EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 22, 2012

Timberlane becomes hair-free zone for some staffers

School resource officer shaves head for a good cause

By Alex Lippa
alippa@eagletribune.com

---- — PLAISTOW — Joan Marsilia admitted yesterday morning was the most nervous she has ever been going into a haircut.

But after it was complete, the school resource officer was nothing but smiles after getting her head completely shaved.

“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Marsilia said. “This is better than I imagined.”

Marsilia and six male teachers had their heads shaved as part of the Mealey’s Meals fundraiser, which raises money for families in need during the holidays.

The school raised more than $10,000 for the cause through several different fundraisers, but the main event was yesterday.

If the students raised $5,000, Marsilia and the rest of the teachers agreed to get their heads shaved.

The students were a little short leading up to the event, but hundreds of them paid $2 fee to see student-teacher volleyball and basketball games, with the teachers getting their heads shaved in the middle of the event.

“It was fun to see,” senior Billy Joyce said. “It’s great to cheer on our teachers and it’s fun to have something like this right before we leave on break.”

Marsilia received a standing ovation as Tristin Herdt, a Timberlane graduate who is now a hairdresser at the Windham Barber Shop, put the razor to her head.

Marsilia played along with the crowd and raised her arms in the air for students to make more noise.

“I’ve never been so happy to be part of any community,” Marsilia said. “This is my second family. It was great to have the students, teachers, family and my police department behind me and supporting me.”

Police Chief Stephen Savage was at the event. He laughed when asked if he would get his head shaved, too.

“It’s not for me,” he said. “It’s all in the spirit of the Owls.”

Science teacher Stephen DelCambre opted to turn his full head of gray hair into a mohawk, rather than going bald.

“His was the coolest one,” Joyce said.

Senior Kayla LaRocca said she enjoyed seeing the teachers get their heads shaved, but she did have one regret.

“I wish we had more days to look at them after they just got their heads shaved,” she said.

It was Timberlane’s last day of school before their winter vacation.

LaRocca is part of the Students of Service group, which helped organize the event. The group also did a turkey trot, a road race, clothes drives among many others to raise money for Mealey’s Meals.

This fundraiser is extra special for Students of Service because it benefits members of their own community.

“Although some of us may not need that kind of help, there are those who do need it,” senior Shannon Alper said. “It feels good to give back to them.”

Marsilia was the focus of the event yesterday, but reiterated the overall goal was the families who need help.

“At this time of the year, some things can get overlooked,” she said. “Anything I can do to help them more is a great feeling.”