Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Pasco News

Pasco elementary group teaching boys to be gentlemen

NEW PORT RICHEY — In a Cotee River Elementary classroom, 18 fourth- and fifth-grade boys gathered at noon on a recent Friday.

They brought lunches and were served up a helping of good advice from Steve Loveless, Learning Design Coach and organizer of the Distinguished Gentlemen’s group. While the boys ate, Loveless taught.

“As we’ve heard with Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility,” said Loveless, pointing out a nearby chart with four words highlighting the group's focus: perseverance, commitment, courage, integrity.

The boys voluntarily joined the Distinguished Gentlemen that, among other ideals, emphasizes “dressing for success.”

They meet weekly and are encouraged to wear dressier clothes on the last Friday of each month when a guest speaker often is invited to share advice.

Sean Olsen, age 10 and a fifth-grader, wore a gray shirt with matching tie. He said it felt good to be dressed up, beaming at Loveless, who wore a shirt, tie and blazer.

“I think coming to this group helps us learn to be more of a gentleman when you get older,” said Olsen, adding that it’s important to have good manners, such as opening doors for others.

Loveless sees the need for boys at this age to have mentors to guide them.

Joining the group for lunch was parent volunteer Erwin “Ernie” Ernestine, father of group member Kyle Ernestine, age 9 and a fourth-grader.

“It’s important to get more males involved as role models,” said Ernie, who volunteers frequently in support of Kyle, his triplet sisters and other children or teachers who need help.

The Distinguished Gentlemen’s group lists 26 members, but anyone is welcome.

“There’s a mix of abilities of academics and behaviors in the group,” said Loveless, who recently attended a district curriculum meeting for the Medal of Honor character-development program. He sees the core values of that program lining up well with his plans for the Distinguished Gentlemen’s group.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help boys buy a Distinguished Gentlemen's T-shirt or clothes for dress-up days. Cotee River principal Sharon Slusser heaped praise on the boys and their leader.

“This is a wonderful group from many backgrounds, and Mr. Loveless is amazing with them,” she said.

For information on the Distinguished Gentlemen fundraising, go to gofundme.com/distinguished-gentlemen-of-cres.

Times Correspondent Gail Diederich is a retired teacher. She has 32 years of experience, including 28 years in Pasco County Schools, where she taught gifted students and was a reading specialist. She also taught education, general studies and business leadership at Pasco Hernando State College and at Saint Leo University.

Comments
First-time voters prepared to make choices

First-time voters prepared to make choices

River Ridge High School students Brielle Brodd, Katelyn Kirves and Claire Kraft, all recent 18th birthday celebrants, voted for the first time in the November 6 election.
Published: 11/20/18
Motorcyclist killed in Port Richey after drunk driver turns in front of him, FHP says

Motorcyclist killed in Port Richey after drunk driver turns in front of him, FHP says

Dustin Shawn Hogan of New Port Richey died from his injuries at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, according to the FHP.
Updated: 2 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor

Opinions and reactions from Pasco County readers.
Published: 11/19/18

Hernando and Pasco county news

News and notes from the community
Published: 11/19/18
Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Nov. 23

Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Nov. 23

Pasco and Hernando county events
Published: 11/19/18
Hometown Pasco

Hometown Pasco

News and notes about your neighbors.
Published: 11/19/18
Celebrating the holidays in Pasco and Hernando counties

Celebrating the holidays in Pasco and Hernando counties

Upcoming events in the North Suncoast
Published: 11/19/18

School notes for Nov. 23

Pasco schools calendar, events and briefs
Published: 11/19/18
Sheriff: Pasco teacher filmed student undressing, arrested on voyeurism charge

Sheriff: Pasco teacher filmed student undressing, arrested on voyeurism charge

Deputies said Fivay High School teacher Thomas Kovack admitted to recording a 17-year-old student as she changed her shirt.
Published: 11/17/18
Inside the newsroom: Tampa Bay Times project team takes a deep dive inside a notorious Florida death penalty case

Inside the newsroom: Tampa Bay Times project team takes a deep dive inside a notorious Florida death penalty case

A project team at the Tampa Bay Times explores the death penalty in Florida through a notorious 1975 murder case.
Updated: 1 hour ago