Mr. Hornor creates a propaganda poster encouraging students to vote against the ‘stache. Photo: Tim Hornor

While it may not always be on display due to his mask, biology teacher and Class of 2022 Dean Ben Ewing currently sports a fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip. Mr. Ewing decided to grow a mustache as an early quarantine pursuit alongside his fellow teacher and lacrosse coach Grady Stevens. Every day the two would meet up to walk on the Atlanta Beltline near their respective homes and check on the growth of their ‘staches.

Several students have run into them while also taking late afternoon family walks. “One day in March, I was jogging by Memorial Park and saw Mr. Ewing and Mr. Stevens combing their mustaches on the swings,” said junior Henry Smith. 

Both Mr. Ewing and Mr. Stevens continued to sport their mustaches long into the school year, as seen in their faculty portraits. Mr. Stevens recently decided to part with his ‘stache after the wrestling team mocked it all season long. For Mr. Ewing, on the other hand, the previously quarantine-only hobby has since turned into a full-time commitment. “Every morning I spend about 20 minutes conditioning and combing my beautiful mustache,” said Mr. Ewing. “It is super important to me that, even though no one can see it through my mask, I know it looks perfect.” Mr. Ewing’s mustache was on full display in the New York Times’ Valentine’s issue, which featured an article on his wedding. 

Recently, students have discovered what lies under Mr. Ewing’s mask. “I was walking to go pick up my lunch and I stopped dead in my tracks,” said sophomore Ella Berman. “He just looks so different with the mustache.” Teachers have also voiced their opinions on Mr. Ewing’s new look. “It’s very distracting,” said history teacher Christine Carter. “I am not sure I like it very much.”

He does have some supporters, though. Pace alum Aman Hashim ’20 is a dedicated advocate for the right to have facial hair at school. “A couple of years ago, back in my high school days, I fought Mr. Gannon for the right to have a beard,” said Hashim. “I think that if Mr. Ewing wants to keep the ‘stache, then let the man do it!”

History department chair Tim Hornor started a petition for Mr. Ewing to shave the mustache. “I think it’s just hideous,” said Mr. Hornor. So far, 200 students have signed in favor of Mr. Ewing’s shaving off the contested ‘stache. “I signed the petition because I want my old teacher back,” said junior Morgan Neill. “Ever since he starting growing his mustache, he acts differently.” After seeing Mr. Hornor’s petition and hearing his students’ comments, Mr. Ewing has agreed to shave it off if, and only if, the petition is signed by every upper school student. Keep an eye out for the petition, and be ready to sign!


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