BOTKINS — Botkins High School Principal Jeff McPheron is finding out the hard way that maybe he will not underestimate the student body again.
The students had never managed to raise more than $1,660 in any given year for its annual drive to raise money for the Shelby County United Way, so McPheron naturally felt safe with this year’s event.
Annually, the school’s Student Council members come up with a unique approach to raising the money. This year, vocational agriculture teacher Chad Berning agreed to let students shave his head if $1,800 was raised.
Athletic Director Adam Fullenkamp also agreed to the close shave if the total exceeded $2,000. Just for extra measure, McPheron played it safe and agreed that he would also go hairless only if the group reached $2,200, nearly $600 more than they had ever raised.
At a loss for words, McPheron sat in front of the entire student body as they were cheering as he was treated like a sheep about to lose its woolly coat.
“I honestly didn’t think they would make it,” McPheron said.
In all, the student body raised approximately $2,950 which will be donated to the United Way.
Also, in a side bet, Chris Vordermark, the school’s baseball coach, also lost on a side bet and got a facial hair shaving at the hands of junior Heath Geyer.
Juniors Zach Egbert and Colleen Greve administered Berning’s hair removal, while seniors Jenna Christman and Amy Grillot barbered up Fullenkamp.
Juniors Nick Wagner and Caitlin Lane took care of McPheron. It was apparent that Fullenkamp did not worry too much about having to succumb to the challenge as he remarked about the trouble he was going to be in with his wife when he got home.
While three “cooler” heads may be prevailing in Botkins, at least until the hair has a chance to grow back, McPheron said it was all for a worthy cause.
“We had set our record last year with $1,660,” McPheron said. “This is amazing that the kids were able to raise this kind of money.”
Student Council meets each year and determines a special event to help the school district raise money for the United Way.