Good hair day? Principal keeps his word on reading challenge

Monday, May 20, 2013
Tim Garcia, Principal of McCook Elementary, sports several new hair colors, holding up his part of a deal to dye his hair if students read enough Accelerated Reader books, (Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)

McCOOK, Nebraska -- It's not every day you see a school principal with rainbow-colored hair, but kids at McCook Elementary had one for the last two days of school.

McCook Elementary School Principal Tim Garcia sported rainbow-colored tresses Wednesday and Thursday, in response to a challenge he made to students beginning second semester.

Students made paper rings for each Accelerated Reader book they read and passed a test on and Garcia said he would dye his hair if the combined links reached around the school block. This occurred on April 26, with a total of 25,666 books read for the entire school year.

Garcia made good on his bet, although it wasn't as easy as he anticipated.

Garcia said he had planned on having the teachers spray his hair with washable hair paint, but the paint was on back order. Instead, Garcia found himself late Tuesday night sitting in a beauty salon, getting his black hair bleached and then dyed several colors for the "rainbow effect."

Melanie Alberts of Aphrodite Hair Salon got the call from Garcia.

Alberts said she told him it would have to be permanent color, which Garcia didn't have a problem with, however, "He wasn't aware of the long process it takes to color hair," she said. "He said, my goodness, you have to wait this long for it?"

Sitting under the hair dyer was another experience he didn't expect, at one point telling Alberts, "Maybe next year I'll kiss a pig or something."

Still, Alberts said Garcia was thrilled with the result. "He was really excited, he couldn't believe how vibrant the colors were."

Garcia had an appointment to see Alberts again Thursday, to dye his hair back to its original color, although he admitted he did get a lot of compliments on his vivid hair color.

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