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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Seniors Get Colorful at Annual Parking Lot Painting

Ellen Kim
As her father provides shade from the sun, Clarissa Ricalde paints floral patterns on her senior parking spot. Seniors, with the help of family and friends, spent the weekend personalizing parking spots in the lower lot.

Fathers propped up E-Z Ups, mothers sketched on asphalt with chalk, and Class of 2024 seniors wielded color-soaked brushes and rollers to paint on a very large canvas: the lower lot parking spots.

103 seniors participated in this year’s annual Senior Painting Day event for four-hour painting shifts on August 12 and 13. Seniors with driver’s licenses could purchase a parking spot of their choice to customize and claim for the rest of the year. Reserving the spot, and purchasing a required parking permit, cost $80.

The tradition, a primary fundraiser for senior activities throughout the year, originated in 2021. Since then participation has tripled, from 30 painted spots for 2022 seniors, to 76 for the Class of 2023, to this years’ 103.

Pam Valenti, Activities Director, loves “how this [event] has grown over time. It is so awesome to see the community coming together for a fun project to start the year,” Valenti said. 

Many students chose to paint unique designs that most resonated with them. 

“I feel excited that I can leave a part of myself on the school campus and show off my personality,” Cheyenne Arredondo, senior, said. Arredondo painted her nickname “Chey,” surrounded by hearts, on a pink background.

Senior Kristin Kim, who painted “Senior Year” under a multi-hued rainbow, enjoyed this event because of “the freedom to create” and to see her project “come to life.” 

Parents, relatives, and friends also gathered at the lower lot to help the seniors paint their spots. The designs range from Disney characters, to detailed floral patterns, to album covers by favorite artists.

“I think that it’s great that everyone came together and helped each other out, [and] it was nice to see the camaraderie of people being so willing to borrow and share brushes and paint if someone was missing stuff,” Jen Halon, mother of senior Chase Halon, said. Chase’s design was inspired by his ubiquitous headwear: a fedora. “It’s part of my look, so it’s part of my spot,” Halon said.

Claudia Severson, mother of senior Grace Severson, enjoyed a “full circle” moment, by “taking brushes out from when Grace was a little girl to paint the lot.” The mother-daughter duo painted a heart and flowers on Grace’s spot to “carry on a positive mindset into senior year,” Severson said.

To prepare for Senior Painting Day, seniors in ASB painted over the previous year’s designs with black paint to create blank canvases for the weekend’s participants.

“We spent so many hours painting the lot black, and it’s rewarding to see everyone come together to make what was once a black lot into a super colorful one to start off the school year,” Gabriella Reyno, ASB treasurer, said. For her spot, Reyno drew her favorite Disney character, Stitch, on a surfboard, in hopes that “senior year will be like a wave.”

Many designs were inspired by the milestone of being a senior.

Senior Eva Zhang illustrated a Polaroid camera and a smiley face photo. Zhang said of her design: “I want to capture many memories of senior year [and] I want this year to be full of laughter.”

Armaan Shah, senior, painted a $100 bill on his parking spot because his “aspiration is to be rich.”

In her spot, Ava Rice lettered in lyrics to Morgan Wallen’s song “More Than My Hometown.” “It’s one of my favorite songs, and we felt like it was related to being a senior and leaving our hometown high school,” Rice shared. 

Inspired by the cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s album Sour, Karissma Gomez, senior, recreated the design — a purple background decorated with smiley faces and butterflies. Gomez, a member of the varsity soccer team, had additional inspiration: “[I] enjoyed the convenience of picking a spot close to the field.”

Although some seniors, like Adeline Dang, did not purchase a spot, Dang was “very happy to help [her friends and] do something fun to end the summer.”

Seniors enjoyed the privilege of driving over their newly painted spots on the first day of school, August 14. The designated spot will stay with them until graduation in May. As stated in the initial rules for painting, only the senior that purchased the spot will be allowed to park at that space.

“This senior activity was an eye opener to realizing how close all of us are to being done and moving onto the next chapter of our lives,” ASB president Laci Armenta, who helped organize the event, said.

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About the Contributor
Ellen Kim
Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Ellen Kim, senior, has been a member of the newspaper staff since her freshman year and is excited to lead the staff as Editor-in-Chief. Alongside her leadership in the Wildcat, Ellen is involved in ASB as Senior Class President and can be spotted in many clubs and organizations across campus including HOSA, Mubotics, Orchestra, and FTOC. Outside of school, Ellen can be found learning the ukulele, listening to her favorite pop tunes, or playing a competitive round of Uno. Ellen has published over 35 pieces for the Wildcat and is thrilled to create lots more during her final year at BOHS.
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