December 15, 2011 in Washington Voices

Students help hungry, give teachers reason to scream

By The Spokesman-Review
Christopher Anderson photoBuy this photo

Mt. Spokane High School teacher Alex Schuerman grimaces as stylist Lisandra Brunemeier waxes his legs during an assembly Friday.
(Full-size photo)

The screams coming from Mt. Spokane High School’s gym were unmistakable: “I’m in a lot of pain here – stop the madness – ow – ow – that hurts.”

No, this wasn’t the football players learning how to do splits. The screams and yelps came from social studies teacher Jeff Naslund and math teacher Alex Schuerman, and they weren’t being tortured by aliens. They were having their legs waxed during the Friday assembly.

The two teachers – also known as Mars and Lars when they put on skits at assembly – had challenged students to raise $500 in one week for Second Harvest Food Bank’s Tackle Hunger campaign. They raised $1,541.

Naslund said he threw Schuerman under the bus by promising students that they’d both do something embarrassing in public if the students reached their fundraising goal.

“We’ll pretty much do anything to support school spirit,” Naslund said.

Both were waxing first-timers and a little hesitant about the project, but they didn’t back out.

As a beautician got the warm wax ready, the teachers crawled up on a table at the end of the gym and tried to get comfortable.

“This sucks,” said Schuerman. “I’m nervous.”

It was Dave Whitehead’s DECA club students who coordinated the fundraising.

“I challenged my two classes to raise $750 per class or a dollar a student here at the school,” said Whitehead. “And they did it.”

Students and teachers from Rogers, Shadle, East Valley, Lewis and Clark, and Mt. Spokane high schools participated in this year’s Tackle Hunger challenge to raise money for Second Harvest. Last year, students raised $7,000 while getting the word out about hunger and how it affects students and their families.

At the Friday assembly, Darigold and Second Harvest presented the DECA club with a $2,000 scholarship and the traveling trophy, which Mt. Spokane High won from West Valley High School.

“The money you raised will provide 6,000 meals,” said Rod Wieber, chief resource officer at Second Harvest Food Bank.

Darigold underwrites the annual event, paying for posters and other promotional material as well as by funding the scholarship for the school that raises the most money.

DECA club members McKenzie Harsin, Courtney Bray, Riley Trotter and Tyler Drumheller coordinated the fundraising efforts, and they came up with the waxing dare.

“We needed a unique incentive,” said Trotter. “And we knew if we got two of the most likable teachers to do something embarrassing, then people would get into it.”

And on went the light-blue wax, and a quick rip later, the two teachers were staring at the first of many fuzzy wax strips.

“It’s warm,” said Schuerman, while studying his uprooted leg hair. “Can she stop now?”

No, she couldn’t.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email