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A School for the Ages
Six traditions that make attending Paul VI a unique experience

by Staff

Singing the alma mater, loud and clear.
Paul VI students are taught to sing the school’s alma mater song, “Soar Eagles Soar,” as freshmen. Set to music that’s about 100 years older than the school itself, the alma mater song  features some very formal lyrics—think phrases like “pledging anew” and “thy praises we proclaim.” While it may not seem like a sure-fire recipe for pep rally fun, when you hear 1,000 high school students belting out “wing your way to glory,” hearts—and Eagles—truly soar.

Every single detail of the homecoming court.
In a high school ritual that’s already chock-full of tradition, homecoming at Paul VI stands apart. There’s the nomination process that acknowledges great school citizens; the pep rally introducing the court; the ornate chair that has served as the queen’s throne for over 50 years; the prior year’s homecoming queen, in from college, bestowing the crown on her successor. And let’s not forget the gasp-worthy reveal, in which five covered bouquets are opened simultaneously leaving one nominee holding a bouquet of red roses … and shedding some traditional Paul VI “homecoming happy tears.”

The back-to-school nigh parent beef and beer.
Not every high school tradition at Paul VI is for the students. One notable example—the beef and beer, held for the school’s hardworking parents at the conclusion of back to school night. While the menu is self-explanatory, the thinking behind the event is a little more subtle—parenting has its privileges.

Christmas selfies and more.
Traditions abound at Christmas, and Paul VI has more than its share of cheer.  Favorites include the Christmas concert, complete with a candy-cane-tossing Santa, carols played over the intercom while classes change and a whole cast of Christmas celebrities in the dining hall for an extra-festive photo op. The Christmas selfie lineup includes mascot-level Rudolph and Frosty characters, courtesy of the good-hearted (and costume-warm) Paul VI student council.

Defending the Eastlands.
Some traditions are unofficial, and the Paul VI uniform shoe—a brown leather oxford from the Eastland shoe company—has inspired a few school customs. The tradition of choosing the lace-up version, then never tying the laces is one. Making a clog out of your shoe by jamming your heel down onto the shoe back is another. The strongest shoe tradition of all? The special notes from the assistant principal inviting the Eastland wearers to abandon these traditions and just wear the shoes like it says in the handbook.

Senior privileges.
It’s good to be a high school senior at Paul VI!  Preferred seating in the dining hall, the 100-Night Countdown party and getting to model the formal wear at the annual fashion show are just some of the items in an enviable assortment of special treatment for seniors. At the top of the list is the jump-start to summer vacation – an early end-of-year dismissal date for the senior class only. The exact date is never revealed ahead of time, and when the announcement is made, the decibel level can never be forgotten.

Paul VI
(856) 858-4900

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 5.
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