The Sixth Grade’s Gentlemen’s Dinner

It’s never too soon to teach hospitality and gentle-manly-ness to middle-school boys. The Heights School held the annual Sixth Grade Gentlemen’s Dinner this week. Sixty boys and faculty came together to celebrate the Christmas season. With the efforts of a handful of boys and Andrew Reed, head of the middle school, the cafeteria was quickly transformed into an atmosphere of decorum.

Dress code: jacket and tie. Manners: good ones.

“We keep it simple,” said Mr. Reed. White paper tablecloths, a few strings of lights, and some poinsettia, that’s all. Most important were candles on the tables.

As Mr. Reed said, “Let’s get the lights dimmed and the candles lit and the boys will rise to the occasion.”

Chicken Out catered the dinner and the families supplemented the meal with soda, apple cider, ice cream and various desserts. The entertainment was provided by the boys themselves who performed skits for the audience and were voted with thumbs up or thumbs down. The top three winners got their dessert first.


There was one dessert that took center stage. Gabriela Quiñonez, mother of Adrian, won the day with her bigger-than-life Rice Krispie treat cake decorated with the school crest. Mr. Reed instructed four boys to carry the dessert CAREFULLY from his office to the “dining room.”

“I want one boy on each corner,” he said as he guarded her work of art.

Gabriela said, “When kids get creative, you have to get MORE creative! Adrian doesn’t like regular cake, so Rice Krispie cakes are all we bake here. But this time doing it for 60 people was a lot of fun! As I told Mr. Reed, if the school is working hard to make gentlemen out of our boys, I felt I also had to work a little harder to make their evening more special.”

And special it was. I drove four boys home after the dinner and surreptitiously listened to them recap the event. A boy’s life is a great life!

For another fun story about boys, read Hospitality and Raising Boys.


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