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APW Teachers Grow Ugly Beards to Support the School’s Backpack Program

Four teachers from Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Junior-Senior High School participated in the second annual Ugly Beard contest, a competition meant to collect votes in the form of non-perishable items to contribute to the school’s Backpack Program.


The APW JSHS Backpack program is an initiative aimed at providing food and essential supplies to students in need within the school community.


According to the school’s principal, Jennifer O’Malley, who started the Ugly Beard Contest last year, “This competition is a shining example of how a little fun and creativity can go a long way in making a positive impact.”


Teachers Nicholas DeFranco, Tyler Moran, Mark Krause and Aaron Ingersoll kicked off the competition on Thanksgiving Day, which gave them each a month to grow wild and untamed facial hair. Students and staff eagerly watched the evolution of the beards, increasing the number of donations with each of their votes.


“This year’s competition not only brought laughs and festive cheer, but also managed to collect over 600 non-perishable items for the school’s backpack program,” said O’Malley. “The donated items will make a significant impact, ensuring that those facing challenges have access to essential resources during the holiday season and beyond.”


The contest concluded after a month and the highly anticipated winner was announced at the school’s Winter Pep Rally. Nicholas DeFranco was named the victor with over 400 cans, leaving him with the both the title of “Ugliest Beard” and the satisfaction that his efforts contributed to a great cause.


O’Malley added, “Although the holiday season is over and the beards are now trimmed, the warmth of the community's collective giving spirit undoubtedly lingers, reminding everyone that even the silliest traditions can bring about real change and support for those in need.”