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Thousand Guys in Ties expands to nine schools in fifth year

March 13, 2017

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Labay Middle School eighth-grade students, from left, Kenny Arzate, Carson Nguyen, Adrian Acevedo and Avery Wilson participate in the school’s inaugural Thousand Guys in Ties event on March 10.

March 13, 2017—Students at nine CFISD schools celebrated unity and empowerment through the Thousand Guys and Gals in Ties or Girls in Pearls conferences the week of March 6-10. The program invites at least 1,000 young men or women at each campus to wear dress attire for an inspirational and educational opportunity.

The event, which launched at Cypress Springs High School in 2013, has steadily added more campuses each year—increasing from seven in 2016 to nine this year.

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Roy Garcia, associate superintendent of school administration and leadership development, greets Cypress Springs High School students at the annual Men of Honor breakfast on March 7 during Thousand Guys in Ties week at the campus. (Photo by Destiny Cisneros, Cypress Springs HS)

“Each year we try to expand and get bigger and better,” said Cook Middle School Assistant Principal Chris Rose, who helped launch the program when he was at Cypress Springs.

The weeklong effort at Cypress Springs kicked off Monday with “Father’s Day In,” welcoming fathers to greet students as they arrived at school. The Panthers followed a different theme each day throughout the week, and brought in motivational speakers to address the young men.

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Food service staff at Cypress Springs High School joined in on the Thousand Guys in Ties activities by wearing neckties to school on March 9.

“It’s been an awesome week,” said Assistant Principal Clay Smith, who helped Rose launch the program in 2013. “We have a lot of kids here who are torn and tattered. Hopefully this week offers a little refuge and certainly plants the idea that there is greatness inside of them.”

The Cypress Springs Men of Honor organization puts together the annual event, and hosted the Men of Honor breakfast on Tuesday morning. Fathers and father figures accompanied students at their tables while they ate and listened to a speaker.

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Cypress Springs staff members Glenn Tillman, left, and Clay Smith, right, join Men of Honor ambassadors Rapae Lollies II, second from left, and David Otieno in front of the school after taking a schoolwide photo for Thousand Guys in Ties on March 9.

“Guys in Ties helps us learn how to be men and be great in society,” said senior David Otieno, a second-year Men of Honor member. “It brings unity within the school despite race, religion or anything. We’re all brothers.”

Sophomore Rapae Lollies II’s father participated throughout the week, and Lollies II searched for the proper attire in order to win the “Best Dressed” award.

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Young men at Langham Creek High School participated in the school’s inaugural Thousand Guys in Ties week March 6-10.

“Last year I got third and this year I want to go for gold,” he said. “I like being a part of this week. Everyone looks and acts as professional as they can. You can’t really dress professional and not act it.”

Langham Creek High School participated in its first Thousand Guys in Ties event, offering daily activities and some speakers. The Lobos held a tie drive throughout the week so students who didn’t own ties could participate.

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Dozens of Cypress Creek High School students dressed for success during their Thousand Guys in Ties program on March 10. (Photo by Jacqueline Gonzalez, Cypress Creek HS)

“The event made a positive impact with the young men on our campus,” said Gregory Lozano, assistant principal and event organizer. “The students looked great, there were no discipline issues during the day and I think everyone was able to walk away feeling motivated and inspired.”

Cypress Creek High School continued its Guys in Ties participation with a group photo and guest speaker panel hosted by emcee Chris Collins on March 10. Cypress Falls High School is planning a small program following spring break.

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John E. Smith, Jr., academic advisor in the University of Houston’s department of information and logistics technology, discusses careers with Cook Middle School ladies including seventh-grade student Jacqueline Rosales during the Thousand Guys and Gals in Ties event on March 10.

Five CFISD middle schools—Campbell, Cook, Dean, Labay and Thornton—also joined in the Thousand Guys in Ties activities with daily dress-up themes and events like tie-tying lessons from Thornton staff during lunches on March 10.

“Guys in Ties and Girls in Pearls is a districtwide event to encourage students to not only dress professional, but ‘think’ professional,” said Reginal Mitchell, Thornton principal. “Last year we did a one-day tie-tying event on the stage and it was a huge hit. This year we launched an entire ‘spirit week’ that tied into our advisory themes.”

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Cypress Creek students heard from a panel of speakers, including High Definition Barber Shop owner Andre Creswell, during the Thousand Guys in Ties program on March 10.

Cook Middle School held a daylong Guys and Gals in Ties program on March 10 for the third consecutive year. Five different large-group speakers addressed the respective male and female populations in the gym, while the opposite group rotated to various career and vendor booths in the commons and throughout the school.

Representatives from law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA and U.S. Secret Service answered students’ questions, along with professionals in the banking, hospitality, oil and gas and medical industries. The Jersey Village High School health science program, HOSA, also had a booth for Ranger students to browse.

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Thornton Middle School Principal Reginal Mitchell assists sixth-grade student Joshua Wilson with a tie-tying lesson during his lunch period on March 10, a Thousand Guys in Ties activity. 

“The kids seem to surprise us every year,” Chris Rose said. “They all come prepared and well-dressed and look wonderful. I am so proud of the way they represented Cook. Overall the event has been a success.”

Rose said the program continues to expand, and organizers from the various campuses are planning an eventual districtwide gathering.

“Our goal for next year is to bring it to the Berry Center and make it Ten Thousand Guys in Ties,” Rose said. “That’s the dream.”

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