Principal in Georgetown County promotes dressing for success at elementary school with ties and pearls

Updated: Aug. 21, 2019 at 8:29 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Monday marked the first day of school for Georgetown County students.

The principal at McDonald Elementary School, Mack Burgess, is continuing a tradition he started last year by teaching students more than what’s in a textbook.

“One of my students asked Mr. Burgess why do you have your church clothes on?” Burgess said. “I said,'When you look good, you feel good.' So that’s when I started ‘Tie Tuesday.’”

That means on Tuesdays the boys at McDonald Elementary wear ties to school.

Burgess says he invites mentors to come in to speak to the children during their lunch time.

Speakers have included police officers, local pastors, the superintendent, Coastal Carolina football players and more.

“Then my young ladies, the girls they felt left out,” Burgess said. “They said,'Mr. Burgess what are you going to do for us?' So along with my assistant principal from last year, Ms. Tonya Johnson, who is a principal now at Maryville Elementary, we started ‘Pretty Girls With Pearls.’”

On Thursdays, the girls wear pearl necklaces and earrings and they dress up.

They’ve been mentored by local sororities.

“They are smiling and they know when they have the tie on and dressed up, their behavior is better as well,” Burgess said.

Burgess says so far this year the school has received 250 bow tie donations from his friend.

They’ve also received 150 pearl necklaces and earring sets, that way no one is left out.

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