High school principal makes good on promise

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Allows students to cut his hair

COAL GROVE — You’d be hard-pressed to find a high school student who actually looks forward to the statewide Ohio Graduation Tests.

This year, however, the entire sophomore class of Dawson-Bryant High School couldn’t wait to get their results back from the week-long academic endurance test they took in March.

A simple wager made by Principal Steve Easterling was all it took to get the class more motivated than ever to pass all five parts of the OGT. On Monday afternoon, the entire school filed into the gym to see him make good on that wager.

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Sitting in a folding chair, covering in a green smock, Easterling sat perfectly still as sophomore class president, Kristen Matney, and vice president, Holli Rose, armed with a comb and electric clippers, redeemed their prize.

“Can we just go back to class and forget this,” Easterling said in a last minute plea for mercy.

Two weeks for the OGTs, Easterling promised the sophomores that if they could pass all five parts of the test, they could cut his hair and goatee.

“Originally I said shave, but my wife said no,” Easterling said. Mark Capper of Morris Barbershop in Ironton was standing by to give Easterling some finishing touches. He also donated use of the clippers.

Timid at first, Kristen and Holli began with Easterling’s goatee.

“Don’t be scared,” a student in the crowd yelled. “Get in there!”

Little by little the hair fell to the floor, as they moved to his head. The students cheered and laughed as the girls ran the clippers straight through the middle of his head, giving him a reverse mohawk.

“It was awesome how well he participated,” Holli said. “…The best part was, there was no detention involved.”

Holli said the sophomore class came together and that the wager was a great reward.

“It shows us just how much he wants us to succeed,” she said.

Kristen said the wager played a part in the entire class doing well on the test, but that as a whole, everyone has always been academically driven.

“The teachers push us really hard,” she said.

“I’m just glad they got five out of five on the test,” Easterling said. “They’ve worked hard.”

Sporting a fresh buzz cut, Easterling offered the same challenge to all the rising sophomores.

“We’ll come up with something for you to do,” said.

Both Kristen and Holli said they don’t think anything could top being able to shave the principal’s head.