Four-legged MMSD staff member is making a difference at East High School

MADISON, Wis. – During a turbulent school year at Madison East High School, one staff member is putting students at ease.

Bonnie doesn’t teach, she doesn’t write, she doesn’t even talk. But she is making a difference.

Bonnie is one of two of the district’s certified WAGS dogs, trained in critical response.

WAGS stands for Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service.

Bonnie partners up with a licensed social worker to help students at the school.

East High has seen an uptick in fights and protests this year, and the school’s principal was reassigned, so Bonnie has stepped up.

“Bonnie is trained to provide lots of love and unconditional non-judgment and positive regard,” social worker Gina Aguglia said. “[It’s] a great opportunity for kids who may be struggling to get some additional support.”

Bonnie spends time at schools across the district. Earlier this year, she went to West High School after a student was killed in a car crash.

The therapy dogs visit schools when needed, and sometimes just to say “hello.”