STVM Students Choose House Names: Native Irish Trees

Jan 09, 2020

The votes are in! The students have spoken and the House names have been confirmed. Each of the four House names will be named after native Irish trees:

  • Ash (Nion)
    • Irish emigrants to America took pieces of the ash with them as a charm against drowning. Ash was thought to have power over water. Celtic mythology refers to the ash tree as "The World Tree," a tree that spans between worlds. The Ash tree represents longevity, endurance, and productivity.
  • Hawthorn (Hauth)
    • The Hawthorn is a tree of magical enchantment and is strongly associated with Beltane, the ancient festival celebrating spring. In Celtic mythology it is one of the most sacred trees and symbolizes love and protection.
  • Holly (Tinne)
    • Traditionally, the Holly tree is highly sacred in Celtic mythology and symbolizes peace and goodwill. Due to its resistance to lightning, it is associated with the Celtic and Norse gods of thunder, Taranis and Thor, and so was planted near dwellings to protect people from lightning strikes. Holly also symbolizes fertility and eternal life.
  • Oak (Duir)
    • The word "druid" actually comes from the Celtic word for Oak, which is "Duir." The Druids also believed that the Oak tree is host to the strength and energy of their gods and so to catch a falling Oak leaf brings good luck and prosperity. In mythology, the Irish Oak symbolizes truth, courage and wisdom.

Why native Irish trees?

Students and staff members overwhelming believe that the symbol of the tree best represents the history of St. Vincent-St. Mary, its mission, its long-standing traditions and its place in the history of Akron. Here is some more detail behind the decision:

stvm history and tradition

  • “Caring for God’s Creation” is included in our school improvement plan.
    • This includes planting trees around campus, maintaining our victory garden, and beautifying our campus through intentional programs and planning.     
  • With almost 20,000 alumni from St. Vincent, St. Mary, and St. Vincent-St. Mary, our family tree is continuously growing and is deeply rooted in tradition.
  • Shillelagh's are generally made of Oak or Hawthorn trees

a long-standing akron institution

  • Akron is one of 3,400 designated Tree Cities in the US.
  • Akron has deep roots in our community.
  • St. Vincent-St. Mary High School is the *oldest operating high school in Akron.
    • *This includes St. Mary and St. Vincent as individual schools
  • All four trees can be grown in Northeast Ohio.
  • Types of the Ash, Oak, Holly, and Hawthorn trees are native to Ohio.

Learn more about our House System