The TIE Club

Vernon ISD TIE Club hero

Three years ago, fourth grade social studies teacher Kevin Hunter saw the need for positive male influences in the lives of the young men at Shive Elementary School in the Vernon ISD. Deciding he would start a group taught by adult men to teach etiquette, leadership, and character to young men, Hunter created the Transforming, Improving and Excelling (TIE) Club. “I planned to teach these young men how to tie a tie during our first meeting because one of the cornerstones of our program was to learn how to dress professionally – all members have to wear a collared shirt and tie to the meetings,” said Hunter.

Hunter said he “optimistically planned” for 20 students to attend that first meeting. “I was shocked and humbled when 75 young men showed up,” said Hunter. The group took off quickly, expanding to include middle school students last year and high school students this year. More than 100 students strong now, Hunter says the group not only addresses the students’ relevant needs, but also provides experiences never afforded to them. The TIE club tours college campuses, attends etiquette classes at their local country club, and invites a variety of guests to speak to the young men. The group also engages in community service projects, such as cleaning up trash at local parks and volunteering at a local food pantry.

“The experience of creating and leading this group has made me a better leader, better teacher, and a better man,” said Hunter. “The relationships that are being formed and the confidence we provide these young men is, by far, the most rewarding thing I have ever been a part of in public education.” #IAmTXEd