Students and Staff Shed Hair in Support of Those In Need

A crisp snip echoes through the hall and jaws drop as students and staff donate their hair for Wish Week.

By Kira Zizzo and Emily Wilson

Outside the performing arts wing, Kelsey Buffington ‘22 gasps while she donates her hair for the Dare To Share Your Hair event Feb. 27. Behind the barricades, Buffington’s friends watched on and shouted supportive compliments to her.
Tyler Pratte ‘23 winces as the razor shaves its first line on his head during Dare To Share Your Hair Feb. 25. Pratte had a large audience that cheered him on with encouragement.
For the first time after it was donated, Ellie Thompson ‘23 feels her hair during Dare To Share Your Hair Feb. 25. Students and staff had the opportunity to donate their hair on Tuesday and Thursday during Wish Week.
Paige Cranney ‘23 gasps while she holds the ends of her hair during Dare To Share Your Hair Feb. 25 outside the performing arts wing. She grew her hair out for over a year and plans to donate her hair again in the future. “I donated my hair because I love my hair, so it must be so hard for little girls and boys to lose all of it,” Cranney said.
At the Dare To Share Your Hair event during Wish Week, Alison Merritt ‘22 anticipates the final snip of her last ponytail outside the performing arts hallway Feb. 25. Merritt donated eight inches this year and donated her hair freshman and sophomore year in her plan to donate her hair all four years of high school. “It felt scary at first and my head felt light, but after it was done, I was really happy that I ended up doing it,” Merritt said.
Adeline Goujon ‘22 gasps when the hairdresser cuts off Goujon’s first ponytail during Dare To Share Your Hair outside the performing arts wing Feb. 25. Goujon donated her hair to show support to her grandmother and others diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was very scary, I’m not going to lie, but I feel really great about donating my hair and now I want to do it every year,” Goujon said.
On his phone, Kaz Peralta ‘21 records and cheers in support of Tyler Pratte ‘23, while Pratt’s head is shaved during Dare To Share Your Hair outside the performing arts wing Feb. 25. This year, the Dare To Share Your Hair event was moved from the wresting room to outside the performing arts wing.
English teacher, Pete DeFilippo beams as the final strands of hair are brushed off of his head after he donated his hair for the Dare To Share Your Hair event outside the band hallway Feb. 25. This was DeFilippo’s first Wish Week at the school and his first time shaving his head. “I was hoping to inspire some of my students to do the same, and hopefully show them that there are more important things in life than their physical appearance,” Defilippo said. “I didn’t really recognize anything was different until I looked in a mirror.”
Avery Winter ‘22 smiles at her friends in the crowd outside the barriers of the Dare To Share Your Hair event outside the performing arts wing Feb. 25. The requirements to donate hair was a signed permission slip and five dollars.
During Dare To Share Your Hair, Andra Zirker ‘21 touches the ends of her freshly cut hair in awe Feb. 26. In previous years, former history teacher, David Sapienza led the Dare To Share Your Hair event, but this year, his son, Josh Sapienza ‘22 took a major part in leading this event.
During access, Cooper Mimiaga ‘23 shows his friends his freshly shaved head outside the performing arts wing during Dare To Share Your Hair Feb. 25.. This year, barriers were formed by belt stanchions around the hair cutting stations, which forced crowds to stay back further than previous years.
Kylie Olsen ‘21 stares in awe at her chopped hair outside of the performing arts wing during seminar Feb. 25. Olsen and her friend Caroline Pita ‘21 donated their hair together.
Outside of the performing arts wing, Luke Miller ‘22 helps shave the first part of his head during access Feb. 25. Those shaving their had the option to get different length shaves ranging from a 1 (buzz) to a 6 (longer). “I known my hair grows back and I’m lucky that it does but for people going through chemo, they can’t have that same luck,” Miller said. “I wanted to show them that they are not alone with a bald head.”
Sydney Goujon ‘21 glances at her friends watching from the audience during access outside of the performing arts wing Feb. 25. Tarps were laid and taped down to help minimize the mess. “Both of my grandmas had Breast Cancer and one is going through Chemo right now so I just wanted to help support the cause,” Goujon said.
Jackson Bartos ‘20 shaves his head for Wish Week. “I’ve been growing my hair for a long time so I thought it would be long enough to make a difference to someone,” Bartos said. “It’s my senior year so I figured I would make a difference.”
After the last pony tail is cut, Katelyn Pocock ‘23 gives a shocked glance to her friends waiting in the audience outside of the performing arts wig during access Feb. 25. This was her second time donating her hair. “I donated my hair in fifth grade and it was a cool experience to be a part of something,” Pocock said. “My hair is long enough this year that I wanted to donate it.”
During Dare to Share Your Hair, Avery Winter ‘22 glances at her friends cheering for her in the audience while getting her hair cut outside of the performing arts wing during access Feb. 25. Winter got eight inches cut off. “I was really scared but I like that it shows I participated,” Winter said.
Thearin Pyeatte ‘23 smiles as his hair is buzzed off during access outside of the performing arts hallway Feb. 27. Crowds surrounding the area cheered and smiled in support of those donating their hair.
Taylor Schmitz ‘23 awaits nervously as the first cut is made outside of the performing arts wing during access Feb. 25. Schmitz decided to donate her hair in honor of her neighbor who has Alopecia. “I don’t really like short hair but it’s for a good cause,” Schmitz said.
During access, Kennedy Johnston ‘22 stares in awe at her freshly chopped ponytails outside of the performing arts wing Feb. 27. Friends cheered her on from the crowd.

This story was originally published on The Rock Newspaper on February 27, 2020.