Senior Parking Spot Painting: The Class of 2023 Leaves Their Mark 

Sophia Lopez, Features Editor

   As soon as the clock struck 10:30, the Class of 2023 student council shot out of their sponsor Mrs. Taylor’s room. Armed with boxes of snacks and carts filled with drinks, they swiftly marched through the rapidly filling hallways towards the student parking lot. 

   Between scheduling inconveniences and even some weather interference, the special senior tradition that was supposed to be held at sunrise before the school year began was pushed back. 

When interviewing student council senior President Aiyanna Nixon about the next step, she knew the first thing to do was to address the feelings the cancellation caused. 

   “It was disappointing because I know that’s the way to mark the beginning of our senior year; by watching [the] sunrise. I would definitely say this was something we can come back from;  the class of 2023 has been through a lot and this is just one step back,” she says passionately.  “Now we’re going to have to figure out another way to do this and still carry that tradition, and it might be a little different, but we’re still going to try and keep the tradition alive.”

   As it was already the 4th reschedule behind closed doors, the student council dedicated themselves to finding an alternative solution that would still encourage the new seniors to, in the words of Mrs. Taylor, “step into the school year with purpose, hope, and optimism.” 

   With that in mind, preparations gravitated towards the set date of September 22nd—the first Charter Study Day of the yearsetting the traditional sunrise theme aside and focusing on the more important element: painting the parking spots.

   Even though the sky threatened the event with thin gray clouds, and some droplets hinted at an approaching rain shower, the Class of 2023 student council huddled together to go over the plan one more time. They quickly split up into smaller groups, unpacking the snacks and spreading them on the table buffet style, each in charge of a different station. Slowly but surely, seniors gathered under the covered walkway next to the parking lot as the rain fell harder; many had changed into more comfortable clothes, ready to begin. 

   A loud boombox blasting catchy music set the mood while seniors waited in line with friends for free snacks and drinks. Between the car horns honking and shouts from a football being tossed around in the parking lot, arriving seniors were welcomed into a comfortable, laid back atmosphere, which made waiting for the rain to subside much more bearable. 

   Senior Brianna Correa was more than ready to start painting once the weather had cleared. With a bold, sunny Harry Styles theme in mind, she was ready to put her design into action. “I’m really excited to finally paint our spots after it was canceled, being able to be with my friends, and what this year has to come,” she commented. On the other extreme, Senior Luca Mancini attended as support. “I went to help out my friend who had no paint and was unprepared. But that’s fine. We ended up figuring it out.” 

   As many had to work around the sudden rain showers and the wet concrete, seniors brought all sorts of solutions to the table. Some wore ponchos, some kept their parking spots dry with a propped up umbrella, and some scrubbed their parking spots clean with a rag before starting. Even though the rain had the potential to compromise the event, the seniors brought it onto themselves to fully enjoy it. 

   This activity even caught the eye of junior Anaya Andre, the Class of 2024’s Student Council President, who volunteered. “I wanted the two councils to be connected and learn from the senior class,” she said while passing out snacks and drinks. 

   As Mrs. Taylor’s last year as a sponsor and with Pembroke Pines Charter High School begins, the Class of 2023 student council and herself are working towards the ultimate goal: throwing a great prom. Witnessing how this event succeeded despite the weather, Taylor elaborates on her perception of the class of 2023:
  “I LOVE this class. Really, and truly, they are incredible. They are smart, compassionate, funny, and unique. They push your boundaries and then learn to respect them. It is my honor to sponsor a class that has faced so much adversity, so much pain, and many challenges— these experiences only made them stronger and better.”