Teacher ‘staches raise money for St. Baldrick’s


Josh Chormanski

The 2019 Mustache for Cash participants raised over $4000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Becca Fritz, Staff Writer

Eleven teachers have been working for weeks and months to grow entertaining mustaches that raise money for St. Baldrick’s.

History teacher Ryan Pubentz brought Mustache for Cash to Mayfield and admits it takes him quite some time to get his facial hair going. He said, “Personally I start to reach out to teachers just after the start of the New Year to see if we can get any new faces to participate. Some of us are facially hair challenged, including myself, so I need about six to eight weeks to grow a good beard. Everyone else can grow it overnight like Mr. [Bob] Gynn.”

Growing a beard doesn’t happen overnight for math teacher Trevor McGrath, who started growing his ‘stache in November. He said, “I don’t know if I necessarily need to grow it for that long, but I would say probably about a month ahead of time just to make sure that there’s enough hair that you can actually tell when I shave it.”

While McGrath prepares far in advance, science teacher Michael Verdi has a different route. He said, “I would say I start growing [my beard and mustache out] three weeks in advance to get a full good beard so that I can shave it into a ‘stache.”

McGrath says that he has a great time helping the charity but his favorite part would be “raising money for charity which is awesome but I kind of have fun shaving it into different things each year, so that’s sort of my favorite part. But I mean obviously it’s awesome that we’re raising money for charity.”

Verdi, on the other hand, likes to see the process of how the students give to the teachers volunteering. He said, “My favorite part is by far seeing the generosity of Mayfield High School students and how much they’re willing to give, and shaking kids down is sometimes fun too.”

Pubentz says that he likes to shape his beard into many things. He said, “Personally, I try to vary what I go for – if I wanna go for a Fu Manchu or a Burt Reynolds style mustache, it’s kind of whatever I’m feeling.”

Verdi, who is the defending champion of the fundraiser, admits he shapes his mustache based on his reputation.  He said with a laugh, “Ya know, people already think of me as the creeper, so I try to stick to that character.”

While doing the fundraiser is for a great cause, not everyone outside of the school knows why these teachers look the way they do. Pubentz said, “The funniest thing for me is when I’m out in public doing things that I typically do but forget that I have a mustache – like picking my daughter up from school, and going to Starbucks or going to the bank. Those common errands turn very comical or I’ll be sitting at swim lessons for my daughter and I just feel very awkward and I feel like I look pretty creepy.”

McGrath, along with Pubentz, has encountered some weird glares and comments. He said, “I get more weird looks than comments. If I do get some comments, they’re usually from people I know so they’re just like ‘what did you do to your face?’ But my favorite experience was there was one year when I shaved exactly half of my face, and I went to the high school to watch the boat races for the Science Showcase.

“I was sitting in the stands, and some little girl was with her dad and she turned back and looked at me, and she turned back to her dad, and then she turned to me again and then turned back to her dad and told him something and he slowly turned his head around and looked at me,” McGrath said. “I also had one student who started calling me ‘Captain Weird Beard’ so that was fun.”

This year, the fundraiser raised an all-time high of over $4,400 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.