday last year, I would walk to his classroom and  say hi to my best friend. That’s how I got to know Mr. Krueger and Mr. Sticky. Now it’s tradition for us to go there to see them. Mr. Sticky is so calm with her and stays sitting in her hands, but he’ll climb on my arms and go in circles. I think of myself as his personal playground because he’s so calm with others and he runs around on me. Mr. Krueger is such a great teacher, even though I’ve never had him, he’s helped me with so much,” Purfield said. 

Krueger has a passion for what he teaches, and that’s reflected when you enter the classroom. Placed at Krueger’s desk in the front of his classroom, Mr. Sticky serves as a welcoming presence to students who can feel intimidated by the subject. Whether for the sophomores taking their introductory biology class or the upperclassmen who take semesters of Krueger’s, everyone crowns Mr. Sticky with the tiny crown bestowed upon him in the baggy on his cage.