‘Rite of passage’: Seniors at Northern Guilford High School paint parking spots

What's Right with Our Schools

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Instead of street art, you might call this parking lot art! And it’s all the work of seniors at Northern Guilford High School.

“We give them the opportunity to think outside the box. Although it’s technically inside the lines,” Principal Dr. Janiese Mckenzie said.

They’re painting inside the lines of their assigned parking spaces. For the last five years at the end of the summer break, this is where you can find many members of the senior class, taking part in the tradition.

“I had a dear friend that was a senior when I was a freshman. And so we helped her do hers, me and my little brother,” senior Annie Badger said. “I’ve just always enjoyed coming out here every year and seeing all the new designs and all that good stuff. So it’s definitely something I look forward to.”

It’s a fundraiser for the senior class by the PTSA, which hopes to make this year better than ever.

“This is something that they’ve been looking forward to for the past four years because it’s sort of a rite of passage for our seniors and for them to have only been in school for a year, maybe a year and three quarters, and then not to be in last year. And then this year back. This is super exciting, and we want to be able to plan big things for them in this year, the year ahead,” PTSA Representative Jenny Badger said.

The creations are as unique and diverse as the students themselves. Some, like Jordan McInnis, went for humor. His says “If you’re reading this I’m late.”

Others, like Kylie Calfo, chose a design they hope will bring them luck.

“I’m doing a houndstooth pattern, and I’m going to write my name in a Crimson red,” Calfo said. “Most of my family’s from Alabama. My grandpa went there before he was drafted into the military. So…I’ve grown up always wanting to go there…fingers crossed!”

For others, it’s a family affair.

“My sister actually did it. She graduated two years ago, 2020, and she did hers, and I helped with hers and a bunch of other of her friends,” said Sophia Davis. “This is just another one of those senior things I was so excited to do. And it’s like my turn now. So I was really excited to get the paint together and get my friends and family together and help everyone out too.”

Her mother Kim helped her and said she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“She’s our baby, so it’s kind of like a rite of passage,” Kim said. “And we do everything to…support the kids. There’s no other place I would be. Took the day off to do it!”

It’s a bit of certainty during an uncertain time.

“They’ve only had one year of full school in our building,” Dr. Mckenzie said. “Their ninth grade year, their sophomore year, was cut short in March, and then many of them didn’t come at all last year. So this is their one thing, a tradition that they can keep. We still aren’t really sure about a homecoming dance, a prom, those kinds of things, but this they can have it in concrete, and it’s beautiful!”

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