Austin principal teaches sixth graders art of tying a tie

One Central Texas School taught its sixth graders the valuable lesson of tying a tie.

AUSTIN - Schools across Central Texas are kicking off their school year in unique ways, including a middle school whose principal taught his 6th graders a valuable lesson.

Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy is an all-boys academy for sixth through eighth grades and it is located in East Austin. It's a part of the LBJ and Reagan family of schools.

Sterlin McGruder, the principal of Gus Garcia, said tying a tie goes well beyond looking nice.

"We talk about what it means to be a man, about what it means to wear a tie and why you should wear a tie," McGruder said. "One of the things that we talked about was bringing corporate cohesiveness. We also talked about all the different jobs that you have to have with wearing a tie."

McGruder also said there is meaning behind each of the motions when tying a tie -- he calls this the bridging ceremony. Before the knot has been made, this symbolizes the young men being a part. The three parts of the tie represent the three years the middle schoolers are together. When these students wrap a circle around the knot, that is the creation of the bond. When the knot is pulled through, he said this is what bridges all the young men together. Finally, when the tie is complete, that shows the strength of a bond that will never be broken.

"I wanted to give a purpose and meaning to this day and this lesson," McGruder said.

Superintendent Paul Cruz was also at the school Tuesday, helping the students learn how to tie these knots. McGruder also brought some seventh and eighth graders to the ceremony to help their peers.

In all, about 150 sixth graders learned how to tie a tie this year.

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