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Mr. A loses his locks

Friday, 02 February 2018. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Mr. A loses his locks

As St. Michael’s School students chanted “It’s your day, Mr. A,” school trustee Judy Lane snipped the first of Jason Andrusiak’s locks on Friday morning. Students raised $1,200 for cancer research to see their teacher have his head shaved.   Photos by Shannon Robison

Mr. A loses his locks

By Shannon Robison

“What is with the hair?”

Jason Andrusiak, a Grade 7 and 8 teacher at St. Michael’s School, found himself called out in the hallway for the somewhat unruly hairdo he was sporting last fall.

The good-natured taunt came from school trustee Judy Lane, who is well known for her sense of humour and friendly presence at the Pincher Creek school.

The teasing quickly became a discussion of turning those lovely locks into a fundraiser.

Mr. A, as he is known to students and staff alike, said he would keep growing his hair, but would shave it all off if students could raise $1,200 to support cancer research.

The dare was on and students held a “break the rules” day to kickstart their effort.

Mr. A says the kids paid a toonie for each rule they chose to break, like wearing a hat in class.

Their efforts brought in $900 and student council topped this amount up to ensure Mr. A would have a date with the clippers.

Friday was the day, and the student body gathered in the gym in great anticipation of a hairy affair.

To the delight of the students, Heather Bonertz and Sydney Ouellette of Rumors Salon prepped Mr. A by separating his hair into multiple ponytails.

Mrs. Lane had scissors ready to make the initial snip, but first had some words to share.

While acknowledging the silliness of the day and the success of the fundraiser, she added the serious side of the story by reminding students that Mr. A’s father had passed away during the campaign.

After speaking to the effort becoming more meaningful through this loss, Mrs. Lane took the scissors and got to work as the students chanted “It’s your day, Mr. A!”

A student-produced soundtrack played in the background that included tunes like “I’m Too Sexy,” “You Are So Beautiful,” and, lastly, Mr. Clean’s theme song.

Mr. A was snipped, shorn and finally shaven clean with a razor.

“What a guy,” one of the older students commented.

The young man was absolutely right.

Mr. A received an unexpected phone call in late November and travelled immediately to Yuma, Ariz. His father, Joe Andrusiak of Elkford, was hospitalized there.

Joe regained consciousness and seemed better, but was diagnosed with Stage 3 leukemia and lymphoma and died a few days later.

Mr. A’s fundraising challenge suddenly took on new meaning as this was the first time anyone close to him had been affected by cancer.

Strong emotions were clear on his face during Friday’s head shaving as he set an example for all in attendance.

Money raised will be donated to the Movember Foundation.

20180126 Mr A 4

Sydney Ouellette begins the final phase of Jason Andrusiak’s head-shaving adventure at St. Michael’s School on Friday. She and Heather Bonertz of Rumors Salon were on hand to take Mr. A from long locks to bare scalp as a fundraiser for cancer research.