Not just knots: Tie Day teaches BV middle schoolers how to make a good first impression

Friday, March 10, 2017
Berryville Middle School seventh-grader Chris Nequiz (left) receives instruction on the often-complicated art of tying a tie. Giving Nequiz a few tips is Berryville attorney Clint Scheel.
Photo by David Bell/Carroll County News

Berryville Middle School’s “Tie Day” folded lessons on professionalism into a tie tutorial, helping male students succeed at more than just tying a Windsor knot.

Middle school principal John McClellan said more than 35 men from the community attended the assembly in the Bobcat Gym on Tuesday to teach boys how to tie a tie and develop professional skills for their future careers.

“It’s about a lot more than teaching a boy how to tie a tie,” McClellan said. “It’s about having a self-presence and making good first impressions with people. We will also talk about having a firm handshake and good eye contact during interviews. We’re sending kids out that don’t have those soft skills.”

He said the assembly would cover professional skills, such as the importance of having a positive attitude and a flexible workload.

“If your boss or your teacher asks you to do a little extra, then do that extra work. It’s going to benefit you in the future, as well as your company or grade,” McClellan said.

The students were divided into groups and learned how to tie a tie by watching the volunteers demonstrate. While it took some time, they said having an example to follow made it easier.

“It was a little tough, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it,” said sixth-grader Robert Mulville.

“It’s pretty complicated, but, once you get used to it, you develop a good technique,” said seventh-grader Chris Nequiz. “I was lost at first. It helped having someone show you what to do.”

After the assembly, McClellan said all male teachers and students at Berryville Middle School will be encouraged to wear their ties and dress professionally on Tuesdays. He said he thinks the middle school will continue this tradition next year and said middle school counselor Eryn Killingsworth is working on planning a similar assembly for female students.

The most effective part of the assembly, McClellan said, was having the students hear these lessons from professionals in the community.

“Sometimes they listen to them better than their parents or teachers, who they see every day,” he said. “I can tell my kid something all day long, but, if they hear the chief of police or one of the local businessmen talking about how important it is, then it really sinks in for them.”

McClellan concluded, “We’re so thankful that these men from the community came to this event. It was really good exposure to professionalism for these boys.”

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