Hair salon pops up at Chautauqua Co. school

SINCLAIRVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Getting called to the principal’s office isn’t a bad thing if you’re a student at Sinclairville Elementary.

Dozens of students at the Cassadaga Valley school recently learned that, thanks to a unique program called “Be clean. Be caring. Be confident.” They got fresh haircuts and new clothes!

Hair stylists volunteered their time to transform principal Josh Gilevski’s office into a makeshift salon. “It’s really important at the elementary level that these kids look good – and when they look good, they feel good, and when they good they perform,” Gilevski observed.

“We’ve definitely done it up here with the salt rock, plants, lights,” school pyschologist Amanda Myles said. She invited News 4 to see the program in action.

“We have an innovative team, and this is one of the programs that we are doing as part of that – kind of thinking outside of the box, so we can help the students in kind a non-traditional way,” Myles sxplained.

Stylist Lauren Fenton came up with the concept of bringing beauty into the school. “I tell them it’s important for confidence to be clean, and that you should be caring – meaning that you are tolerant of other people – you don’t tease them for their style,” she said.

Ninety students signed up for the chance to sit in this salon. “I want every child to know that having their own style is important – because we don’t all need to be the same.”

Fifth grader Isabella Dutton came out of the salon smiling from ear-to-ear. ” I wanted mine trimmed and curled. I love it. I think it’s very thoughtful of them to do it as well,” Dutton said.

Fenton admits she was surprised by the amount of interest. “I didn’t think I’d get 90 (students). I think that’s awesome. I wanted the whole school to do it. I think it’s very important for these kids to feel that people care about them.”

School administrators have started discussing expanding the program to the middle and high school in 2018.

Editor’s Note: Lauren Fenton may be reached at (716) 397-4602 if you’d like to learn more about the program. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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