For Trinity students showing support for classmate, bald truly is beautiful
Pat Smith, Dean of Students at Trinity High School, cuts the hair of Carmen Giampetruzzi, a senior, on Thursday as 44 students and faculty shaved their heads in support of Trinity sophomore Matt Lemire, who has been battling cancer. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Smith had great fun shaving the heads of the students, joking that the clippers had just broke and he couldn't finish shaving Giampetruzzi's head when it was only about an eighth done.
As the last of Giampetruzzi's locks hit the gym floor, the 38 students, faculty members and Lemire's parents — Kelly and Paul — arrived to pose for photos and celebrate Lemire's return.
Lemire plays on the school's baseball team, whose head coach is his father. Many of the students who shaved their heads are fellow athletes like Giampetruzzi, who also plays basketball and baseball.
Brewitt was stunned.
"It's one thing you never expect," he said.
Denise Brewitt, an academic coach in the guidance office and Brewitt's mother, said Lemire has handled his illness with "much grace and humor. If anything, it has been educational for the whole school as well."
Brewitt said he and Lemire's other friends wanted to do something to help him through the crisis and to show him he had their support. They came up with the idea of shaving their heads and expected about 10 people would do it. When word got out, students who didn't even know Lemire wanted to do it as well.
Trinity has 442 students — 50 percent boys, 50 percent girls — so nearly 20 percent of the boys volunteered to have their heads shaved.
The first under the trimmer was Smith, who was aided by his wife and then Brewitt.
"My parents went to Trinity with his parents and I was on the baseball team with him," said junior Colby Fortin as his hair was being removed. "It's supporting Matt, giving him the Trinity support. We're all like family here."
Zach Szczechowicz, 18, a senior who plays soccer and baseball, was fine with getting a free haircut. But he cautioned Smith to keep the trimmer away from his beard.
So some of the moms may be shocked at their sons' new looks, but undoubtedly they will beam with pride at their children's thoughtfulness.