time-honored Traditions at spsg
Listed below are 10 beloved traditions of our school. Though we have more traditions, these 10 were picked because of their popularity, longevity, and unique qualities only found at SPSG.
Three days a week, we start our day with Prayers as an entire community. A unique school tradition, Prayers is a vital part of the school day. A tradition loved by students and alumnae, Prayers offers a mix of inspiration, humor, thought-provoking reflection, and community. Our school president presides over the program and each senior shares her Senior Speech. Outside speakers, including alumnae and other adults, also speak to our school community on occasion. All students and adults have the opportunity to make school-wide announcements. Prayers is devoted to Chapel every Tuesday morning. Led by Chaplain Susie Ballenger, Chapel covers different religious beliefs and traditions, and always has a message for students.
Green and White teams is one of the oldest, and most competitive, traditions at SPSG. Everyone is assigned to a team, including each staff and faculty member. New students are placed on the same team as any relative in their family who went to SPSG. An announcement is made at the start of the year during Prayers where the newest team members are enthusiastically welcomed with green or white face paint. The anticipation of team placement is extremely exciting as teams prepare to compete throughout the year in various contests. The winning team is presented with the coveted McDavid Bowl at the end of the year.
Not many students look forward to listening to the school rules each year but they do at SPSG. On the first day of school, the Student Government Association (SGA) shares an entertaining spoof in the form of a video shown to the entire student body. Of course this video carefully explains the school rules.
Many schools have a school ring and a ring dance but at SPSG each senior gives a ring to their assigned junior “ring sister" in a ceremony that includes dancing, singing and speeches. This is a highly anticipated rite of passage at our school. Parents, siblings, and grandparents attend this festive ceremony, and sisters and mothers who are alumnae often surprise their junior by presenting her ring. The juniors enjoy decorated lockers from their ring sisters, blessing of the rings from the Chaplain, and comments from alumnae during Prayers the morning of the big day. The dance, class photos, and dinner take place the following night.
Many schools have a buddy program, however ours is unique; each fifth grader is paired with a senior(s). This bond begins at the ice cream social when our seniors welcome the newest 5th grade class. The most beloved big sister/little sister event is the annual Halloween parade where pairs or trios dress up in a planned costumes. They remain close throughout the year visiting each other in school.
Our school has been dressing for years celebrating spirit week with favorites including USA day, decades day, and spirit (aka Green and White) day. Our student government also lead us in a fun-filled assembly where students compete for Green and White points in games such as Family Feud and Name that Tune, and obstacle courses, pie eating contests, and more. Representatives from each grade and faculty participate in this loud, exciting competition.
The Bazaar is organized and run by the SGA, class presidents, and club presidents. Each group makes food or small holiday items for sale. A small number of outside vendors are also invited to this two-hour frenzied event dedicated to food and shopping.
In keeping with our Episcopal tradition, we have an in-house event during the last week of school before winter break. All students in grades 5–12 and faculty and staff sing traditional Christmas music and read passages from the Bible. Different groups perform as we pause and recognize the meaning of Christmas.
School teams have a number of competitions throughout the year but nothing is more exciting and competitive than Puttin' on the Hits. Both teams (Green and White) compete against each other at each grade level in a two-minute team choreographed dance to music. After weeks of preparation, faculty and staff Green and White teams compete, too!
Of course all schools have some form of a graduation. Wearing a long white dress and carrying flowers while processing into the Trish Harper Memorial Garden is similar to many of our competitor schools, however, what is special about SPSG's graduation is that each of our girls to receive Bibles (or other preferred religious texts) and the commencement address is given by the Head of School. Diplomas are also given out of order so the girls often place a friendly bet on who will be last to be called to receive their diploma.