Shavin' and behavin'

Sunset Elementary students shave principal's head for good behavior reward


Their eyes were bugged out.

Their hands were over their mouths.

And they just couldn't help but let out a chuckle or an "Ooo, ahh."

Sunset Elementary School students could hardly contain themselves as they watched their classmates shave Principal Zack Allen's head Friday afternoon.

"I never got to shave anybody's head before," fourth-grader Grant Hefton said. "It was cool."

He was one of 10 students selected to help trim Allen's dome in front of the school Friday. The other students were: Kindergartners Joshua Cort and Caitlen Krause, first-graders Madison Meckley and Samuel Walls, second-graders Angela Quezada and Cassidy Wheeler, third-graders Allie Dilldine and Kristyn Wardlow, and fourth-grader Brandon Biles.

The assembly was the students' reward for meeting their second trimester goal: 7,500 PAWS tickets by Feb. 15. They made it, earning 7,667.

PAWS stands for:

  • Practice respect
  • Act with kindness
  • Work together
  • Stay safe

PAWS is the elementary schools' implementation of the district-wide Positive Behavior Supports program. Students earn PAWS tickets when a teacher sees them following one of the rules.

Then, of those who won a PAWS ticket during the week, 10 students' names -- two each from grade level kindergarten through fourth grade --were drawn from a hat. Those 10 were then rewarded with a Mystery Motivator the following week.

This week's motivator was helping to shave Allen's head, decided once the trimester's tickets had been totaled.

"Every student contributed at least one ticket to reaching the goal," Allen said.

The students won a pajama day in the fall after reaching their 3,000 PAWS tickets goal the first trimester. The students currently are brainstorming ideas for the third trimester reward.

"It'll have to be a pretty big one to top this," Allen said.

Allen said the PAWS program, which replaces Sunset's previous Sun Dogs behavior program, has been effective.

"The kids aren't earning the PAWS tickets each week knowing they're going to get something in return. There's just the chance," Allen said. "We wanted to get away from dangling the carrot in front of the kids and getting them to behave simply for the carrot."

Hefton said he likes the new program. Last week was his first time to receive a PAWS ticket. And when he found out he won the Mystery Motivator, he was thrilled.

"I was so excited my face turned red," Hefton said.

Allen's face was a bit red Friday, too, as each of the winning students took a swipe at his head.

Earlier in the day, the two morning kindergarten winners got to trim his beard to a goatee since they would miss the afternoon ceremony.

"I thought it might look a little weird with a beard and a bald head," Allen said. But, "It'll all grow back quickly."

In the meantime, his shaved head will serve as a reminder of the students' success.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or

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