Aurelia Newton demonstrates the fine art of cutting a steak for a member of the Gentlemen’s Club.
Usually the words “Gentlemen” and “middle school students” don’t appear next to each other. However, well-dressed fifth and sixth grade members of the Hernandez Intermediate School Gentlemen’s Club recently were treated to a special etiquette dinner at Tres Hermanas restaurant.
Intended to help students hone their dinner etiquette, the students were treated to a meal of steak, fried shrimp and a soft entree, along with side dishes, salads and dessert. The meal was arraigned by Tres Hermanas owner David Chiu. Members practiced using the proper eating utensils, cutlery techniques, utensil placement, beverage etiquette, posture and more.
The meal was provided at a discounted rate by Chiu. Other financial supporters include Jeff and Ellen Ault, Peter and Dee Dee Baen, Mark and Aurelia Newton and the Texas Pioneer Foundation.
The students also had a distinguised waitstaff on hand to see to their needs. San Marcos CISD Superintendent Patty Shafer, Hernandez Principal Sandra Reyes, Assistant Principal David Underwood and teachers Rick Lugo and Catalina Berrones all served the members of the club. Beverly Owens also assisted with table arrangements. Aurelia Newton and Dot Renfro roamed around reminding club members of their lessons in etiquette.
The Hernandez Gentlemen’s Club was founded in 2008 as the first organized club of its kind in the state. Its mission is to assist young men in their development as gentlemen. The very first Gentlemen’s Club was founded in 1996 by educator Stephen G. Peters, whose teams have become known for taking low performing schools and turning them into state and national Blue Ribbon schools. He founded the club as an intervention and empowerment model for young boys.
The club was joined in the dinner by coaches Deryk Lindsey and Joe Merchant. Reyes said the importance of the program is in developing positive role models and leaders from the socio-economic boundaries placed on students, with the objective to transition the young men who are often natural leaders among their peers into positive leaders.
Superintendent Patty Shafer looks on, waiting to service the tables.
Gentleman’s Club member mastering the steak knife.