The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


Traditions at Castilleja

Eve Snyder
Teachers act in the skit written for the seniors’ Rivalry day.

One of the first things my mom, class of ’91, explained to me about Castilleja was the traditions. It was a long conversation, sidetracked by her explaining to me why she was the best at Rivalry in her senior year because she hid a flag in a rock. Castilleja traditions are one of the many features that make Castilleja unique and are an opportunity to put aside school work and have fun.

For those of you who are kind of confused about what Rivalry is (underclassmen, I’m looking at you), it’s a week where juniors and seniors compete to see who can have the best decorations, food and activities for the whole school. The week ends with Revelry, which was a breakfast this year, and then Banquet in the evening, which is super duper secret. The two ending events are about the juniors and seniors coming together after a week of competition.

Historically, Rivalry Week was a little bit different. While there used to be a definitive winner, winning is now decided by popular consensus among students.

29 years ago, there used to be a flag that the seniors would hide somewhere on campus, and if the juniors could find it, they won, and if they didn’t, they lost. Over the years, this morphed into today’s flag football game, which still incorporates the flag element.

Likewise, Revelry used to be a sleepover for juniors and seniors after school Thursday. This was changed recently due to the Castilleja conditional use permit. The LPRs did come up with a really wonderful way to make it work as a breakfast this year.

Beyond just Rivalry, Castilleja traditions are extremely special to me because my family knows and remembers them fondly. My mom doesn’t remember anything from high school math but she remembers and recalls every tradition fondly.

This past week, Rivalry made me insanely happy, but not because I got to throw water balloons at juniors (I enjoyed it, though). It was an excuse to sit outside in the sun, not doing homework or attending meetings. Instead, I had the most fun chucking water balloons, sprinting through the rain in heels and taking a million pictures. It was an excuse to do nothing productive and be with the people that I care about whom I will only go to school with for a few more months.

Rivalry has been a cornerstone of Castilleja traditions because they create memories that stick, like my mom’s. Castilleja traditions are unique because they show how much the student body and faculty care about the school. No other high school brings in bouncy houses or caricature artists. No other high school provides a nice dinner for juniors and seniors and provides space for a very… interesting ritual at Banquet. Castilleja is unique for so many reasons—the incredible teachers, the alum network, the extracurriculars—but the traditions are the most important to me because they are the most fun.

So my advice for all our underclassmen and middle schoolers going into the traditions: don’t take it too seriously (no one likes mean-spirited competition), take advantage of the free dress rules and have as much fun as you can.

View Comments (1)
About the Contributors
Avery Neuner
Avery Neuner, Editor of Opinions
Avery Neuner ‘24 is the Editor of Opinions for Counterpoint. She has been writing for Counterpoint for three  years and has been a writer her whole life. In addition to journalism, she is a published author in short story and poetry.

Eve Snyder
Eve Snyder, Editor of Photography
Eve Snyder ‘24 is the Editor of Photography for Counterpoint. She enjoys creating still life and photomontage pictures, as well as taking portraits. When she’s not photographing, she’s rock climbing, making jewelry or painting her nails.

Comments (1)

All Counterpoint Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    Eve | May 10, 2024 at 9:15 am

    I’m so glad you like Rivalry this year, Avery! While throwing balloons at the juniors was fun, I think my highlight was the cardboard cutouts on the circle. Best photoshoot ever 🙂