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Teacher follows through on promise to shave his head as reward for kids’ efforts
Ennis Junior High School vocational teacher Alan Linson has learned an important lesson – never underestimate a group of determined kids.
After challenging his students to sell more than 6,000 tickets for a barbecue pit trailer the group was raffling as a fund-raiser, he was amazed when the final tally showed the kids sold 7,098 tickets. The numbers really sunk in when he realized he had to keep his end of the bargain he made with his students. He had to shave off all of his hair.
“I have made this challenge 14 times over the years as my students have participated in various fund-raisers and they have never come close to selling that many tickets,” he said. “I guess there is a first time for everything and this is a very determined group of kids.”
Linson’s barber, Red Sanders, had the honor of shaving Linson bald and the class that sold the most tickets got to host the haircut in their classroom and watch the makeover.
Linson laughed as he described the scene of the shearing.
“The kids were very excited to watch the process and I think my barber was too.” He said. “I offered to pay him for coming to the school to provide the haircut, but he wouldn’t take my money. He said the experience was payment enough.”
Now that Linson has been transformed he has had to make some changes to his appearance.
“I’m not allowed to wear a hat inside the school because of the dress code,” he said. “However, I do wear one outside because I don’t want to sunburn. Also, I now have to wear a welding helmet, so I have had to take some extra precautions.”
While he may not be thrilled with his new look, he is excited about the great job his students have done at working together and for the benefit of their show team.
“Last year I had six kids that wanted to be on the show team, this year I have 32,” he said. “Our costs have gone up and the proceeds from the fund-raiser go toward helping with our expenses as we compete in different contests. The program is actually run like an entrepreneurship where the kids get back a percentage of what they sell in the form of school t-shirts or jackets or other items that they would need anyway.”
Linson said the proceeds will also make sure no student gets left behind because of the cost to participate in the program.
“With the rising cost of fuel and the number of kids interested in the program, we were trying to raise enough money to make sure no one got left behind that wanted to participate,” he said. “I am really proud of the kids for everything they’ve done. I think this is a very special group.”
Linson’s group also participates in a community service program where they volunteer to help the community when they can and have recently assisted in the success of the Greater Ennis United Way kick off luncheon. The group also donates prizes for various community fund-raisers and helped raise more than $10,000 last year.
Keeping his word for this year’s challenge has not deterred Linson from offering the same prize again next year as he plans to do it all again if his students are as motivated.
“My wife isn’t crazy about the new look but we both knew it was bound to happen after all these years,” he said. “I’ll keep challenging the kids and if they work as hard as they did this year, I guess I’ll have to start collecting hats.”

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Posted by on Sep 25 2008. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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