The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

‘Tis the season for ringing

From+left+to+right%3A+Chloe+You+25%2C+Natalie+Wong+24%2C+Naomi+Rockower+24%2C+and+Ayda+Gokturk+25+after+their+ringing+reveal.
Ayda Gokturk
From left to right: Chloe You ’25, Natalie Wong ’24, Naomi Rockower ’24, and Ayda Gokturk ’25 after their ringing reveal.

Year after year, ringing season, heralded by the influx of ringing account follow requests on Instagram, promises an exciting few weeks filled with secret gift deliveries, throwback childhood pictures posted on Instagram and seniors racking their brains guessing who their ringers are. Yet, as this year’s ringing season has reached its end, there have been a few surprises too. From devoted performances from underclassmen to shaken up lineages, this year’s ringing has no doubt been one to remember.

A defining feature of this year’s ringing is the significantly larger size of the senior class compared to the junior class. Matching 63 people in the class of ’24 to a much smaller 48 in the class of ’25 is no easy feat. The number of people in each ringing group changed from the classic double match-ups to groups with as many as three juniors and four seniors.

“It was definitely challenging at times to have more seniors in the group than juniors, but it also made it more fun to prank them and get them confused,” Noelle Madden ’25 said. As the sizes of the current sophomore and freshman classes also vary, it will be interesting to see how the tradition of ringing adapts.

Another highlight of ringing has always been the “lineages,” generations of ringing groups which are linked together by a shared extracurricular. These lineages are often passed down through the years in Casti sports teams, theatre, Gatorbotics and other extracurriculars. Madden, whose ringers are Sydney Lowell ’24, Ella Debenham ’24 and Mia Ramirez ’24, is now part of the long-running water polo team lineage.

“It just felt really special to be able to be part of something that’s been going on for so long, and to be able to have that connection with people who graduated, like seniors who were seniors when I was a freshman. We even got DMs from our ‘great-great-grandringers’ on Instagram after the reveal welcoming us to the family,” Madden said.

Lowell and Debenham were also paired together as ringees last year: “It was kind of a full circle moment, like we were able to talk about what we did last year and the similarities between them. And obviously, we’re very good friends, so it’s nice that we got to continue the water polo lineage directly,” Lowell said.

But not every ringing group was as easily predicted or guessed this year. “I think we had a lot more randomized groups, and I think that the pairs of juniors were a little bit more mixed up this year and that there weren’t specific groups dedicated to just one sport or one community,” Stella Tenta ’25 said.

Tenta was in a group with seniors she had no prior connections to. “It felt a little bit more mixed around, which I think was great because it gave people more chances to strengthen and form new inter-grade relationships. Also, it gave me the chance to further connect with some people in my own class who I don’t have many classes with and who I usually don’t hang out with a lot.” One treasured part of ringing is the bonds it forges not just between the current junior and senior classes at Casti, but also with recent alums and even underclassmen.

This year’s ringing season also saw a rise in the involvement of underclassmen recruited to help with the ringing process, spreading the joy and excitement of the tradition to all members of the upper school. In the weeks of festivities leading up to reveals, Maddie Chen ’26 was recruited to participate in a performance with other sophomores of “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys as part of a gift delivery for Lowell during her gender and sexualities class.

“It was really fun, just because I feel like it’s a tradition that underclassmen can look forward to so getting to be like a little small part of it this year was super cool, especially when you know who the junior is and who the senior is,” she said.

Another addition to ringing culture this year was brought about by none other than the junior class. “Something really fun and unique that our grade also started doing this year was making these edits for the ringing Instagram accounts,” Madden said. “I had the best time making them and I know everyone was always really excited when a new one popped up on Instagram.” The video edits often featured trending social media audios and hilarious photos or clips of their seniors, and are sure to be a new feature of ringing that sticks around into the future.

Ringing season ended with exciting reveals and even more excited seniors who finally got to know who their ringees are. All Castilleja traditions must evolve with time, and we can only wonder what will be in store for next year’s seniors. But one thing’s for sure: no matter what, it’ll be a time filled with laughter, surprises and cherished memories for all Casti students to hold on to.

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About the Contributor
Amelia Yuan, Staff Writer
Amelia Yuan '26 is a staff writer for Counterpoint. When she's not writing, you're likely to find her in the pool or daydreaming about her next chance to get in. She loves Trader Joe's, coffee (but only iced) and listening to folklore on repeat.

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