By Jadyn Piotrowski '22
It shouldn't come as a surprise that some of the best memories of school come down to the people, the special events, and the common language and special traditions known only to those who are part of the community. Much like a secret code or handshake, there are terms that are unique to Stuart and all Sacred Heart schools but are not common to all -- unless you studied French.
We have all mispronounced Gouter and accidentally started a conversation in the middle of Espacio. By no means is it the end of the world, but this guide will save you some embarrassment and confusion. Take some time to brush up on these Sacred Heart terms and get excited for what’s to come!
SACRED HEART TERMS AND TRADITIONS
Congé (con-jay) is the most looked-forward-to day of the year. It’s a surprise day for your division. Instead of going to class, we go somewhere fun. Past Congés have included iPlay America, Six Flags, Adventure Aquarium, American Dream Mall, and Medieval Times.
COEUR DE JESUS
A French song sung throughout the Network of Sacred Heart Schools following a special event or to represent a "fight song" for athletics victories. Click here to listen.
Two minutes of silence at the end of each day to reflect on what we are grateful for. It’s the perfect opportunity in the middle of our hectic days to meditate and pause.
To celebrate certain Catholic holidays or saints, we have feast days. For example, on the Feast of Mater Admirabilis - who is considered the true patroness of Sacred Heart schools - we wear pink and will come together as a school and have a prayer service. Click here to learn more about Feast Days at Stuart.
GOALS AND CRITERIA
The five Goals are the guiding principles for all Sacred Heart students. In Lower School, we are taught a simple song to remember them, and they stick with us throughout our time here.The Goals emphasize being caring community members and dedicated students. Click here to learn more about the Goals and Criteria.
Despite how it looks phonetically, Gouter is pronounced “goo-tay.” It’s French for “little bite,” and we use it refer to our snack time. All divisions have Gouter each day, and it’s a time to catch up with friends before heading to the next class of the day.
Mater Admirabilis translates to “Mother Most Admirable,” and is a famous fresco in Rome. Each Sacred Heart school across the world has their own depiction of Mater. Stuart is the only school to have their Mater painted on a window so we can appreciate the beauty of nature through Mary.
Prize Day is like a mini-graduation for each grade. It is the last day of school, and each division comes together one last time to celebrate the accomplishments from the year. But don’t worry, the seniors get their official graduation ceremony on a separate day.
JUNIOR RING CEREMONY
A beautiful ceremony for the junior class to receive their class ring from the seniors. Not only does this mark the beginning of the exciting time when the juniors prepare to finish their time at Stuart, but it is also highly anticipated because of who gives the rings. The junior-senior pairings are kept a secret until the ceremony, and sometimes alumnae come back!
There are so many Sacred Heart schools across the globe--- why not experience what it’s like to attend another? With SHAEP (Sacred Heart Academic Exchange Program), sophomores get the chance to study for a few weeks at another Sacred Heart school, and host a student. In past years, students have gone to countries like Peru, New Zealand, France, and Spain. This is a lifechanging experience and time to be immersed in the culture and language of another country.
SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART
The Society is a group of Roman Catholic women devoted to girls’ education. They were founded in 1800 by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and have continued her legacy by connecting more than a hundred schools across the world throughout the Sacred Heart network.
TRES BIEN AWARD
The monthly award to five Middle School students for embodying the Goals. At the end of each month, students nominate a classmate or teacher for a Goal, and they will get announced at Morning Meeting. Listening to how they’ve lived the Goals out inspires the rest of us to do the same.
100 DAYS TO GRADUATION
In a real full-circle moment, the youngest members of the Stuart community help celebrate 100 days until graduation with the seniors in early February. Each senior is paired with an Early Childhood student, given a handmade necklace, and cheered on by the entire student body as they parade down the main hallway before going to a special brunch.
The Appalachian Service Project (ASP) is a long-standing partnership with communities in West Virginia. Each summer, a group of Upper Schoolers and faculty members help renovate homes. While improving the lives of the homeowners, they also create lifelong friendships with the families and learn important lessons. This is a memorable experience, and many ASP volunteers return for following years!
To celebrate the international diversity of our community, we start the year with the Flag Ceremony. Students who were born in another country, or have a parent who was, can carry the flag of that country. Over 60 countries are represented each year!
GREEN AND WHITE DAY
The biggest school division is also the best way to get everyone together. From the first day you arrive at Stuart, you are part of the Green or White team. On Green and White Day, the teams compete against each other in a series of grade-specific events to see which team will reign for the year!
A winter break reunion for the four most recent graduating classes and current seniors. In the midst of our busy schedules, it is a perfect time to come together for a meal and share stories and advice.
LOAVES AND FISHES
On the final Saturday of January, Stuart spends the day at Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) serving meals. Even if they can’t make it that weekend, everyone gets involved. Lower Schoolers decorate placemats, Middle Schoolers assemble and pack bagged lunches, and Upper Schoolers donate supplies.
Our building, designed by Jean Labatut, mixes the beauty of nature with religion. From the Jesus pillar to the heart altar in the chapel, there are 13 spaces around campus. Click here for the audio tour led by former head of school, Patty Fagin (2011-2022).
VENI EMMANUEL + EVENSONG
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with some Christmas music? Veni Emmanuel, the Lower School concert, and Evensong, the Middle and Upper School concert, feature the musical talent of all grades. Alumnae of the Upper School choir, Tartantones, often come back to join in singing “Jesse’s Carol.”
WOMEN WE ADMIRE DAY
Think history class meets Halloween. For this highly anticipated day, Lower Schoolers dress up as a woman they admire, partake in related activities all day, and show off their knowledge at a talking museum. From Amelia Earhart to Simone Biles to Marie Curie, women from all over the world and all interests are represented!