Viera seniors show artistic side in painting parking spots


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Victoria Pugliese, 17, of Suntree, left, and her friend, Kalee Taylor, 17, of Indian Harbor Beach, start painting a mosaic that was inspired by the Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast.”

ERNEST ARICO

For the first time in the 14-year history of Viera High School, one of the school’s newest “traditions” sold out – seniors painting their designated parking spaces.

Jeff Draves, a Viera High social studies teacher and senior class sponsor, said it was the first time in the school’s history that every available parking spot — 150 — was sold.

“We even sold an additional 10 more spots in the overflow parking lot,” he said.

Draves, who is beginning his 14th year at VHS, said the students paid $20 to reserve a parking spot, and then paid an additional $20 to paint the concrete parking pylon.

Draves said he enjoys doing senior class events and added the money raised will be used to pay for the senior prom, graduation and the Grad Bash at Universal Studios.

“I think we sold out this year because they want to be seniors and are very proud to be Senior Hawks,” he said.

The tradition was held Aug. 9 when seniors were allowed to express their own creativity and paint their designated parking spaces.

Makena Wagner, 17, of Viera, said she wanted to be part of the tradition. She painted her concreate pylon with shamrocks because “I’m super Irish,” she said.

Isabella Tirado, 17, of Suntree, wanted to express how she feels. “I’m a huge artist,” she said. “I want to show people how I can draw. It’s entertaining.”

Owen King, 17, of Melbourne, said he wanted his space to include special memories of his times at VHS, especially his varsity baseball career. “It’s fun. It’s a good thing for all the seniors,” he said.

Victoria Pugliese, 17, of Suntree, said she was inspired to paint her space by the stain glass window seen in the Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Julie Walker, 17, of Suntree, wanted to add a “personal touch” to her space. “I want to personalize it because it’s my senior year,” she said.

Marcus Westley, 17, who recently moved to Viera from Colorado, thought it was “pretty cool and different” that seniors get to paint their own parking spot.

Faith Wallace, 18, of Merritt Island, who wants to be a structural engineer, was helped by her parents, Staci and Chris Wallace, in painting a mosaic design to her pylon. “It’s a rite of passage — to drive to school and get your own parking spot,” she said.

Dravers said the program will raise more than $3,200 for future senior class events.

The tradition also included another first — a concession stand that sold drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers. “We really wanted to make it an event, a real party atmosphere,” Dravers said.

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