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A little bit of proper etiquette, instruction

Jan. 28, 2010

Newest member of Waco Chamber of Commerce can help with manners

By Caty Hirst
Staff Writer

The Etiquette School of Central Texas, which teaches classes in proper dining, dating and business may be one way to improve essential skills needed in life.

Marie Martin, owner of the Etiquette School of Central Texas, teaches etiquette to children, young adults and adults. Her classes cover subjects from how to write thank you notes to proper telephone etiquette.

"I think it is important that everyone learn the basic rules of living that make our lives a little bit more gracious," Martin said. "I think that perhaps our society is becoming a little less civil towards one another. I think some people are not given the opportunity to learn the rules of the society to make us get along better."

The young adult seminar includes an advanced dining overview, dating etiquette, mock college and employment interviews and business skills.

Scot Sanders, account executive for membership development for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce said the chamber accepted the Etiquette School of Central Texas as a new member in December.

"We do a lot of public relations on their behalf to establish their presence in the community," Sanders said. "We provide a lot of opportunity for marketing...we support them through our economic development efforts."

Martin is excited to be a member of the chamber.

Sanders said he is looking forward to working with Martin. Sanders looked at some of the etiquette school's advertisements and realized the chamber did not have a business like the etiquette school as a member. He decided it would be a good opportunity for the chamber and the etiquette school.

"I really did not think we had a member of the chamber that does the same thing she does, and I saw an opportunity to get the word out about a good business," Sanders said. "I think she definitely has a good product and service that I think so many people could really benefit from having exposure to."

Martin instructs a variety of people, from first grade through adulthood and teaches a variety of people. She said she teaches families, friends, business professionals and couples.

"One of the things I appreciate is she works with kids and adults," Sanders said. "The work that she does is exciting because you don't have to be a business person or professional to need good manners. She has a great service and a great personality."

Sue Mock, a mother of a middle school student, said the class was helpful to her young daughter.

"She is becoming a young lady, and I wanted to give her the right tools," Mock said. "She would just be able to learn more coming from someone else and that setting would teach her more than what I could do."

Martin tries to work with costumers on pricing and scheduling. She said she does not want people to be excluded because of price or time conflicts.

"I try to be flexible and arrange the classes for the convenience of the person," Martin said.

Martin received her certification for etiquette training from the American School of Protocol in Atlanta.

"It was a good class for the girls to bond together, and Marie did such a good job," Mock said. "Her house was warm and welcoming and she took it very seriously."

Martin said an etiquette class is beneficial to everyone.

"I think that my students leave my class with more confidence," Martin said.

The 6-week courses costs $95 and the personal two-hour brush-up classes are $50.

Classes can be scheduled by appointment only, and those interested can find more information at www.graciousmanners.com.