Student Life » Traditions


The unique traditions at IWHS make attending high school a beautifully memorable experience!

Little Sister/Big Sister Tie Ceremony
This popular tradition exemplifies what IWHS is all about. At the beginning of each school year, a senior student is assigned a “little sister” from the freshman class. During the Tie Ceremony, the senior Big Sister places a tie around her Little Sister’s neck officially welcoming her to the Shamrock Community. Throughout the year, the “big sister” acts as a mentor and role model for her little sister and they participate in activities, including the Big Sister/Little Sister Picnic, holiday parties and Senior Appreciation Day lunch.

Sophomore Pin Ceremony
As a first step in accepting their new roles as leaders and role models for the freshmen, the sophomores participate in the traditional pin ceremony. Held each August, the sophomore class assembles in the McGowen Gymnasium. Sitting by advisories, each student's name is called, and she receives a pin, a handshake, and good wishes from the Principal. Parents and guests are invited and a short reception follows.

Grandparents Day
This cherished tradition brings students together with their grandparents for a memorable day. Grandparents are invited to join their granddaughter in “a day in the life of a Shamrock” by joining them at mass and a reception. They may also participate in a photo opportunity, stay for lunch, and follow their student to classes throughout the day.

Heritage Liturgy
This tradition honors the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word by having a celebratory mass. The founding of the school is related and often re-enacted.

The girls, faculty and staff dress up in costume for Halloween. Each year, the costumes outdo the years prior! Advisories decorate their doors and awards are given to the best Halloween-themed decorations. The student body gathers for an assembly where students enter the Student Council-sponsored costume contest. Special performances are also conducted by faculty and staff. Student Council also invites selected elementary schools to trick-or-treat down the main hallway and engage in carnival games in the gym.

Junior Ring Ceremony
Junior Ring Ceremony is a long tradition handed down from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The ceremony takes place in the Motherhouse Chapel at UIW in May. The Junior class assembles in the afternoon and during the ceremony, parents place the ring on the daughter’s finger. In Legacy families, the ring is often passed down from Grandmother, mother, aunt or sister.

Senior Appreciation Day
Each year in April for Senior Appreciation Day, the Shamrock community devotes the day to honoring the graduating seniors. The day begins with a Senior Brunch planned by a parent committee formed in the fall. The graduates enjoy a delicious brunch, hear a senior speaker whom the students have chosen, and watch their senior video prepared by the class historian.

After the Brunch, the seniors return to the IWHS campus where they are greeted by the cheers from the other classes. The underclassmen transform the first-floor hallway with numerous decorations and testimonials. The school assembles in the gym to welcome the seniors as they promenade through the gymnasium wearing their smart clothes and the highly-anticipated “high heels.” Little Sisters bring lunch for their Big Sisters and the day ends with a Talent Show.

Changing of the Chairs
In May after the senior graduation, the junior, sophomore and freshmen classes assemble in the gymnasium to officially transition to their next grade level seating. With much less pomp and more pump, the classes dance, strut and dash to their new seating locations in the gym.

Father-Daughter Luncheon (fall) & Mother-Daughter Banquet (spring)
These two events are memory-making experiences devoted to strengthening the bond between parents and their daughters. Each begins with mass and then includes a luncheon with guest speakers and door-prizes. 

Silver Tea
This event is sponsored by the Alumnae Association to celebrate the seniors who are now recognized as Shamrock alumnae.

Graduation Pipes Procession
For graduation, it is a tradition for the senior class to be escorted to the UIW Convocation Center by faculty and bagpipes.