Faculty Trends: The Phenomenon That is the Beard


Religion Teacher Austin Ashcraft demonstrates the full view of his glorious beard.

Most boys want them when they grow up. Most men shave them off after they get them. Schools don’t normally allow them. Yes, beards are quite the phenomenon, and around St. Paul’s School, they are everywhere to be found, but not amongst the students.

Although facial hair is not allowed for students, many teachers at St. Paul’s have magnificent beards that inspire myths amongst the students. For example, Coach Joe Dickens has a beard that is rumored to hide a fist for extra defense. Many teachers in the Religion Department have interesting beards, as well. These beards, however, are rumored to be a holy incarnation of sorts because they can make certain religion teachers resemble Jesus Christ, making things a bit spooky.

“Obviously, I’m not a beard Nazi who thinks every man who shaves is a pansy, because I shave all the time,” said Religion Teacher Austin Ashcraft, one of the teachers rumored to have a supernatural beard. “I just think it’s fun to let it grow wild every now and then; it’s part of the seasons of life.”


Barrett Baumgartner, Campus Ministry Director, curls his mustache and shows off his luxurious beard.

Then there are those teachers who are known specifically for their beards. These are the teachers that have some of the coolest stories to tell. The prime example being none other than Barrett Baumgartner, Campus Ministry Director.

“I can curl my mustache; your argument is invalid,” was all that Baumgartner could say regarding the rumors of his beard’s special abilities.

During the recent month of November, beards are spoken of even more. November has been nicknamed “No-Shave November.” This is an cancer awareness month similar to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but specifically directed towards men.

According to no-shavenovember.com, “The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.”  The website encourages participants to donate the money usually spent on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

“No, I’m actually not doing No-Shave November,” noted Ashcraft. “I just think beards are awesome and different; shaving is boring and obnoxious to do every day. Thus, I choose awesome and different over boring and obnoxious.”

Photos by Ross Allbritton.
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