Dozens of colorful men’s neckties covered a table like a kaleidoscope of paint.

Each Statesville High School student selected a tie and teacher Shadrach Martin provided instructions on how to tie a necktie. 

Martin is the founder and mentor of A Few Good Men, a club devoted to helping participants build life skills as they prepare for adulthood. He purchased some of the ties from Goodwill, but friends also reached out to him on Facebook to donate ties in time for the club’s Dress to Impress Day on April 22.

“Very few of them knew how to tie a tie. I had two other male teachers help so that we could reach all the young men,” Martin said.

Twenty-seven students participated in the event.

Patti West, former executive director of Fifth Street Ministries, also provided snacks for the school’s first in-person meeting.

Statesville Police Chief David Addison also stopped by to talk with the group durring fourth block.

Addison told the young men that they are able to change and create their own paths. He mentioned the importance of having someone to support them and about building positive relationships with students.

Martin said that April is the first time that the club has met face to face. They held ZOOM meetings previously and continued to volunteer with their community service outreach projects but in a socially distanced, safe manner.

In 2018, the club had its first meeting with seven students. Now there are 57 active members.

Martin said he’s pleased to see how much the club has grown and is thankful for the community support.

He hopes to continue to create a positive image of Statesville High School.

“SHS is a good school with good staff and good students. We control the narrative of what the community thinks,” Martin explained.

Martin, a former U.S. Marine, said the club is modeled after the Marine Corps principles of respect, honor and commitment. He mentors the young men involved in the club and takes them on outings while teaching them about professionalism and other life skills.


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