Love, Your Senior
At Duchesne, tradition is at the heart of the school. Tradition gives Duchesne its identity. As Patricia Swenson, Head of School, notes, “As a Sacred Heart institution, Duchesne draws upon more than 200 years of rich history to shape our school traditions. Our most significant traditions serve to build relationships within our community that last a lifetime and also bolster a Sacred Heart heritage that is shared locally and with our sister and brother schools around the world.”
Although there are many large traditions circulating the school, Duchesne has many small traditions that make up the tightly-woven community. One of the many traditions of Duchesne is the Freshmen Welcome Week, otherwise known as “Fish Week.” During this week, seniors pick a freshman to mentor and guide them through their first year of high school and become their freshman’s “sister.” The announcement is a surprise to the newly admitted class, and all throughout the week, seniors dress up with their freshmen in themed costumes while doing activities that strengthen their bond. This bond between these two individuals is unlike any other, for these “sisters” keep in touch long after their Duchesne days.
As can be expected, the seniors have gone through many phases of high school, the good, the bad and the ugly, so a few of them have a bit of advice for their protégés. “My advice to freshmen is this: smile. A little act of kindness such as this not only can mean a lot for the receiver, but it'll also help you make new friends and start the year off on the right foot,” senior Zoe Barinaga says. Senior Carolyn Enochs takes a different approach in saying not to “slack off on your classes and grades freshman year because those grades matter a lot when it comes to [your] GPA and applying for college your senior year.” Although they both agree that working towards college is important, making the best of high school and having stories to tell is on the top of their priority lists.
Goal four of the sacred heart is the building of community as a Christian value. Duchesne exemplifies this through the traditions of the school. Even if it is large and relates to the Sacred Heart as a whole, or relates just to the Upper School at Duchesne, this school’s community is unparalleled.
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