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How Mr. Waller’s ‘Bow Tie Tuesday’ united L. C. Bird High

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Bow ties are helping to build better minds at L. C. Bird High School in Chesterfield. Bird Assistant Principal Quincy Waller started the school's "Bow Tie Tuesday."

Mr. Waller had a habit of wearing a bow tie to school every Tuesday, but one morning -- about eight years ago -- he was running late for school.

"I didn't grab a bow tie," Mr. Waller said. "I came to school and a student said, 'Where's your bow tie?'"

Mr. Waller (3rd from left) started "Bow Tie Tuesday" almost 8 years ago.

Mr. Waller has worn a bow tie every Tuesday since. And, he encourages Bird students, teachers, and administrators to do the same.

"They walk a little taller," Mr. Waller said about those who join him in wearing a bow tie. "They have a little bit more confidence. It's about building the young people up so that when they're walking around they feel good about themselves."

It seems to be working. Bird students will tell you it is more than smashin' fashion.

"We really need the unity for everyone to come together," L.C. Bird senior Kelsey Warrick said. "When we come together and talk about what we think is right and wrong peacefully, just in general, I mean, it can help a lot of things go right."

"The more opportunity you give them to come together as a group, the better they are when it is important," L.C. Bird principal Dr. Laura Hebert said. "When we need to raise money for a family in the community.  When we need to cheer a team on to the state championships."

"It was just something that's really organic," Mr. Waller added. "I guess I keep saying how it becomes a talking point, but that kind of springboards to other conversations."

Email Rob Cardwell if you would like to nominate a student, teacher, administrator, or school staff member for a future Building Better Minds report.