Green Elementary principal Scott Shank is a man of his word.
Early in the school year, he promised his students that if they raised $40,000 in the Bulldog Dash 5K run he would shave his head. The students and community stepped up and raised over $40,000 for the school, including $4,000 from the Lou Rawls Foundation that helped push the total over the top.
So, true to his word, Shank announced at the December Green Board of Education meeting that he would shave his head during an assembly at the school on Dec. 19.
Shank, in his first year as principal of the building, found a silver lining in the face of losing all of his hair in a matter of minutes. "Hey, I am getting a free haircut out of it," he said with a smile.
Shank's family was also involved in his special day.
"My wife took photos of me before the event since our two children are 19 months and five months old and really won't notice any difference at those ages. Years from now when they look through a photo album and see me like this I'm sure they are going to ask just what that was all about," Shank said.
The Bulldog Dash 5K was held on Oct. 6 at Green Memorial Stadium to benefit Greenwood Early Learning Center and Green Primary. The money raised for each school will be used to buy classroom material, enhance technology, students programs and instructional resources.
One of the participants in the race was Phil Ridgeway of Phabulous Phil's barber shop in Green. Ridgeway was asked to shave Shank's head and came fully equipped with trimmers to give Shank as close a cut as possible.
"I was really excited about this. It is a great event and I am glad to be part of it," Ridgeway said.
On the day of the assembly, students filed into the auditorium and sat on the floor waiting anxiously. As the excitement mounted, chats of "Shave your head," echoed off the walls.
Shank walked in and the students quieted down as the principal thanked them for their support. He emphasized that since he had made his promise to them to shave his head, it was important that he keep his word. "And I am a man of my word," he said in his final words as he mounted the stage and sat down to have his head shaved.
With the Green High School pep band playing in the background, Ridgeway put a colorful child-sized drape over Shank's shoulders and began the process. He told the students that, "These are special clippers and the more noise you make, the closer they will cut their principal's hair."
This got a tremendous response as Ridgeway slowly did a series of cuts on Shank's head, including a weird Mohawk and faux devil's horns. To complete the job, Ridgeway asked two of the girls from his neighborhood, Kylie Gorsuch and Mallory Crabtree, to make the final cuts. Each removed one of the "horns" and then Shank stood up to show off his "new" look, to the delight of the students.
Page 2 of 2 - Third grader Olivia Cooper thought it was "pretty funny and pretty cool" that Shank kept his word.
"His hairstyle is pretty crazy," Cooper said with a laugh. Second grader Sean Roarty agreed and said the brief moment when Shankhad the devil horns on was his favorite part of the day. Even after having his head shaved, Shank maintained a sense of humor and was still cracking jokes, shiny head and all.
"I just hope Santa brings me lots of warm headgear under my Christmas tree," Shank said.