BROCKWAY — At the end of the week, students and staff will gather for a rare event at Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School.
The event, called The Shaving, will see the sacrifice of the beards and hair of several teachers on Friday around 2:15 p.m. While the initial intent was to have a Christmas tree and help out the school, it soon spiraled into a much bigger event.
“It all started with a Christmas tree,” Brockway Ag teacher Kyle Norman said. “I bought a tree for my shop and then looked for a way to use it to help out the school. We found out that the weekend food backpack program was running short on supplies, so we asked the staff to donate to the program.
“A student, Nate McClelland, came up,” Norman said, “and said he wanted to shave Mr. Holt’s beard and would donate food for the chance. That’s how it started.”
Staff members set a donation goal at which they would sacrifice their facial hair. Norman, who is clean-shaven, offered to shave his head for a certain amount. As the week continued, other teachers set seemingly-impossible goals only to see those goals surpassed.
In a two-week period, students and staff at Brockway donated 4,260 items to the cause.
“It kind of snowballed,” Norman added. “It’s truly humbling to see how much we got. We started with 1,000 and kept adding goals because our goals kept getting smashed.”
The donations came from throughout the school. The cafeteria workers at Brockway gathered the most items at 628. Student Tyler Rigard came in with 408. School Counselor Heather Anderson and History Teacher Erin Schiafone each donated more than 230 items. Gym Teacher Jess Ledbetter donated 220 items. The Brockway Presbyterian Church donated enough money to buy 200 items. The Zimmerman family donated nearly 200 items. The rest came in from individuals throughout the school.
The giving frenzy led to a line of teachers finding themselves in a hairy situation. Because of the school’s excitement, The Shaving was deemed important enough for an assembly. Friday during 9th period in the junior-senior high school gymnasium, Justin Parson, Kyle Norman, Matt Holt, Tim Chelednik, Shawn Smith, Zac Weaver, John Hawkins, and Donald Allenbaugh will give up their hair or beards.
To avoid any hair-raising tragedies, local barber Paul Olsakovsky will donate his time to clean up the participants.
“I know I work in the right district when things like this happen,” Norman said. “Kids supporting kids, teachers supporting kids. The community coming together to support our school is wonderful.”