Painting Memories

Seniors Decorate Parking Spaces For the First Time


Photo by Rachana Kommineni

With green and white, senior Mckenna Lemons paints her picture of a splattered run over Plankton from ‘Spongebob’. She painted this in order to embrace her inner child even when she graduates high school and enters college. “I chose to paint Plankton because ‘Spongebob’ is one of my favorite shows,” Lemons said. “I felt that the splattered paint was humorous, as I would be parking on him every day, as if I ran over him.”

Rachana Kommineni, Reporter

The school has many senior traditions such as senior overalls, prom and Senior Summit, however a new tradition is painting parking spaces. Students decided to embrace their creativity by expressing their favorite things, ranging from shows to quotes to future aspirations. 

Senior Mckenna Lemons said that she has always seen other schools such as Round Rock High School and McNeil High School painting parking lot spots, and she thought that it was a creative way to celebrate senior year, and a cool way to hang out with everyone in your class for one of the last times. 

“It’s a one-time thing, and it’s one of those things you need to experience senior year,” Lemons said. “It’s kind of like prom. Prom is expensive, but it’s something you need to experience, so even though it was expensive to paint the parking lots, I felt like it was worth the cost.” 

With a passion for art, senior Ava Caldwell said she had fun choosing what her design was going to be because it’s fun to express herself with her parking spot because people are going to see it all the time. Caldwell changed her painting design because she wanted something that was fun and not as simple. 

“I chose to paint a Care Bear because I love the color pink and it’s super happy and fun and I’ll have fun driving up to it everyday,” Caldwell said. “I changed my design from flowers to a Care Bear because I wanted to do something a little more fun and intricate than some flowers that I’ll get bored of really fast. I wanted to make it fun since it’s going to be one of the last things you are going to get to do here that’s going to be here all year.”

On the other hand, senior Zach Waldbusser chose to do something simple that would be easy to paint. According to Waldbusser, this is his one and only opportunity to paint parking spaces, and he wanted to have something to call his own. 

“Since I got accepted and will be attending Texas A&M, I opted for White and Maroon stripes with “gig ‘em” at the bottom corner with my name in the middle,” Waldbusser said. “Even though it was hard painting in all the cracks and holes in the pavement, it was fun walking around and seeing everyone’s designs.”

The idea of painting parking lots has been an idea for a decade now, but it was never approved, according to Assistant Principal Julie Raby. The faculty as well as the students presented it to the board and it never got approved, but for some reason, this year the board is letting them do it. This year, Project Graduation took hold of the idea and executed it. 

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for kids to get to meet because they have probably gone to school with some people since elementary and never really known,” Raby said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for them to express themselves and have something that they can call their own. I think it’s just fun because there’s a lot of camaraderie, and everybody is looking at what everyone else is doing.”

Project Grad wanted to get it off the ground and going as quickly as possible because seniors only have so much time. They had to turn in their designs no later than Nov. 10, and then a painting party was held on Nov. 14 from 1-4 p.m. If any seniors missed it, they were able to turn in their designs on Dec. 1, and paint their parking spaces on Dec. 5 from 1-4 p.m.

“As long as the designs weren’t inappropriate, I approved of those designs,” Raby said. “If there was one I had a question about, I called kids down and they told me why they picked that design and what it meant to them, so there wasn’t one I did not approve of.”

Seniors Kylie Wiegand, Connor Yasi and Olivia Laster sent out a video to Principal John Sloan explaining that they wanted to go to Main Event at the end of graduation, and this is a good fundraiser for that. Principal Sloan took in their heartfelt thoughts and wanted to push this to the board even more.

“This is seniors funding seniors,” Wiegand said. “All the funds would go to Project Grad, which supports Main Event after graduation. A bunch of other organizations were trying to use this as their funding. We wanted to go to Main Event and we know Project Grad funds that, so we wanted to help convince Sloan so that we could have it at the end of the year.” 

Wiegand’s mom, Shelly Wiegand, and one of the Project Grad parents explained that in the video, the students talked about how they lost time during COVID-19, and the importance of painting parking lots. 

“It’s an opportunity not to just have your own parking spot and get to leave your mark by being able to paint your spot, but create a legacy, create something that they leave behind,” Shelly Wiegand said. “They have lost time together, so it’s an opportunity for this group of people to collectively come together, do something fun, make a difference, hopefully start a new tradition, and do something awesome for class of 2022 and CPHS.”