Klusman inspires no-shave March


Michael Connolly

The wristbands bought and wore by the students who are participating by growing out their beards.

March always has a special feel to it in the United States. Major League Baseball begins their season, March Madness begins, and the season of springs starts on the 20th. However, locally to Elder High School, this month takes on a different meaning altogether.

The poster (above) is the one used by Elder to honor Mr. Klusman and promote the day of service.

The students at Elder are usually seen walking around the halls, clean shaven with their shirts tucked in just as they should. A pedestrian walking by in March however, may see a little bit of a darker side of things. They may see the students walking around, looking rather scruffy compared to the clean shaven ideal. This is all in honor of former Elder teacher,  Mr. Mark Klusman.

Mr. Klusman was struck by a car in December of 2017, and following that incident, just a short few days later he was pronounced dead, surrounded by his family. He passed away at 74 years old on December 29th, but his legacy did anything but leave with him. His life inspired a Day of Service during March that all of the students are involved with, but even better than that he continues to live on through his signature caricature.

The most notable thing about Mr. Klusman was by far his beard. Often referred to as Santa, he embraced the look of his signature beard and rocked it elegantly. He was a flamboyant person, and his spotlighted facial feature continues to inspire Elder students today.

Catholic Telegraph
Mr. Klusman seen doing one of his favorite activities, waking up early to give back to the Elder community.

Personally, I have participated in Mark Klusman No-shave March for three years now, and each year it provides me with a little bit more insight. I feel as though each year, the one month of March allows me to differentiate myself from others. It allows me to feel like myself, which is something Mr. Klusman always took great pride in. He was always himself, and the students at Elder are now getting to carry this on within the new tradition of a bearded month.

However, I am not the only one who has the facial hair needed to fully gain the experience of this month. A bountiful number of seniors and juniors, with the inclusion of a few sophomores, are fully able to honor Mr. Klusman in one of the best ways possible.

Make a great day.”

— Mr. Klusman

Nick Hunter, sportsman of a geard (beard of ginger hair), was left speechless when asked about what the month means to him, “He was too great of a man for me to sum up what this means to me in a few words. I had the opportunity to learn from him for a small period of time my freshman year, and the month is a celebration of his life and the positive energy and actions he brought the Elder community and beyond.” Most of the students didn’t get to have that real deep bond with Mr. Klusman, as he taught most of the seniors now for only a quarter or a semester. Regardless, his impact is always going to be felt around this school and community.

Joseph Catania
Senior Joseph Catania pictured attempting his best to stay classy during March.

Now, it is time to see who is going to be honoring Mr. Klusman in the best way, by growing out that luscious beard. Far and away in the junior class, we have Aaron Wagner who is currently already sporting a full beard. His genetics are almost unmatched, if it wasn’t for a few members of the senior class. Joseph Catania, Greyden Duetenberg, and myself included are already sporting a slight beard early into the month.

Regardless of who grows the best beard, this tradition is one that is going to live on for many years after I leave Elder. I am just glad I have gotten to participate in it, and honor one of my favorite teachers in the process. As Mr. Klusman would always say, “Make a great day!”