Selling ties to support scholarships

Kayden Tucker shows off the tie he purchased in the auction where retiring teacher Scott Bender is selling his ties to support student scholarships. 

Kayden Tucker learns lessons every day from world history teacher Scott Bender. 

Tuesday’s lesson was a bit unusual: How to tie a Windsor knot.

The Red Wing High School ninth grader had the winning bid of $25 for the first of Bender’s famous ties, which are being auctioned to raise scholarship funds. 

The auction opened on Monday, April 25, and will run through June 2, the last day of school and the last day of Bender’s teaching career.

Since he’s retiring, he figured he doesn’t need all 70-plus accessories that have prompted Wingers to ask, “I wonder which tie he will wear today?”

The proceeds will go to scholarships named for Sammi Kriese, who was killed in an auto accident after she graduated last June, and Jana Langhans, who died the day before school started in September.

On Tuesday, Tucker wore a button-down shirt to showcase the tie featuring Ben Franklin on the hundred dollar bill.

“I either wanted the first tie or the one that would be posted on April 29, my birthday,” Kayden said.

He had a winning bid of $25 – fittingly one dollar for each of the 25 years Bender has taught at Red Wing Public Schools. Tucker said he logged in often throughout the day to be sure he won.

For Bender, one of the major changes that will come with retirement is the outfit.

"In one of my very first college psychology classes the older and quite odd professor emphasized how important first impressions were, and would say, 'If you want to be successful, dress that way!'”

The lesson was reinforced when mid-year of my first year teaching, one of the 12th graders said, “We all knew right away not to screw around in your class – you had on a tie!”

“I had one mom years ago who said the only reason her daughter came to school every day was to see what tie I’d have on,” Bender said.

As he taught Tucker how to tie a tie, Mr. Bender shared that he learned this art from his uncle more than 40 years ago as he prepared to depart for Army boot camp.  

“I’ve been tying ties a long time,” he said.

Bid on ties

The auction can be found online. Bidding closes on one tie – modeled by Mr. Bender that day – each afternoon.

On Friday, May 27, Kayden and other winning bidders to date will be encouraged to wear their ties to school.

Payments and donations can be made in person at Red Wing High School or sent through the mail to:

Goodbye to the Tie Scholarship Auction, Red Wing High School, 2451 Eagle Ridge Drive, Red Wing, MN 55066.

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