Mike Fulton hadn't shaved his goatee for 15 years.
Then on April 8 in front of dozens of excited students at Mooresville Middle School, he had his mustache, goatee and head shaved for a good cause.
Fulton teaches social studies at Mooresville Middle School.
After the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, Fulton let his students watch the news to get the most recent information about the disaster. Just weeks earlier his students completed a project where they presented tsunami facts, as if they were addressing the people of Japan.
These presentations included information on the formation and warning signs of tsunamis and what to do if one happened.
They asked what they could do to help.
Fulton assigned homework over the weekend, to think of what they could do to help the people of Japan.
They returned Monday with some ideas. This led to his students raising money for the Red Cross.
In order to get the project moving, Fulton wanted to motivate his students.
His students decided their goal was to raise $1,000. Their motivation would be by the public removal of his mustache, goatee and head of hair.
"I asked what would motivate them, and unfortunately, that's what they came up with," said Fulton.
The students raised the $1,000 in three days.
And then they kept going.
Raising money during lunch, open houses at school and classroom piggy banks.
After almost three weeks, the students raised $2,250. On April 8, students presented an oversized check to Liz Stephen of the American Red Cross.
"We probably wouldn't have done it without him," said student Tiffany Lewis of Fulton's guidance and motivation.
Fulton, originally from Ohio, moved to the area 13 years ago, when he accepted his first teaching job at Mooresville Middle. He lives in the Windwarde Pointe neighborhood of Mooresville with his wife, Teri, and their children Kaitlyn, 9, and Landon, 5.
The first of his family to graduate from college, he found his calling to teaching early in life.
"Ever since I was in fifth grade I knew I've wanted to be a teacher," said Fulton.
Immediately after the check presentation ceremony, the students gathered outside to watch Fulton getting his head shaved.
Under the watchful eye of a barber, who is the parent of one of Fulton's students, Principal Carrie Tulbert took careful swipes with the trimmers, removing Fulton's hair. Students cheered.
"I just want our kids to be recognized for their hard work, and this means that they'll be more prone to keep doing it again," said Tulbert. "For a lot of them, this is the first time they made such an impact for people on the other side of the world."